Australia

For those of you not quite up to marmalade speed Jane Hasell-McCosh, the founder of The World’s Original Marmalade Festival flew around the world in 2014 to spread the orange word and to raise further awareness for Hospice at home, or as it is called in Australia Palliative Care. During the month of October she travelled around Victoria and South Australia to give talks on how the marmalade festival was founded at Dalemain in Cumbria. This couldn’t have been done alone and it is with great thanks that she would like to mention Russell Luckock for his energy and organisation and for making this marmalade adventure happen. Without him Jane would not have been able to make this extraordinary journey ‘Down Under.’

First day (Left to Right) Kerry Sharrock, Jane Hasell-McCosh, Russell and Jane Luckock First day (Left to Right) Kerry Sharrock, Jane Hasell-McCosh, Russell and Jane Luckock

 

Marmalashes 2014, England and Wickets, Australia and Boomerang

Russell is also responsible for creating the ‘Marmalashes’ with teams from Buninyong and Great Britain who represent England and Australia. This started in 2010, the year that England won The Ashes (cricket that is) and Russell was determined that Australia should beat England at somthing of it’s own game; a thing considered to be very English – marmalade of course!! He contacted Jane and sent accross 12 pots. England quickly assembled a team but unfortunatly to no avail and for the first three years Australia joyfully triumphed and retained the Marmalashes. This incidentally is kept in Australia. It is for us to take the voyage to see it, as with the cricket which is kept in London and it is for the Australians to make the journey to view it. 2014 marked a triumphant win for the British and we were delighted to keep the title in 2015 for the 10th anniversary Marmalade Festival.

 

Russell Luckock, Pete Marshall, Carita Potts, Jane Hasell-McCosh Russell Luckock, Pete Marshall, Carita Potts, Jane Hasell-McCosh

Fruit cutting Fruit cutting

The ‘Marmal-off’: Lemons and oranges have been hand picked from the garden (God bless a warm climate!), a professional kitchen has been acquired and the local Press have been invited to attend. Russell has stayed up until midnight peeling oranges and Jane had to find a pressure cooker in order to follow her recipe correctly.

Competition heats up: Jane and Russell Competition heats up: Jane and Russell

As each saucepan bubbles away the Union Jack bunting flutters in the steam rising from the pans. Each competitor has an entirely different way of cooking marmalade. Jane boils her citrus fruit up in a pressure cooker before chopping it up into quite large chunks whereas Russell laboriously chops his up by hand, getting a much smoother texture. It has to be remarked that both mixtures are a completely different colour and aroma. As the press arrive the tension begins to rise. Win News egg on the fact that Britain is trying to discover Australia’s secret ingredient which Russell carefully conceals under a tea towel.

Marmalade Paparazzi, interviews with Jane and Russell Marmalade Paparazzi, interviews with Jane and Russell

He adds marmalade making is like driving a race car at this stage. Keep your foot on the clutch or your hand stirring the wooden spoon… The local newspaper The Miner arrive next just when the marmalade is going into the pots and Alan Marini the photographer turns out to be a keen marmalade eater as well and therefore joins the panel of judges. These include two professional chefs John Hayes and Ryan Pearce who work at the Federation University in Ballarat and Pete Marshell who works for Palliative Care.

The finished product hastily labelled for the winner's presentation The finished product hastily labelled for the winner’s presentation

The marmalade is cooled in the fridge and sets ready to taste. No. 1 and No.2 so there is absolutely no bias. Silver teaspoons appear and the tasting takes place. Aroma, colour and texture are all taken into account as well of course as the taste. Ryan Pearce declares that ‘it is getting more serious by the minute!’ The judges disappear to consult with each other and are gone for nearly ten minutes. Jane remarks, rather nervously that ‘of course it is totally subjective.’ Finally returned, it seems they need a fifth person to decide as it is neck and neck. Aileen Attwell a chef in the local cooking school steps up and with an apparently much more scientific approach decides Number 2 is the winner…

The Courier arrives last to do a final interview and photograph the two competitors with their flags annnnnnd Jane Hasell-McCosh and Great Britain as the outright winner! Hurrah!

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Judges tasting with silver Dalemain squirrell spoons, only the best!

ABC Ballarat Radio interview ABC Ballarat Radio interview

 

The Marmalashes is a competition that was started by Russell Luckock in 2010 after Australia lost The Ashes (cricket). Twelve pots (in case one is broken) of marmalade are sent over to the UK to compete against Britain’s eleven pots. They are judged (fairly!) by a panel of Australian and English judges. Australia has won three times and it is with great excitement that this year England has won for the first time. Therefore Jane Hasell-McCosh has travelled 10,529 miles and is absolutely delighted to be presented with the Marmalashes.

However, regardless if England win the Marmalashes it is always kept safely behind lock and key in the Buninyong Court House. This is the first time in the four years it has been running that England has won this prestigious award. Jane commented that ‘it is wonderful to be in Australia and to finally see the Marmalashes. My father was a keen cricket player and he would have certainly understood the importance of this award.’

'In the dock' Marmalashes at Buninyong Court House, Russell Luckock and Jane Hasell-McCosh ‘In the dock’ Marmalashes at Buninyong Court House, Russell Luckock and Jane Hasell-McCosh

This week marks the launch of the Marmalashes cometition which tookk place at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka in Ballarat. Lady Potter and the famous ex footballer and TV presenter Sam Newman were there to launch the beginning of the competition. Last year there were 120 pots judged, and the lucky 12 winners were sent to the UK to compete against the England XI. The cut off point for the 2015 entries is 31st January 2015. It will be interesting to see what happens for the 10th anniversary at this years Maralade Festival!

Marmalade and Boomerang challenges seem to be the hot topics of conversations and Pat, Lynn, Jenny, Sheila and June, who are members of the Buninyong marmalade committee even made up a wonderful song about the two competitors- England and Australia. This definitely brought a lot of laughter to the audience! A big thank-you to them!

On monday evening Jane was delighted to do her first talk for Ballarat Hospice Care. This took place in the heart of Ballarat at The Mechanics hall, which is a beautiful and historical building dating from the mid 1800’s. We were lucky enough to get a tour around their library and even take a peek in the cellars. We would like to thank in particular Pete Marshall, Geoff Russell and Carita Potts for making us feel extremely welcome.

After a particularly busy first week, the marmalade adventurers took off into the Australian Outback. They are scheduled to be at Martindale Hall today which was expected to be a highlight because of its unusual origins. This post comes from Dalemain as we have had radio silence from them since the previous entry.

Below is the story of why Martindale Hall, near Adelaide, was built.

History of Martindale Hall

Of the love stories that derive from the English country house, that glorious melting pot of history, there are hundreds. Maids and footmen beginning a steamy affair to be kept in strictest confidence from the disapproving eyes of their superiors and nostalgic scenes of stable boys tumbling through haystacks with scullery maids. There are stories of the restraint of duty over love and of love triumphing over obligation, but worst of all is the tragic unrequited kind of love.

In 1875 Edmund Bowman the protagonist of this tale arrived at Clare College, Cambridge from Adelaide. He was a member of the emerging upper classes of Australia and had recently inherited a large amount of land and extensive fortune. At that time it was believed to be an advantage for young men to spend a year or two in Britain to finish their education and refine themselves.

Edmund’s Grandfather had been Steward of the Dalemain Estate and Edmunds father had grown up just over the hill in Askham, emigrating to Australia in 1832. Beginning with very little money Edmund’s father quickly increased his fortune through wool trade, gradually enlarging his sheep flocks. Within 10 years the family was able to purchase land along the Wakefield River near Adelaide. Inaugural cartographical records from the mid 1800’s demonstrate the Bowman’s intrinsic attachment to the Lake District. The family named the two highest hills Holm and Barton after those two closest to Dalemain and unified the whole area of land belonging to them as Martindale, after a private valley above Lake Ullswater on the edge of the Lake District.

Edmund’s uncles had returned to visit Cumberland at the beginning of the 1860’s but though attached to their history the memory of the place had begun to outshine the place itself and the visit depressed them. ‘It gives one a melancholy feeling’ Thomas Bowman wrote, ‘to return to the deserted home of one’s forefathers…even the old houses showed the hand of time in their moss grown walls and dilapidated roofs. They used the word bleak more than once to describe the county their forebears had inhabited and the ‘returning exiles’ were glad to leave. So, encouraged by his family but perhaps daunted by these accounts of previous visits Edmund only made his first journey north towards the end of the Autumn term.

His journey had been long and he was coldly received by the butler, whose silent opinion of those who would emigrate to Australia was low. Major Hasell, the master of the local foxhounds had been out hunting all day but Francis Hasell, known to her friends as Fanny, received him and Bowman was lost. Spellbound by her charms he continued to visit Dalemain for the rest of his time at Cambridge, encouraged by Fanny and rarely returning to Australia. She was older than him, a natural artist she was given to practical jokes and loved his visits which provided a diversion from the otherwise constricting structure of day to day life in a large and drafty house. They would wander peaceably over the fells, exploring the places which his ancestors had given up.

As he left Cambridge he made the pilgrimage north once more and with the sole desire of bringing her away with him as his wife. It was not to be. Intrepid explorer though he was, her fear of the unknown paralysed her. Australia was too far away and she more in love with the house she had grown up in than with him. Fanny told Edmund that she would never leave Dalemain. He vowed to build her a house of such magnificence and splendour that she would happily leave Cumberland one day, if not that day, to live with him when it was finished.

On his return to Adelaide he immediately begun plans for a house that he had painted for Fanny in his imagination. It would be built just outside Mintaro in the centre of the Martindale Estate on a piece of land of such beauty that his father had held it up as one of many ‘grand inducements for people to come to a new country.’

At a time when most Australian houses cost £500 the Georgian style mansion came in at a staggering £36,000. The house was to be called Martindale for both the valley in Cumbria and the Bowman’s land in Australia and absolutely no cost was spared if Edmund were to entice from Cumbria, the woman upon whom he had set his heart. In 1878 Edmund paid a quick visit to England, namely to provide the architect, Ebenezer Gregg with information about local materials and to bring him samples of stone. Quickly dispatching this business however he set off to Dalemain with building plans in hand to show Fanny that he was entirely serious about his previous avowal. To her he would detail the marvellously grand staircase, the marble chimney pieces carved from the finest Italian marble, the most up to date range for the kitchen available in England and of course, the indoor plumbing and water closets. He was even in the process of hiring an English Housekeeper for her. A wonderful part of the Martindale myth is that all the craftsmen to build the structure itself were brought out from England to make it entirely authentic.

On his arrival it was to the shattering news that Fanny was engaged. He begged her to leave again with him but again she quietly refused. Distraught he retreated, angrily stating that it would be one of the greatest regrets of her life.

It is with some surprise and approval that the Adelaide Observer noted in 1880 Edmund Bowman’s decision to return and make his home in Australia the year before. Not ‘tempted to lead a life of luxury and ease in other climes…he is made of a different stamp.’ The stamp of heart breaking rejection was one that spurred his cultivation of the farm his father had propagated and which thrived from the long hours he put into it.Four years later the house acquired a mistress, Edmund’s broken heart was to be mended in time by a Miss Annie Cowle another first generation immigrant and they were married in January 1884.

Within the next ten years Edmund and his brother Charles expanded the business, branching out largely, unwisely and without the necessary capital. An ill-timed drought destroyed them. By 1890 the unthinkable had arrived. The magnificent freehold property of 9000 acres in the heart of Southern Australia was signed over for £33,000 to W. T. Mortlock, an astonishingly paltry sum. Edmund died in August 1921 at the age of 66 his health having sharply declined in a short period of time from such terrible strain. The tragedy is that Fanny’s engagement was broken off. She had realised too late the terrible mistake she had made. Weather it was the greatest regret of her life is unknown, but she certainly never left Dalemain and died as the new century was born.

It is only finally that this week a Miss Hasell will step foot across the threshold of the house that was built for the love of her ancestor. Will this far flung continent, home to tiger snakes and kangaroos hold the same power over her that Edmund believed it would hold for Fanny almost 150 years before. The current Miss Hasell, Hermione, will be arriving at Martindale Hall for the first launch of The World’s Original Marmalade Festival and Awards in Australia. ‘The number of international entries has grown so much, this year for the 10th anniversary we thought it was key to launch the festival abroad as well as at home’ says Jane Hasell-McCosh. As the founder of the festival Jane was invited by the people of Bunningyong to launch this years competition from Australia during October and in England from National Marmalade Week in February. ‘The romance of the story which connects Dalemain and Martindale Hall, Australia and the Lake District and the fact that Martindale Hall is now a hotel make it the perfect place to launch a new competition; ‘Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels and Restaurant in association with Mrs Bridges Marmalade.’

Russell, Malcolm, Cheryl, Jane, Pete, Graham and Hermione Russell, Malcolm, Cheryl, Jane, Pete, Graham and Hermione

 

Australia Tour 2014 – Nhill country show

We then moved onto the Nhill country show where Jane was invited to enter her marmalade as a last minute entry. The C.W.A which is the Australian equivalent of the English W.I. were in the middle of the judging and there was a wonderful assortment of homemade cakes, beautiful flowers, decorated eggs, vegetables and of course jams and marmalades much as you would find at an English county show. Many thanks for having us at this marvelous event. It was a wonderful insight into the community.

Jane Hasell-McCosh and John Teakle Jane Hasell-McCosh and John Teakle

Judging at the Nhill Country Show Judging at the Nhill Country Show

Dalemain links to Martindale Hall

Martindale Hall in South Australia has a wonderful link with Cumbria and indeed Dalemain. Edmund Bowman built it in 1869 with marriage in mind to the then Miss Hasell of Dalemain. He wanted to create somewhere where she would have a home away from home. Unfortunately and very sadly she wasn’t brave enough to make the journey. Therefore it became an extremely important part of our trip in Australia to visit this wonderful Victorian replica of our home and that 147 years later a Miss Hasell would finally cross the threshold. Going north of Adelaide the more the countryside became rolling park land there seemed to be more of a similarity to England even if it looked a bit dryer and there were squashed snakes on the road!

As we wound our way up the drive between fur trees an incredibly special feeling enveloped us as we saw the house for the first time. However we have now come to understand that the future of Martindale Hall is in danger. The South Australian government are considering it’s options and it therefore might be closing it’s doors to the public which would be a huge loss as oen of South Australia’s most treasured tourist icons. When we arrived channel 7 were doing a feature on this and Hermione was interviewed, she stated that ‘it would be incredibly sad if people were no longer able to visit. Hopefully it can continue to live and be enjoyed it has done for the last 150 years.’

 

Jane and Pierre Jane and Pierre

 

The romance of the story which connects Dalemain and Martindale Hall, Australia and the Lake District and the fact that Martindale Hall is now a hotel make it the perfect place to launch a new competition; ‘Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels and Restaurant in association with Mrs Bridges Marmalade.’ Tracey and Pierre have run Martindale Hall for the last 14 years and indeed have their own marmalade made from the orange tree just outside the frontArriving in Mildura we were excited to visit Orange World which is run by Mario and Maria. Uncle Brian gave us a fine tour around the orange groves in his tractor finishing with a delightful song about citrus fruit, of course. Do you know the three “P’s” that help a citrus tree grow according to Uncle Brian it’s Pee, Poo and Peel! So try leaving your orange peel under your citrus tree!

Mario and Maria have now become our first entry to our commercial category and Maria posed with her three fruit marmalade beside the orange Fiat 500 tractor! Mario and Maria have now become our first entry to our commercial category and Maria posed with her three fruit marmalade beside the orange Fiat 500 tractor!

 

Palliative care or Hospice at home is the charity that Jane has chosen for her Marmalade Festival. She says by: “Creating a marriage between marmalade & palliative care it makes it easy to talk about important decisions we have to make.” With the help from Russell Luckock for the planning and organisation, Jane has travelled to the other side of the world and is rasing awareness by giving lectures and making a connection to hospice at home and marmalade. In Mildura we were met by Lisa O’Connor who is a clinical nurse consultant for the Loddon Mally regional palliative care consultancy service who gave an incredibly informative talk about making these important life decisions with your family.

 

Jane Hasell-McCosh, Bruce Shillington, Lisa O'Connor and Russell Luckock Jane Hasell-McCosh, Bruce Shillington, Lisa O’Connor and Russell Luckock

 

Our journey continued south with a quick stop on route to take a photo in front of very important bit of wood. A perfect spot for Russell to pose for a MarmalAshes photo. 

Russell to pose for a MarmalAshes photo. Russell to pose for a MarmalAshes photo.

 

On arriving in Swanhill we met Catherine Kemp & Merridee Taverna who are consultants of Swanhill palliative care district health and gave us a warm welcome. We learnt that Australia is so big that in fact the region they cover (just the two of them) is practically the size of England. They are Amazing!

Catherine’s talk was brilliant saying how important it is to make your own choices to what you want to happen at the end of your life. She linked the idea between marmalade and palliative care with the idea of making choices when you make your marmalade. For example how much sugar you put in? What choice of citrus fruit do you use and even what kind of jar you want? In Australia a yellow topped veggiemite jar seems to be popular! The same choices need to be made about you and what you want to happen before it is too late to make them yourself. We were honoured to have the Mayor Les McPhee at the talk as well which was amusingly documented by the local newspaper, The Guardian with Jane and Catherine feeding him a bit of marmalade! mmm, but no double dipping!!

 

St Arnaud is the last stop of our tour. A wonderful town dating to the Gold Rush in the 1850’s. We stayed in the old Post office which first opened on the 1st February 1856 and is now a Bed and Breakfast. We were warmly welcomed by Rohan and Jocelyn Sinton who run this B&B. They are pleased to be serving the delicious Mrs Bridges marmalade to all their guests.

 

Rohan & Jocelyn Sinton holding Mrs. Bridges Marmalade Rohan & Jocelyn Sinton holding Mrs. Bridges Marmalade

 

The CWA put on some delicious sandwiches, cream scones and in a the background a piano playing. Pete Marshall who works for Palliative care in this district did a talk followed by Jane on marmalade. It was great to meet Councillor Tony Driscoll who came to open the talk

 

Russell Luckock, Tony Driscoll Jane Hasell-McCosh, Rohan Sinton and Pete Marshall Russell Luckock, Tony Driscoll Jane Hasell-McCosh, Rohan Sinton and Pete Marshall

 

At the end of our tour we would just like to say thank you so much for the marvellous hospitality and support for the campaign to partner Marmalade with palliative care. The presentations and meetings both in Victoria and South Australia have been extraordinary. Attended by volunteers in palliative care, local groups such as Lions and Rotary and of course the palliative care nurses themselves.

We have had many meetings now and the same message is coming out loud and clear that palliative care and end of life care is something to think about before you get there. It has been proven that if people do take a longer view that their life expectancy extends and it is about the whole person and all their needs not simply medication. All the meetings that we have attended have been informative but above all real and attentive and the speeches have often been very brave.
Australia is so enormous and distances so great that it must be one of the most difficult things in the world to reach out and care for people who need this but as we go round it is clear that it is being done and that the understanding is growing of what can be done. The Worlds Original Marmalade Awards has been set up to support Hospice work both in hospices but also in peoples homes and we very much hope that this can be furthered in Australia as it is in Britain.