A final stand for Margaret River’s jam man

Deserved break: Bob Castle at his final day of selling jams, pickles and relishes in Margaret River last week. Photo: Nicky Lefebvre

Deserved break: Bob Castle at his final day of selling jams, pickles and relishes in Margaret River last week. Photo: Nicky Lefebvre

Margaret River’s Bob Castle was in final-sale mode last week as he manned his Castle Legacy jam, pickle and relish stand outside the town’s Coles supermarket.

“I’m selling everything, it’s all got to go, buy one, get one free!” Mr Castle urged customers as they rushed to make the most of the final day of sales.

What a legacy: Bob Castle sells one of his final jars of jam outside Coles on Thursday. Photo: Nicky Lefebvre

What a legacy: Bob Castle sells one of his final jars of jam outside Coles on Thursday. Photo: Nicky Lefebvre

Mr Castle said the decision to close up after around 17 years was a sad one, but that he was keen to give his wife Kath – creator of the delicious preserves – a well earned break.

“My beautiful wife has been making these now for so long, and she is always working hard – I leave in the morning and she’s preparing fruit and vegetables, getting the jars ready, then by the time I get home she’s still there working, working,” he said.

“It’s about time she had a break and enjoyed herself, she has definitely earned it.”

Mr Castle sold hundreds of jars of preserves each week from the stands, with funds raised going directly to local causes.

“We can give out food vouchers to families who really need to restock the pantry, or pay a power bill for a struggling single parent, it can change people’s lives,” he said.

“We were able to help one resident with a bill, and a few weeks later I saw this person out and about in town – standing taller, smile on their face, it was just so clear that a little boost and a reminder that you’re not alone and there is help out there can quite literally change someone’s life.

“It doesn’t have to be much, to go a long way to helping the people who live here.”

Riverfresh IGA’s Debbie O’Connor thanked the Castles for their efforts.

“From all of us at River Fresh IGA we would like to say thank you Bob and Kath,” she said.

“Your endless community work has been very much appreciated. Our local heroes!”

Customers were sad to see the stand closing but Mr Castle assured his friends and local fans that he would still remain an active member of the community, manning the St Thomas More Primary School ‘lollipop’ crossing each morning and appearing at the markets each week.