Great British Bake Off winner Peter Sawkins named honorary Edinburgh city Burgess

Edinburgh-born Peter Sawkins has been made an Honorary Burgess of his home city at a special civic reception hosted by the Lord Provost at the City Chambers.

The 21-year-old, who made history last year when he was crowned the youngest ever and first Scottish winner of the Great British Bake Off, attended the ceremony commemorating his new role as Honorary Burgess by Edinburgh' s Lord Provost.

The former Currie Community High School was joined by friends and family at the evening celebration.

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News of the appointment of the fourth-year Edinburgh University student was announced in January but Covid restrictions meant that it was only now been possible to hold the ceremony in person.

Peter Sawkins made history last year when he was crowned the youngest ever - and first Scottish - winner of the Great British Bake Off. Picture: ©2021 The Edinburgh Reporter

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    Speaking on the award Peter said: “I felt surprised and honoured to hear that I was to become an Honorary Burgess. The support from people in Edinburgh through the airing of Bake Off and beyond has been a great encouragement to me, and for that, I am very grateful.

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    Lord Provost Frank Ross said: “Peter won a legion of fans both here at home in Edinburgh and all over the country when he baked his way to triumph on last year's series of the Great British Bake Off.

    "Watching him clinch victory as the first Scottish and youngest ever winner of the show was a proud moment for Edinburgh viewers and it was perhaps especially uplifting given the tough times we've all faced during the pandemic.

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    “I'm delighted to present our very own Star Baker Peter with his Honorary Burgess certificate tonight as a further sign of the city's admiration for what he's achieved.”

    Don S.F. Young DL, President of the Edinburgh Burgess Association, added: “The Edinburgh Burgess Association is honoured to be able to recognise Edinburgh’s, and indeed the UK’s, finest Baxters (Scots for baker).

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    "Peter has made a wonderful contribution to the nation’s enjoyment and entertainment during, for many, a very difficult time and set the bar very high indeed for all amateur bakers. I look forward to sampling some fine examples of his work.

    Burgesses have been created in Edinburgh’s Royal Burgh since the early 1400s. To be a Burgess was to be a Free Citizen of the City and it was a necessity to become a Burgess if you wanted to earn a living in the city.

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    Today, Burgess-ship is conferred by the Council under delegated authority. To be a Burgess has traditionally been via membership of the Merchants or Trades. The Burgess Association, which is just a few years old, was created as a platform for these ancient Edinburgh bodies to come together with the City in a more effective manner. The Burgess Association's objective is to "join the Burgesses together on equal terms in a social setting to gain knowledge of and support the best aspirations, traditions and institutions of Edinburgh".

    Another celebrated Edinburgh son who received an Honorary Burgess-ship was the late Sir Sean Connery.

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    Sawkins won Great British Bake Off in 2020 and has published a cookbook titled Peter Bakes.