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.