Grantham Mayor’s Parlour receives old cake topper

Mayor of Grantham Councillor Mike Cook and clerk to the charter trustees Dawn Zalas with the cake topper.
Mayor of Grantham Councillor Mike Cook and clerk to the charter trustees Dawn Zalas with the cake topper.
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The Mayor of Grantham is appealing for information after a cake topper belonging to Grantham’s first Labour mayor was donated to the Mayor’s Parlour.

Robert Barley King became Grantham’s first Labour mayor in 1908-09 after being unanimously elected.

Grantham's first Labour Mayor Robert Barley-King with wife Jane.

Grantham's first Labour Mayor Robert Barley-King with wife Jane.

Born in Huntingdonshire, near St Neots, in 1850, he was elected to Grantham Borough Council in 1905 after being nominated by trades and Labour council, for the West Ward.

He later retired from the council in 1918, and continued to live on Commercial Road, Grantham, until his death 90 years ago, following a seizure – just one year after celebrating his golden wedding anniversary with his wife, Jane.

He left four sons and five daughters, 27 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A relative donated the extravagant looking cake topper, along with a photo of the former mayor dressed in his robes, chains and badges.

Another photo shows Jane standing next to the cake with the topper displayed on top.

Mayor of Grantham Councillor Mike Cook said: “The relative felt like it belonged here as it is part of history. She wanted us to keep it for the people of Grantham to enjoy, due to its historial importance, but she was unable to offer much more information.

“On further investigation, we believe that the cake topper was part of a cake made to congratulate Mr Barley-King on becoming Grantham’s first Labour mayor, but it would be fascinating to have this confirmed.”

Until then, the cake topper will be temporarily displayed on the mayor’s desk in the parlour until a suitable place can be found.

Coun Cook added: “We are delighted to receive the cake topper as an example of cake decor during that time.

“It will make a great addition to the Mayor’s Parlour.”