Most people know Mary Berry as the spirited and easier going judge on the highly successful Great British Bake Off. She has been a well known yet modest baker for many years but her journey to success is a story that is not widely known, as are the hardships she had to face in order to get where she is today.
Born in Bath in 1935 was brought up alongside her two brothers by her mother and father. When she was just 13 she contracted poliomyelitis (an infectious viral disease that affects the central nervous system and can cause temporary or permanent paralysis) which led her to be hospital bound for 3 months. Mary was one of the lucky children who caught this horrible disease as she made an almost full recovery.
When in school she often jokes on TV shows that her acedmic abilities were not the greatest until she attended a domestic science classes where her teacher encouraged her cooking abilities. The first Mary Berry success was a treacle sponge pudding which was highly praised.
After school Berry's first job was at the Bath electricity board showroom, where she would do home visits to show new customers how to use their electric ovens. She would mostly bake a victoria sponge to show the household how the oven typically worked. At the age of 22 she applied to work at the Dutch Dairy Bureau while taking City & Guilds courses in the evenings. She then persuaded her manager to pay for her to undertake the professional qualification from the French Le Cordon Bleu school.
After completing the course at the French Le Cordon Bleu School she went on to work for Housewife magazine and then progressed to become the food editor for the Ideal Home magazine in 1970.
Alongside becoming a baking success Mary Berry also had 3 children: Tom (a tree surgeon) Annabel (who helps Mary with the salad dressing business) and William who unfortunately passed away in a motor bike accident which has lead Mary to become part of the Child Bereavement UK charity.
I find Mary Berry a truly inspirational woman as she didn't know what career path to choose, she had to go through many hurdles to get where she is today yet she is still very poisitive and modest, I belive we should all take a leaf from her book.