Winners of the 2012 Marmal’Oscars’ revealed – And the best marmalade makers are…

On the same weekend as the Oscars, a woman from Milnthorpe in Cumbria has received her very own golden gong – but not for a movie blockbuster. Hazel Rushton has been crowned the world’s best amateur marmalade maker at this year’s ‘Oscars’ of the marmalade world – The World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival.

Seventy-year-old Hazel Rushton’s dark and chunky spread was awarded Best in Show at the quirky awards, held this weekend at Dalemain Mansion near Penrith, Cumbria.  Mrs Rushton’s marmalade, a rich and fruity orange recipe, will now be made by Thursday Cottage and sold at Fortnum & Mason in London, alongside Home Office minister, Lord Henley’s marmalade which won the 2011 Best in Show.

Over 1,700 marmalade makers from all over the world sent in their jars to be judged, a 30 per cent increase on last year, proving that recent concerns over the demise of marmalade are completely unfounded.

Other marmalade makers to receive a prestigious sticky gong at the Festival were:

  • Devon-based artisan producer Cranfield Foods, whose tangy Pink Grapefruit concoction received the ultimate accolade in the marmalade world – a double gold
  • Amateur maker Mark Crowe from Bowness-on-Windermere, whose winning preserve in the Marmalade for the Monarch category will be reproduced by a commercial producer and sent as a gift to Her Majesty the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee
  • Conservative Peer Baroness Seccombe, who challenged the opposition to win the Peer and Political category
  • A woman from Singapore who scooped the International award
  • The Australians retained the ‘MarmalAshes’ trophy in a special contest held at the festival in which 11 Australian marmalade makers pitch their preserves against 11 British makers. Despite the 2012 British team being captained by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who entered his own home-made marmalade for the contest, the Australian’s won for the second year running

Organiser Jane Hasell-McCosh said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the sheer number of entries we have received this year to our very own version of the marmalade Oscars. We’ve judged entries from right across the globe including as far afield as Singapore and The British Virgin Islands, plus a team of 11 Australians.  It’s been a fantastic success.  I’m particularly looking forward to sending The Queen her very own royal concoction made by one of her subjects to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee.”

Judge Jonathan Miller from Fortnum & Mason said: “Hazel’s winning marmalade has a wonderfully complex taste, and is really rich with a deep long finish. I’m sure it will prove popular with our very discerning customers.” The winning amateur marmalade will be sold at the company’s famous Piccadilly store from April onwards.

Best in Show winner, Hazel Rushton, who has been making marmalade for more than 40 years, said of her win: “I feel astounded and am absolutely thrilled.” Hazel’s recipe for success is preparing the fruit and standing it overnight.

Double Gold winner, Victoria Cranfield from Cranfield Foods, said: “Winning a Double Gold at the World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival is the pinnacle of marmalading as you are judged by your peers.  But just as importantly, the event itself is doing a fantastic job of encouraging more people to make and enjoy eating marmalade which I’m all in favour of.” Cranfield’s marmalade will also be sold at Fortnum’s.

Judging for the amateur categories was undertaken by members of the local WI. The artisan judging was carried out by a prestigious panel including food historian Ivan Day, Tiptree managing director Walter Scott and Pam Corbin, preserves expert.

The Festival itself boasted appearances from Paddington Bear, marmalade-making demonstrations and workshops, as well as a Marmalade Church service and even a Marmalade concert.  And it all took place in the prestigious surrounds of Dalemain, a beautiful Cumbrian mansion that wouldn’t look out of place for hosting the real Oscars.

Further details of the festival and its winners can be found by visiting:  All amateur entry fees will be donated to charity. The 2012 beneficiaries are Hospice at Home and Action Medical Research.

– Ends –

Notes to editors:

The Marmalade Awards – What they all about? – These quirky awards were founded in 2006 by Jane Hasell-McCosh with the initial idea of preserving, growing and widening one of the most English of customs – making marmalade. They have gone on to generate a following far beyond Jane’s wildest expectations and allow many different varieties of marmalade to come together and allow the judges the great opportunity to taste them all!

The Awards are centred on Dalemain Mansion, a Georgian stately home lived in by the same family for over 300 years, which also happens to hold a very rich archive of Marmalade recipes. The Awards have humour and a life of their own and have inspired people from all over the world to get involved.

And the 2012 winners are…


  • Best in Show – Hazel Rushton, Milnthorpe, Cumbria
  • Manmade dark and chunky (sponsored by Thursday Cottage) – Kieran O’Kelly, Andover, Hants
  • Manmade Seville – Steven Probert, Malpas, Cheshire
  • Family Affair (sponsored by Paddington Bear) – Liz Bellefontaine, Woodbridge, Suffolk
  • Seville – Anita Holmes, Bishop Auckland, Co Durham
  • Heritage (sponsored by Mackays) – Juliet Westoll, Longtown, Cumbria
  • International (sponsored by Mackays) – Sharon Lee Puay Ming, Singapore
  • Marmalade for the Monarch – Mark Crowe, Bowness-on-Windermere
  • Dark and Chunky – Hazel Rushton, Milnthorpe, Cumbria
  • Merry – Christine Waters – Bicknoller, Taunton, Somerset
  • Novice (sponsored by The Jam Jar Shop) – Angela Linden, Carlisle
  • Any citrus – Grupu Gahona, Seville, Spain
  • Peer and Political – Baroness Seccombe

Artisan & Commercial Producers

  • Double Gold – Cranfields Foods
  • Gold – Ludlow Food Centre, Wolds Cottage Kitchen, Love Jam Kitchen, Hawkshead Relish Company, Fruity Foods, Ouse Valley, J B Shackletons and Carreglefn Nursery
  • Silver – Mandy’s Pickles, Lady Waterfords, Purple Laura Creations, Hawkshead Relish Co, Shute Fruit & Produce, Strefford Hall Farmshop, Bentleys Fine Foods, Heaton Chillies, Biggar Flavour, Galore! Foods, Museu de la Confitura, Wild & Fruitful, Susie’s Preserves, Baravelli’s, Radnor Preserves, Beta 5 Chocolates, Rose Cottage Country Kitchen, The Ludlow Jam Pan, The Pea Green Boat, Nikki’s Homemade Preserves, Ouse Valley Foods, Jill’s Natural Preserves, Chef on the Run, Kintyre Preserves, Victor’s Gourmet Delights, Isabella’s Preserves and Just Williams.
  • B&B Marmalade – Caroline Davies, Rockside Guesthouse, Windermere


Last changed: Nov 15 2012 at 4:49 PM