During WWII a “national week for the collection of rosehips” was established in late September, when Scouts, Guides, WRI and WRVS members headed en masse to the nation’s hedgerows. In 1941 this produced a 200 ton haul of hips resulting in 600,000 bottles of commercially produced syrup. A recipe was published so people could make their own at home too.
The 1943 Ministry of Food leaflet “Hedgerow Harvest” also contained a recipe for Rosehip Marmalade:
“The ruby-red seed of the rose makes an, excellent marmalade. If you soak the cleaned rose hips for 2 hours in plain cold water; then let boil for 2 hours, and strain. Measure the puree and add l cup of brown sugar to each cup of puree. Let boil down to thick consistency, pour into sterilized glasses and seal.”
Sounds like it would taste great but how many vitamins would survive a two hour boil?!
The vogue for rosehip syrup outlived the war and even the end of rationing in 1954. The widespread habit of a daily spoonful seems to have started to die out in the 1960s.