Volunteer Gail uses Mary Berry recipe to create Burnley's most stunning landmark in gingerbread

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One of Burnley's most famous landmarks, Towneley Hall, has been created in gingerbread!

The eye catching model was the handiwork of Gail Barton who is a volunteer room steward at the hall.

She was inspired to get baking after seeing that the National Trust had created replicas of several of their properties in gingerbread.

"I have never done anything like this before and never baked gingerbread so I did set myself a real challenge,"said Gail (39).

Gail felt that the model could be a special tribute for Towneley Hall and also raise the profile of volunteers who are always needed there.

Gail, who lives in Burnley, spent a total of 16 hours baking and making the model from a Mary Berry recipe.

She measured out the dimensions and made the hall in three separate sections as she could not find a cake board large enough to place it on.

And Gail, who has a 15-year-old daughter called Victoria, unveiled her creation at a pre-Christmas lunch thrown for all the volunteers across Burnley's parks and halls.

And art imitated life as on the way to the lunch part of the model's north wing roof collapsed, mirroring what has happened to the real north wing staircase, which has been closed all summer because the ceiling needs repairing.

Gail said: "It didn't come out exactly as I has hoped and it was a little rough round the edges but I don't think it was too bad for a first attempt."

After the lunch the gingerbread Towneley was served to guests although they were reluctant to cut into it!

Gail, who didn't partake of the treat as she is gluten free, said: "It was made to be eaten and everyone enjoyed it."

As she enjoyed the challenge and has learned so much about gingerbread modelling Gail plans to make a local landmark every year.

And she is planning to start with Burnley Town Hall as this year Gail plans to stand for election with the Labour Party in the Rosegrove/Lowerhouse ward.

If you would like to become a volunteer at Towneley you can find more information at http://towneley.org.uk/about/volunteering/