Pat is a marmalade marvel!
Spotting Seville oranges for sale in a greengrocers led charity champion Pat Porteus on a marmalade mission to help others.
Pat’s annual charity venture started five years ago after watching celebrity chef Delia Smith making marmalade on television.
“I saw Seville oranges for sale in a greengrocers and thought I’d give it a try.
“At first I just gave it to family and friends but they were so impressed with the flavour and texture they advised me to sell it and so it began.”
Since then Pat, who lives near Stanley Park, has made more than 1,000 jars netting £1,900 for charity, with the popularity of Pat’s preserve growing with every year.
She recently raised £600 for Blackpool Lifeboat Station by making and selling 300 jars of marmalade in the first two months of the year.
In 2017, she gave £200 to the NHS toward the Faxitron machine in the Breast Care Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, followed by £200 in 2018 to Trinity Hospice and £400 to Children of
Watamu Happy House children’s home in Kenya in 2019.
“In 2020 I raised £550 for Edale Mountain Rescue service in Derbyshire as they had so kindly helped me the previous year when out walking with my family.
“I fell on the way back to the car park, landed on a rock and badly split my forehead.
“The rescue service came out for me and after patching me up sent me to Stockport Hospital for stitches.”
This year she and her husband, Brian, who helps her with her marmalade venture, chose Blackpool RNLI as their 2021 charity,
“As Blackpool is very dear to our hearts both being Sandgrown’uns we chose the Blackpool branch to receive this year’s marmalade sales takings.
“Brian and I were volunteer lifeguards back in the 1960s. In fact the Lifeguard Club in the Colonades, near the Metropole Hotel, was where we first met.
“I was 15 then, working for my mother in our guest house on Wilshaw Road and Brian was 17 and attending Blackpool Technical College studying Technical Illustration when we started
going out together.
“Brian rescued a few people from the sea or off the sand banks the following two seasons when he became a Beach Patrol employee during the summer recess.”
Pat and Brian, who will have been married 51 years in June, have lived in Blackpool most of their lives apart from eight years in Switzerland.
“In 1972, Brian got a job working for a bus and truck company in Arbon on Lake Constance. We lived there for eight years, returning with our eldest son David who was then 21 months old.
Our younger son, Richard, was born in 1980.”
Pat and Brian were delighted to visit and look round the Lifeboat Station when they handed over a cheque and the last jar of marmalade to volunteer chairman, Ian Butter, and some
members of the crew.
“We found it very impressive and rather humbling, the volunteers give so much of their own time for the safety of the general public.
“I just hope that my small contribution will go towards the next piece of equipment they require, or training for the personnel,” said Pat.
With Brian’s help, Pat will be making more marmalade next year.
“We look forward to January as ‘Marmalade Time’; and don’t mind the extra work as it fills the long days of January and February and keeps our hands busy, the icing on the cake is that
we are helping worthwhile charities and its always for a good cause.”
This year, Pat used 65kg of sugar, 36kg of oranges and 18kg of lemons. Her chosen charity receives the profit after the deduction of the cost of the sugar and fruit.
“Brian helps me enormously and I couldn’t do it without him, he is so patient and uncomplaining and helps me in thousands of ways one of which are shredding the orange peel which is a
“He also organises and prepares the jars and designed personalised labels for me. My wonderful butcher Nigel Wilkinson from Holmfield Road, North Shore, sells some of my marmalade
too. In fact, his customers are asking him for it all year.”