A VILLAGE’S very own 94-year-old Great British Baker is nearing a culinary milestone as he prepares to bake his 100,000th scone.
Retired policeman Peter Wright is Llanbedr Dyffrin Clwyd’s answer to Paul Hollywood and has been baking scones for charity for years.
He bakes more than 3,000 a year and to have been doing that for 29 years – not to mention butterfly cakes, almond tarts and apple pies – but he is hopeful his next batch will be a winner in the village show at Llanbedr.
That takes place at the Village Hall on Bank Holiday Monday, so the great-grandfather will be taking a temporary break from churning out cakes for charity for a bit of friendly competition.
Usually Peter’s scones and cakes have been produced for charity and his tasty titbits have helped raise money for Cancer Research, the British Heart Foundation and many others, both national and local.
Show chairman Huw Williams, Denbighshire County Councillor for Llanbedr, said: “Peter’s scones are famous around here and whenever someone is holding a coffee morning they beat a path to his door.
“He must have helped raise thousands for various charities and it’s great to see him putting his cakes in for competition in the show at the Village Hall.
“You can bet there won’t be any soggy bottoms on display from him.”
Liverpool-born Peter’s love affair with the scone goes back to his childhood in Lancaster though it was his aunt rather than his mum who was the inspirational baker but it was only after retirement at 65 that he really increased production.
He said: “If anyone is having a coffee morning or other event they seem to come along and ask me and I will usually do two dozen each of scones, filled butterfly cakes, plain butterfly cake and almond tarts and ten apple pies.
“I start baking at about half past six in the morning and I’m still at it at nine at night but I enjoy it and it can help them raise £50 just from the cakes and tarts.”
In winter he makes meat and potato pies as well but for the moment he’s looking forward to the fruit harvest and he said: “There are two or three people locally who have orchards and they bring me apples.
“I often find a bag or two of apples at the front door and they say they’d rather I had them because they know they won’t go to waste.
“I use my own recipes which I have developed over the years and I always bake at 200C and just vary the timings.”
This year’s Llanbedr Village Show is also being supported by rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) through the Welsh Government’s Rural Development Plan and is part of a three-year plan to revitalise rural communities and their economies.
Robert Price, Cadwyn Clwyd Agri-Food Officer for Denbighshire and Flintshire, said: “Local shows are the life blood of community life and provide a real focal point for the year in a rural community.
“It’s wonderful to see someone like Peter still going strong, baking for charity and very much at the heart of his local community and taking part in the show.”
Peter, who still drives to get most of his baking supplies, has a special apple coring machine and an impressive array of pots, pans and baking equipment.
When he’s not baking for charity he’s taking cakes and scones round for his grateful neighbours and he added: “I do sometimes watch the Great British Bake-Off on TV but I’m usually too busy.
“I do enjoy baking and it keeps me out of mischief.”
Read more in this week's Free Press.