About Us

How did a humble Derbyshire farmer's son become the world's oldest Christmas pudding maker? Well, he began making a range of preserves and Christmas puddings from his mother's special recipes back in the late 19th century.

By using traditional ingredients and cooking methods, our Christmas pudding has the same delicious flavour as it did all those years ago. Of course, the origins of Christmas pudding are hundreds of years old, discover its story by taking a journey through history...

More
 

1410

THE PLUM POTTAGE

The first references to anything like a plum pudding is to a 'Plum Pottage' in the early 15th century, with ’plum‘ being a generic term for dried fruits. This rich broth of beef or mutton also included breadcrumbs, spices and wine and was eaten after the fast of Advent.

1617

'COLLEGE' RECIPE

Previously, the only way to make puddings was by placing the ingredients in an animal‘s intestines and boiling. So it was a real relief for the squeamish when the Cambridge or ’College‘ pudding recipe replaced the guts with a cloth. It was convenient for even poor families as it could be boiled in a cauldron along with the meat, providing three dishes in one - broth, meat and pudding.

1647

GOVERNMENT BANS PUDS

Oliver Cromwell‘s Puritan government bans Christmas puddings in an attempt to make the festive period a lot less festive. The rich ingredients are described as being ’unfit for God fearing people‘.

1843

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

After fears that festive celebrations were on the wane, Charles Dickens classic tale ’A Christmas Carol‘ plays a major role in reinventing Christmas as a family holiday with Christmas at the very heart of the celebrations. “…the pudding, like a speckled cannon ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stick into the top”.

1860

THE SIXPENCE

At the height of the Victorian era, the Christmas pudding becomes the firm favourite of the Christmas menu it is today. It was around this time that the tradition of placing a silver coin (usually a 3d piece or a sixpence) into the mixture was established. The person finding it would get to keep the money with the promise of wealth for the coming year.

1899

SUCCESS

Sales of our Christmas puddings were so successful that we opened a small factory in Exeter Street, Derby and the Matthew Walker story begins...

1914

BATTLE WEARY

As Christmas approaches, battle weary British troops on the Western Front receive plum puddings from home. Spurred by the festive spirit both sides put down their weapons and call a temporary Christmas Truce.

1917

A CASE OF MURDER

Crime novelist Agatha Christie writes ’The Adventure of The Christmas Pudding‘ where a missing ruby that ends up in pudding at a Christmas dinner leads to murder case that Inspector Poirot must solve.

1941

APPLES & CARROTS

With vine fruits scarce during World War II, the currants and sultanas in Christmas puddings are replaced by apples and carrots.

1967

120 EMPLOYEES

We opened our purpose built factory in Heanor, Derbyshire, where production of the Matthew Walker Christmas puddings remain to this day with 120 permanent staff.

1980

PUDDING RACE

The first Great Christmas Pudding Race takes place in Covent Garden, with teams skilfully balancing Matthew Walker Christmas puddings on a tray around an obstacle course to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

2005

SERVING TROOPS

Christmas puddings are shipped to the British troops serving in Afghanistan over the yuletide period.

2007

GREAT TASTE AWARD

Launch ‘Matthew Walker – The Pudding’ which goes on to win a Gold Great Taste Award from the Guild of Fine Foods.

2009

TV ADVERT

Matthew Walker stars alongside his good friend Father Christmas in the very first Matthew Walker Christmas pudding television commercial.

2010

MASTERCHEF

BBC Celebrity MasterChef winner Lisa Faulkner teams up Matthew Walker to help Britons enjoy a perfect Christmas. Pudding Race Covent Garden 4 December 2010.

2010

HESTON

Heston’s Hidden Orange Pudding launches in the UK, with demand so high that shoppers start selling the pudding on Ebay.

 2015

GLUTEN FREE RANGE

Matthew Walker develops Free From: Gluten Free Sponge puddings which are stocked by Morrisons, Waitrose and Ocado.

2016

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media campaign launched in October 2016 on Facebook and Twitter.