Thirty years really takes the cake

Margaret Driver from Jerome Celebration Cakes on Euston Road icing a cake.
Margaret Driver from Jerome Celebration Cakes on Euston Road icing a cake.

Shops may be closing nearby but one Morecambe trader says she is here for the long haul.

Margaret Driver moved to town from Zimbabwe exactly 30 years ago and her cake and souvenir shop has since become a mainstay of the town centre.

Margaret battled back from personal tragedy to build Jerome Celebration Cakes into a thriving business.

And she hopes to stay open for many more years, with a long-term aim of eventually moving into the Arndale Centre.

Margaret and her husband Jerome first moved from Harare in 1983. They took over Bracewells bakery on Woborrow Road, Heysham, then opened their cake shop on Queen Street.

“Things were going well but everything went downhill when my son was killed,” said Margaret.

Rory Driver died after being hit by a drunk driver while crossing the road in Melbourne in 1999 while on a working tour of Australia, aged just 23. His death devastated the family.

“Once you’re down it’s difficult to get back up again,” said Margaret.

Five years ago Jerome Celebration Cakes moved to its current spot in New Town Square, opposite the Morecambe mosaic. It specialises in wedding, birthday and Christening cakes, and is famed for its ‘Betty Boop’ ornaments.

“My staff are excellent and the shop is brilliant,” she said.

“I love it, although we could always do with more people coming in.”

The nearby Thorntons and Birthdays, the newsagents across the square, and most of the units near the Travelodge on Euston Road precinct are now empty. Margaret says these need to be filled quickly.

“People don’t want to come down here because they see empty shops. It’s a bit derelict.

“Sometimes I think Morecambe needs a good kick up the backside.”