A Stamford woman has won a gold medal for one of her home-made marmalades in her most successful year ever.
Jane Freeman entered eight jars of marmalade into the World Marmalade Championships held at Dalemain House in Cumbria.
A gold award was given for her green lemon and fennel marmalade entered into the Marmalade Macnab category which recognises marmalades that go with fish, beast or fowl - and it narrowly missed out on winning the category after judges were impressed by the subtle flavour of fennel. Her other seven jars were each awarded a silver medal.
Since retiring from the NHS, Jane makes small quantities of preserves and pickles as a hobby which are sold in aid of the Mutts Nutts animal rescue charity, which Jane is a founding member of.
She said: “I just make marmalades for a bit of fun and I just thought it would be nice to enter a few years ago.
“Making marmalades is very much a thing I do because I love it so to win awards is a huge achievement for me.”
The event annually attracts more than 2,000 jars of marmalades and other preserves and Jane has been entering for the last five years after initially hearing it advertised on radio.
She said this was her most successful year to date but in two previous years, even her cat Jacob has taken home a tongue-in-cheek award for Marmalade Cat of the Year at the championships. He even features on the labels of the jars of marmalade but ironically he was the reason Jane wasn’t able to attend the championships this year to see her preserves win prizes - as he was unwell, Jane opted to take him to the vet instead of travel to Cumbria.
The awards have been running for 12 years and since the inception have raised more than £200,000 for Hospice at Home in Carlisle.
This year entrants were able to nominate a hospice local to them to receive a proportion of the money they pay to enter the competition - and Jane nominated Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.
Mutts Nutts is a small charity which rehomes dogs - and occasionally cats - of elderly people who are no longer able to take care of their pet or have sadly died. Jane sells her marmalades to supporters of the charity.