Favourite Item – A Smiths 9ct Gold Presentation Watch

A 9ct Gold Smiths Presentation Watch

This 9ct Gold watch was presented to Mr S. Ware-Lane in 1952.

This beautiful 9ct Gold Watch was presented to Mr S. Ware-Lane for his 25 years of service to the Marmite company during the Golden Anniversary of Marmite (50 Years) in 1952 and still works beautifully.  At the time of purchase, it was one of my most expensive and coveted item within the collection.

A 9ct Gold Presentation Smiths Watch

This 9ct Gold watch was presented to Mr S. Ware-Lane in 1952 on the Golden Anniversary (50 years) of the Marmite company, presented for 25 years of service to the company. It still works wonderfully

I don’t know anything about the man it was awarded to, but it’s likely to have been a retirement watch as was commonplace among businesses during this time.  I’m also not sure whether the gentleman worked in Burton-on-Trent or in London.  If anyone knows this person, it would be great if there was a photo of him that I could have for this website.

Smiths watches were renowned for being chosen as presentation watches for British companies, this includes Marmite, British Rail & British Leyland among many others.

Favourite Items – South African Halloween Jar

250g Marmite Halloween Jar

250g Marmite Halloween Jar from the “Don’t be afraid of the dark” promotion

One of my favourite jars in the whole collection is from one of my most favourite ever Marmite promotions, this is a 2012 Halloween promotion from South Africa.  The only other place in the world to have their only other Marmite factory (British Marmite that is, the original and best).

Don't be afraid of the dark

Don’t be afraid of the dark – Original Artwork by Andrew Ringrose

Marmite conducted research to better understand the South African youth and what they thought about Marmite. The results were astonishing – Marmite had very little relevance. How could this be? How can so many people not know about such an iconic brand? We needed to change this.

“If Mother didn’t tell you about Marmite, what else didn’t she tell you?” – A campaign line that brought to life everything unknown, interesting or downright bizarre. One thing your mother definitely didn’t tell you are scary stories – local and traditional- that spring from Halloween. Since we’ve positioned ourselves as the spread that tells you things your mother didn’t tell you, we thought it appropriate to connect the dots, and created a Halloween campaign that did just that.

The tactical Halloween campaign ‘Don’t be afraid of the Dark’ encourages people to be brave and try the original dark stuff, because there really isn’t anything to be afraid of.

Creative Directors: Jake Bester, Gareth McPherson
Design Directors: Dani Loureiro, Bridget McLaren
Art Director: Josh Foster, Andrew Ringrose
Copywriters: Jake Bester, Gisele Human, Neil Meyer, Craig Walford
Designers: Dani Loureiro, Bridget McLaren, Andrew Ringrose, Josh Foster
Illustrators: Dani Loureiro, Andrew Ringrose

The video is a brilliant time-lapse of the painting of a wall mural animation by Nick Herbert and Natalie Perel.  

POLL – How do you like your Marmite in the morning (or any other time)?

How do you prefer your Marmite?

How do you prefer your Marmite?

I’ve always had an interest in what people like to eat their Marmite with.  Marmite is eaten all over the world, using all kinds of bases.  The ones I’ve added are wheat based, but as I ran out of options that I could add, the “other” choice is for things such as Porridge (very popular in Sri Lanka, babies are brought up on the stuff), various kinds of pancakes or anything else that you like.

What base do people prefer?  Personally my base is a crunchy toasted crumpet (twice in the toaster) with a generous amount of butter and a generous slathering of Marmite. It’s just the perfect snack treat for any time of day.

So what is yours?

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If your answer is “Other” please let us know in the comments section below.

Personalise your Marmite for the one you love.

We had the Christmas Marmite personalised labels and now for Valentine’s Day 2016, Marmite have brought out loving labels for loved up Marmateers.

There are 2 different styles “Be Mine” and “I’m Yours”

You have 11 Characters to tell them how much you love them.

They are £4.99 for a 250g jar and if you want a box, it’s a £1 extra.

Postage and Packing is £2.99 no matter how many you order in one shopping spree.

Censored Marmite Pet Names

Censored Marmite Pet Names

However, if you have a rude petname for your loved one, there is a chance that the company won’t print it. Also the pet names that make your average person cringe such as “Snookums” and others are also not going to be printed.

The Standard Newspaper stated that Philippa Atkinson, Marmite Brand Manager said “We appreciate that Marmite is a spread best enjoyed at breakfast, and nobody wants a side helping of nausea first think in the morning, so thought it made perfect sense to ban the most hated pet names.

So in the same rules as Marmite, Love it or Hate it, you have to be more old fashioned with your personalisation.

Please note, for guaranteed delivery by 14th February,

please order by MIDDAY ON 9TH FEBRUARY

If you want just a normal label, then that is fine, as it’s there for you too.

So what are you waiting for…………………….Order Now!

The Marmite Museum gets a chance to make someone happy with a bit of music.

A few months ago I was contacted by a lovely lady who was enquiring on behalf of a 99 year old Gentleman from Malmesbury.

His name is Mr Ernie Walker and this is what he asked “My father, active in the Seven kings and Goodmayes Gramophone Club, amused our family playing a 4″ 78s record, but this object was destroyed by a V2 rocket bomb in 1945 when our home was damaged. Pieces were seen but not retrieved as I had to return to my army unit, and my parents were evacuated for the second time…”

He was trying to find a copy of the Ma-Might song from the 1920’s. It was an early advert for Marmite and only came on small gramophone records, this is pre radio and apart from live advertising in theatres, this was the only other way to have vocal advertising. Ernie was trying to remember how the advert went to share with other residents of the home where he lived.

She contacted us at the Marmite Museum because she searched the internet and found that we had a copy of that gramophone record in our collection. The only problem was that we didn’t have a digital copy of this record, so touched by the story, we felt we had to get this record digitised as soon as possible. Time was against us here as the gentleman was 99 years old, so the stops were out. We had to find a gramophone and someone to digitalise, and as it happened, we knew where to obtain both and within 5 days we had MP3 copies of the A and B side.

The quality wasn’t the best, but the fact that it survived the last 90 to 95 years, when these are so delicate, is a miracle.

I sent the MP3 files to the woman who enquired feeling quite pleased that I managed to get this done and was surprised to get the reply with a full disclosure. This lady was an archivist that worked for the Unilever Archives in Port Sunlight and they were really so enamoured by the story that she decided to try and find a copy of the advertisement in her own time. They don’t usually do private searches, but the story was just too hard to just push to one side. They didn’t have a copy of the gramophone record at the archives so she found us. She put me in touch with Ernie’s Daughter in Law who gave me permission to write this blog post and let me know that Ernie was over the moon in hearing the advert again, and sang along with it.  I was sent lovely emails from her and now have permission to use a wonderful photograph of Ernie with his son.  She told me that Ernie had always been very charming and smart man, and NEVER went out unless he was dressed immaculately as it shows in the photo.

Ernie Walker and his son Richard

Ernie Walker and his son Richard

It was a real pleasure and honour to do this for Ernie and his family, and that I could be a part of something quite special.

The Ma'might Song by Albert Whelan

The Ma’might Song by Albert Whelan

Here are the words.

The Ma’might Song by Albert Whelan

I’ve just been down the doctors to-day.
He said I’m getting too thin.
He made me keep quiet and gave me a diet.
And this is how I’m to begin

Little Jack Horner who sat in the corner, said
Friends, I’m going on strike,
This nursery rhyme gives me pie all the time
But I’ll tell you what I would like.


On Monday I might have a sausage and mash
And MA’MIGHT too,
On Tuesday a sandwich, on Wednesday some hash,
And MA’MIGHT too
On Thursday I’ll fast ’till Friday is past,
On Saturday I might have a stew.
With Maudie and Carrie, and Tom, Dick and Harry
And MARMITE too.

To listen to the recordings – SIDE A is just an introduction and SIDE B is the advert.

The artist, Alan Whelan, was born in Australia in 1875, he came over to the United Kingdom in 1901 and was very prominent on the stage and early movies and made quite a number of gramophone advertisements. He died in 1961.

Here is a photo of him during the filming of This is your life, in 1957 being given the Big Red Book by Eamonn Andrews

Albert Whelan - This is your life

Albert Whelan – This is your life

Alexander McCall Smith – My favourite snack

Alexander McCall Smith is a household name as an author, his books are numerous including covering the antics of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. Now I’m not going to review any of his books, but I am going to tell you about his favourite snack.

Of course, this will inevitably include Marmite, but also cheese which is Marmite’s ultimate pairing.

The author adores Fried Marmite Sandwiches.

(This is not for the diet concious 🙂 )


2 slices of white bread
Butter (vegetable spread if you have to)
Cheddar Cheese (sliced)


  • Butter the slices of white bread on both sides, and spread Marmite on one of these sides as thick as you fancy.
  • Place cheese slices on the side with the Marmite and lay the second slice of bread on top to make a sandwich.
  • Lay this sandwich in a medium hot frying pan and fry until the one side is browned, then flip over carefully onto the other side and again fry until browned.
  • Lift the sandwich from the frying pan, carefully to avoid burns from the oozing cheese, leave to cool slightly and enjoy.


(Please be careful as the cheese can pull out of the sandwich while biting into it and burn the chin, I have done this numerous times and it’s not pleasant 🙁 )

  • If you have a sandwich maker or a Panini maker, you can use these instead of a frying pan.
  • For extra richness and calories, you can add butter to the pan prior to the sandwich.
  • The author’s most favourite way to cook if possible, is over a camp fire. This adds a rustic smokiness to the sandwich

To see the full listing of books by Alexander McCall Smith, click here

Favourite Items – Vintage Marmite Prize Pebble

This was one of the first of the rare items that I purchased within my first year of collecting.

Marmite Prize Egg

Marmite Prize Egg

A vintage Marmite wooden Prize Pebble. Silver printing on the front reads “Marmite the Quality Food Extract – Prize Pebble Open Me”. On the back is the remnants of a red seal with some faded lettering. It is only 3 inches long.

There is only one clue to the age as it says Food rather than Yeast Extract with dates it anytime from 1902 to 1930.

I have many of hours of research in this item, but there is nothing that I can find about it.  This would have been part of a competition of sorts, that is clear.  It could have been a free jar of Marmite, a monetary prize, who knows, it was sadly empty.  This has been made of wood, finely carved using a lathe which is more commonly called treenware.

Favourite Items – World War 1 Wooden Crate

I want to start sharing some of my favourite items from the collection

World War One Morse Code Kit

World War One Morse Code Kit

This particular item was purchased, as it happens, around the time of the centenary in 2014.

During the first World War (WW1), Marmite sent the soldiers fighting in the trenches plenty of Marmite for their ration packs, the fact it could ward off the vitamin B1 deficiency beri-beri, which was common during the war and so made it a staple item for the troops.  As Marmite was one of the only foodstuffs to claim the inclusion of B vitamins, it made it a crucial diet choice.

This is a morse code kit that a resourceful soldier must have created in the field using an Marmite box that would have been left over from the deliveries to the troops. Sadly, this isn’t complete and would need a lot of work to be working order again.

I was really pleased to get hold of this fascinating piece of history. If only this box could speak, what stories it would have and did the soldier who made up this kit survive the war and was it instrumental in saving people’s lives.

A great find for the museum collection during this Centenary year of World War 1.

How is Marmite made?

How does Marmite HQ create its magic to turn a load of wasted slurry into the beautiful dark brown spread that is Marmite. Approximately 50,000 tonnes of brewers years is trucked through the gates of the factory every year. Most of it comes from the local BASS breweries as well as Marston’s and Coors around the Burton area, where the brewers yeast has been procured since the inception of Marmite in 1902, but so much of it is needed they are having to collect from further afield to breweries to up and down the country and can never be sure, what strains of the yeast slurry they are going to get due to the different beers they are brewing at that particular time. Due to this, not every batch of Marmite is exactly the same, only fractionally different, but a keen palate can taste it.

Marmite Lorry

Marmite Lorry

The slurry is pumped out of each tanker into large autolysis machines where salt, enzymes and water are added to start the process of extraction. Autolysis is the process by which a cell will consume itself using enzymes contained within the same cell at a specified temperature. After this process, any remaining hops and other waste are removed which is reused by the agriculturalists as a soil conditioner that greatly helps to improve the soil’s properties, so even waste is not wasted. Unilever has promised to be 100% sustainable in keeping any waste from landfills by 2020, and already 18,000 tonnes of solid Marmite waste is converted into methane via an anaerobic digester which is used to provide 30% of the factory’s thermal energy.

Once the remaining liquid has simmered for a few hours, the evaporation of water has turned what is remaining into a thickened mixture and completely stable, this mixture is now filtered again to bring it to a paste and transferred into huge vats until needed. This whole process so far has been automated, but now as the blending begins and other ingredients are added, the workers of the plant come into play.

Customers are fickle characters and Marmite cannot fluctuate too much from the original recipe, hence the staff have to ensure that the basic ingredients for Marmite are perfect, and only then the secret ingredient is added, it’s a closely guarded secret, and only a handful of people know what is in this recipe. Once the Master Blender (St John Skelton who has worked in the plant for over 40 years) has passed the paste in the quality taste test, it is warmed to 40 degrees which is the optimum temperature for the Marmite to be a runnier consistency to pump via to the production line to the final part of the process – filling the jars. Unilever fastidiously tests the palatte of every worker. And the ones with the most finely tuned tongues are used to taste every batch.

Marmite jars ready to fill.

Marmite jars ready to fill.
Picture by Damien McFadden: 07968 308252

The filling of the iconic jars is another automated process from start to finish, the jars are manufactured in Germany at a pharmaceutical glass company. Overlooked by various engineers and computer operatives. The jars are checked for glass flaws or foreign objects using a Sidewall Inspection Machine, rejecting any jar that isn’t perfect. Once passed the jar is blasted with air to remove any dust and only then the jar is ready to be filled with Marmite and the lid is screwed on. As soon as the lid is safely screwed on, the jars are swiftly sent to the labelling section where the ultra recognisable label is added to the front and back of the jar and finally reaches the packing section where it’s stacked on pallets and is ready for distribution.

Marmite production

Marmite production

So now you can see how much work goes into changing the slurry that comes from the breweries into the wonderful paste that is Marmite.

Marmite – Love it or Hate it? One of the best ever straplines

In October 1996, Marmite launched a campaign using the strapline “Love it or Hate it“.

Nobody could have predicted that it would become such a massive effect on the brand and created it into an UK Iconic Brand.

Marmite - Do you Love it or Hate it?

Marmite – Do you Love it or Hate it?

The public embraced the slogan almost immediately, and started using it to describe examples of people or things that they weren’t too sure about. Some people were classed as being Marmite – you either love them or hate them. Even the celebrities have adopted the phrase, many classing themselves as a “Marmite person”

Almost 20 years later, the slogan is still going strong. So where did the idea for that strapline come from?

Marmite Love

Marmite Love

A Marmite spokesman spoke to the Burton Mail Newspaper saying that at the time, Marmite were using an advertising agency called Adam and Eve DDB. Strangely enough, with one of the team being a lover and one being a hater, the strapline came into its own naturally and pretty much mirrored the opinion of the nation to the savoury taste of Marmite.

A game manufacturer have even created a board game under license from Marmite, and won a £50,000 investment via Dragon’s Den. Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones loved the idea, however, at the time they weren’t allowed to reveal that they had an agreement with Marmite to create these games.

If you want to get hold of this game, here is a link to the Amazon page and the price shown at £9.99 is a saving of £8.00 the RRP.  I was at the launch of the game in London in September 2014, and it is a really good fun game for the whole family.  The NEW item is in stock, USED items are out of stock.  Amazon’s own product listing is very hard to see the IN STOCK next to the £9.99.



The Burton Mail