8 May 1998


THIRTY kg currants, 5kg glace cherries, 10kg butter, 260 eggs, 12.5kg high protein flour… these are just a few of the ingredients which staff and students of Northampton College used to prepare the massive birthday cake, which weighs 150kg and was baked in honour of the British Charollais Sheep Societys 21st birthday.

The cake measures 2.2m x 1.1m (7.2ft x 3.6ft) and is claimed to be the worlds biggest fruit cake in the shape of a sheep. It will be on view at Lamb 98 at Wing in Rutland today and tomorrow (May 8 and 9) where the societys main anniversary celebrations take place.

"The British Charollais Sheep Society was formed soon after the first imports from France during 1976," says BCSS member John OReilly. "The Charollais breed was brought into Britain as a terminal sire… since its introduction the breed has done remarkably well and is now one of the top breeds in the country, taking most of the major honours at shows up and down the country."

The pictures on this page were taken at Northampton College when the cake was handed over to the society and bottles of Tupping Ale were produced. This novel beer, brewed in Oakham, was launched by the BCSS in March. Bars at Banbury, Northampton and Rugby livestock markets are among those which stock it.

The cake will be handed over to the Macmillan Cancer Relief Fund at Lamb 98 and placed on view at shows and other events during the course of the summer, safely protected by a Perspex case. It will be used as part of a major fund raising exercise being carried out by the Macmillan Cancer Relief Fund and culminating in the worlds largest coffee morning which is planned for October.

Northampton College staff in their whites turned out to see the cake off as Tom Moore (second from right) who is team leader – hospitality, leisure and tourism at the college, hands it over to the BCSS which is represented by Stuart Dunkley, John OReilly and Jonathan Barbour.

See more