Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Mystery of the Missing Marmite

Dr Carole Reeves writes:
Does anyone remember having Marmite in Craig-y-nos? No? Well, perhaps that’s not surprising because I’ve uncovered a series of angry letters from The Marmite Food Extract Company in 1938 to the Welsh National Memorial Association as follows:

‘… we have been receiving a considerable number of complaints that 1 lb tins of Marmite supplied by us in your district have found their way into the homes of private individuals and we fear, therefore, that there is some source of leakage in your organisation and as a result, the purpose for which we supply you with our product in tins, ie. for the benefit of hospitals, institutions, etc. is not being adhered to.’

Was there a black (pardon the pun) market in Marmite? After a steely silence in which the Association investigated this accusation of sticky-fingered staff, it wrote back:

‘Under our regulations and contract specifications and conditions, members of the staff of the Association (whose organisation includes 18 hospitals and sanatoria, and some 100 dispensaries and visiting stations throughout Wales, with a research laboratory, educational campaign, and the central administration) have the right to be so supplied, for their personal use, at the contract price applicable to the Association.’

Surely a case for the Marmite soldiers to be guarding the stock …

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