Let them eat cake...outside of the Hall

Patricia Tulip, Chair of the WI's Cookery Committee baking a cake for 5,000 WI members at home in Alnwick using a competition winning recipe
Patricia Tulip, Chair of the WI's Cookery Committee baking a cake for 5,000 WI members at home in Alnwick using a competition winning recipe

Special cakes made by a star Northumberland baker have been at the centre of a dispute between the Women’s Institute and London’s Royal Albert Hall.

As reported in last month’s Gazette, Howick WI treasurer Patricia Tulip was one of two trustees on the National Federation of Women’s Institutes’ board chosen to bake thousands of pieces of fruit cake in their own kitchens to celebrate 100 years of the WI.

The tasty treats were due to be served up in commemorative boxes during the WI’s huge century celebrations at the iconic London venue in June.

However, because the boxes – to be left on the seats of the 5,000 members attending – had sponsors’ names on, the Hall is understood to have asked the WI to pay £2,500, due to the promotion of commercial products within the building.

As a result, the WI has decided to distribute the cake after the meeting.

Patricia did not wish to comment, but a Hall spokeswoman said: “The Hall charges a fee for sponsors’ commercial products to be promoted within the building.

“The WI informed us that its requirements had changed and the product will no longer be consumed on the premises, so no fee will apply.”