The chomping of the guard at the Palace

Rose Dummer serves Guardsman Tom Barry a big wedge of "Guardsman Gus"
Rose Dummer serves Guardsman Tom Barry a big wedge of "Guardsman Gus"

A baker from Clitheroe paid “atten-shun” to detail to make a life-size Grenadier Guardsman... from cake.

Rose Dummer, of Whalley Road, Clitheroe, was commissioned by Cake Masters Magazine to make a 7ft Grenadier Guard out of cake to raise money and awareness for this year’s Poppy Appeal.

The mother-of-four recruited helpers, including Lancashire-based Lee Binch, Becca Ginley and Molly Robbins, to create the life-sized sculpture in time for the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show in London. And after being given the thumbs up by the king and queen of baking – Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry – “Guardsman Gus” joined his fellow Grenadiers, the First Regiment of Foot Guards, at Wellington Barracks, near Buckingham Palace. Once there, Gus was pictured on parade with four guardsmen who will mount the Queen’s Guard on Armistice Day (next Tuesday) this year. The cake was then served to the hungry Guardsmen and their comrades. Before becoming one of the UK’s top cake designers, Rose had a very different career, serving with the Armed Forces. She was the Army Air Corps’s first female helicopter pilot, and subsequently the first female Lynx pilot. With more than a million likes on her “Rosie Cake-Diva” Facebook page, she brought together her two careers for this special event to raise awareness of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

“Cake Masters asked me to bake a fantasy cake for the show and when I saw when it was taking place in the run up to Remembrance Sunday I was determined to do something that drew attention to the Armed Forces and the terrific job they do for us all,” said Rose.

Guardsman Gus was fashioned from 45kg of vanilla-

flavoured sponge, sponsored by Bury-based Cake Bases, with 14kg of white chocolate ganache. He was all dressed in his ceremonial best, displaying shiny medals, boots and buttons – all of which were edible – and was accompanied on duty by Monty the corgi. Despite Rose’s car breaking down on her way to London, she managed to deliver the cake on time.

Rose added: “We had so little time to make Gus that it would have been impossible to do it alone. I brought in some amazingly talented cake artists to help me and they were key to our success.

“Lee and Becca from the Pendle Cake Company spent days in my kitchen, mixing, stacking, covering and decorating. They are both meticulous and their attention to detail is superb.”

Crawshawbooth-based Molly, of Molly’s Creative Cakes, was responsible for cheeky Monty the corgi, who was posed peeing on Gus’s shiny boot!

She said: “It was amazing to be part of such a wonderful team. Monty the corgi is honoured to be peeing on such an amazing cake. He was named after the Queen’s last male corgi, and the females don’t do that apparently!”

Rose was also helped by InsideTrack, Clitheroe, and Sabden-based Castle Sheet Metal who helped to transport “Gus”. She also thanked her husband, Jamie, and said she wouldn’t have been able to complete the task without his help.

The soldiers were certainly flattered by the bakers’ efforts, describing Gus’s likeness as “quite uncanny”. Major Neil Strachan said: “To be immortalised in cake is certainly a novelty and I’m glad the guardsman was able to help raise the profile of the RBL Poppy Appeal in such a fun way. The appeal does a tremendous job for service personnel and their families and we all owe them a great service. And thank you Rosie for the cake – the boys are unanimous – it tastes as good as it looks.”

Rose added: “We are all so proud of Gus, and we are proud of our troops. In the 100th anniversary year of the start of the First World War, let’s hope more people wear their poppies with pride.”