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BBC Radio Essex cake donation celebrates Southend’s city status 

Sunny it most certainly wasn’t, but the day on which Southend-on-Sea became a city represented a dream come true for its inhabitants, and the culmination of many years of campaigning by their late MP, Sir David Amess. And what better way for residents of Cedars to celebrate this historic occasion than with cake!

We did so, in style, thanks to the gift of a beautiful cake from the staff of BBC Radio Essex. Reporter Richard Smith presented it to the home after a busy day spent out and about talking to people in the newly created city.

The delectable single-tier 10-inch jam and cream sandwich was created by Southend baker Cathy Hume of Sophisti-Cakes. It was topped by a picture of the city’s coat of arms printed onto edible icing with the words ‘Congratulations Southend’.

Residents had spent the day following the celebrations on TV and reminiscing about their time in the city – they have especially fond memories of Southend Pier. By the time Richard arrived with the cake, excitement had reached fever pitch. Our resident Doris Scraggs, 94, volunteered to cut the cake and you could have heard a pin drop while everyone tucked in.

Doris described it as ‘delicious’ while others, including Molly Hall (100) and Rose Lawson (101), extolled its taste, consistency and decorative appearance.

“We would like to say a HUGE thank you to both the staff of BBC Radio Essex and Sophisti-Cakes for their incredible generosity,” said Victor Zingoni, our home manager.

Joining Richard and presenter Sonia Watson on the radio station’s Breakfast Programme, he told listeners: “My residents enjoyed it very well. They were waiting patiently in the lounge, discussing their past lives and how they used to visit Southend Pier. Then they were all feeling guilty for eating the cake because it looked so good! Unfortunately we couldn’t go out [to celebrate] because of the weather but to have the cake delivered to us in the home was a good way to honour Southend being honoured as a city.”

He added: “Our esidents are happy that finally, after so many years of campaigning by Sir David Amess, his wish is being granted and they are happy to see the development that is going to be coming, what with the status that is being bestowed on Southend.”