What is the taste of Coventry monuments?

By Simona Angelova

Siobhan Harrison, 34 years old and mother of two, is planning to make the Coventry Ring Road out of gingerbread for it’s 40th Birthday this year.

She explains: “I am having second thoughts about the Coventry Ring Road.”

Her first project involved building her own home, in Whoberly, Coventry, using gingerbread. Siobhan says: “ I made a replica of our house which is a traditional Coventry double-fronted bay house…and it did look like my house, I was very excited.”

Earlier this year, Siobhan recreated the most iconic place in Coventry- the Coventry Cathedral– out of gingerbread. She explains that it took her about five hours to build this piece. She describes: “ That was relatively easy to do …the ingredients are just a plain gingerbread mix and it’s just very simply…the Coventry Cathedral ruins which is very helpful because there’s no roof, you don’t have to deal with the awkwardness of trying to get the roof to stay on. The walls are just small panels and they’re stuck together with chocolate. On the top of the Cathedral there is that stone work…those are done with toffee pieces.” She also used mint matchmakers.

An interesting fact is that she made Sir Jacob Epstein’s Ecce Homo from a yellow Jelly Baby. The idea actually came from her husband.

Siobhan says it was really difficult in the beginning because ones she made the Cathedral, her two daughters directly tuck in. “It smelled amazing for two days, before they ate it.”

“Who else can say they’ve eaten the Coventry Cathedral?”

“I just like making things…generally I get something on the go, usually novelty items that make an impression- that’s where the inspiration came from.”

While interviewing Siobhan, my colleague Agata Trigo and I were set up a challenge. She asked us to make a car out of gingerbread.

She said: “I genuinely believe that there is no reason why people can’t make this, because it’s just the top tips.”

The outcome is a disaster. Making a flat, simple car took us around two hours. We understood that a person has actually to be good in baking and decorating to be able to make a piece like Siobhan’s Cathedral.

Ready to take another challenge Siobhan says: “If it’s possible in card-board, it’s possible in gingerbread.”

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