Summary

Model wedding cake made in 2000 by David O'Grady for inclusion in the inaugural Melbourne exhibition at Melbourne Museum. It is an exact replica of the cake used in the Neighbours TV series in 1987 during the episodes involving the wedding of Scott Robinson and Charlene Mitchell.

According to the program's prop master the original cake was designed and made by a cake shop in Burwood, Victoria, to give it authenticity in relation to the demographic where Neighbours is set. To decrease its weight to give it stability, only the bottom tier of the original cake was real (as it had to be cut during the Reception episode), while the top two tiers was constructed from polystyrene and plaster to match the bottom tier.

This replica was produced to be displayed in the refrigerator of the original Robinson Kitchen Set, which was part of the Melbourne Suburban Life display in the Melbourne Exhibition at Melbourne Museum, Museum Victoria (2000-2007).

Physical Description

The model consists of three cake tiers, constructed of an unknown synthetic material, with the two top tiers sitting on four plastic cake columns. Each tier sits on a foil-covered board, and is decorated with an band of apricot ribbon tied in a bow (to match the bride's dress) and a posey of fabric flowers. On the top of the cake are cartoon-style figures of a bride and groom sitting on a bench kissing.

Significance

In the 7 years that the exhibition was running, the wedding cake (and the Robinson Kitchen Set) received much publicity, especially through publications and internet sites for Neighbours devotees and younger travellers and backpackers heading to Melbourne. The interest level amongst visitors to Melbourne was so high, that the Museum was included as a drop off point for the many thousands of participants in the daily Neighbours bus tours. The book `Neighbours: 20 Years of Ramsay Street' includes a chapter about European Neighbours devotees visiting the Museum, and refers to the Robinson Kitchen refrigerator containing the wedding cake as their `two door shrine'.

The model represents the inaugural Melbourne Exhibition, which was launched when the new Melbourne Museum complex opened in October, 2000. It will also come to represent the exhibition methods used by Museum Victoria at the time.

It illustrates the introduction of `popular culture' into history museums, and the controversy this development produced. The cake model represents arguably one of the most memorable, as well as one of the most watched, moments on Australian Television, the wedding of Scott and Charlene, an image which was ultimately exported around the world.

It also a poignant symbol representing the institution of marriage, and how it was celebrated in Melbourne in the late 20th Century.

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