Meryl’s Olympic treat for Games Maker pals

Take the plunge: Meryl White, Sprotbrough cookery book author, far left with fellow Olympic 2012 Aquatics Centre volunteers
Take the plunge: Meryl White, Sprotbrough cookery book author, far left with fellow Olympic 2012 Aquatics Centre volunteers
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Wouldn’t grannie be proud?

Sprotbrough cookery book author Meryl White is just back from the Olympics after a marathon stint...

The celebratory Olympic 2012 cake made by Meryl White for her fellow volunteers at the Olympic Park

The celebratory Olympic 2012 cake made by Meryl White for her fellow volunteers at the Olympic Park

She was one of the 70,000 volunteers who helped make the London 2012 Olympics ‘the friendly games.’

Former deputy head and education director Meryl, who converted her grandmother Lizzie Abson’s recipes from her days in service into a popular tome, was chosen from the 240,000 who applied.

“I was so thrilled to be there. I worked in the Aquatics Centre, the venue for swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and the Aquatics discipline of the Modern Pentathlon,” says Meryl.

“It was a real privilege to be part of this wonderful experience and work with a whole team of brilliant people who definitely ‘made it happen’. The atmosphere was fantastic; the cheering in the aquatics centre was tremendous. And I got to see some brilliant athletes in action,” says Meryl.

She is no stranger to volunteering. Since retiring three years ago she has given her time to Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading enterprise education charity.

But baking is her passion; she swears by the ‘safe as houses’ recipes her Bolton on Dearne grandmother Lizzie relied on when she worked as an Edwardian cook-housekeeper from the age of 14.

Meryl inherited her grandma’s hand-written recipes and tips in 1977 and painstakingly reproduced them into a cookery book lest year.

Grandma Abson’s Traditional Baking has sold in its thousands and given her a new career as a food blogger and cookery demonstrator.

On the last day of London 2012, as everyone celebrated the end of their time at the Olympic Park, Meryl knew exactly what to do to treat her fellow volunteers.

“For our final shift, I created an Olympic Celebration Cake, using our sponsor Sainsbury’s ingredients and decorations and a recipe of grandma’s. I made her wonderful Orange Cake, decorated it with orange cream filling and topped it with some brightly-coloured Olympic wristbands.

“It certainly gave us a boost. We completed our final shift in style!”