Season 2008-2009DUNCAN'S; 365 Green St, Upton Park
ROUND 8
20.02.'09
PlayedEels
(5 pts)
Pie
(4 pts)
Mash
(3 pts)
Afters
(2 pts)
Liquor
(1 pts)
SumTotal
NICK EVANS81320326154
LEN WILCOCK40440230119
TOM LEADER394
TERRY CECIL6022021692
BEN HAYES470
RON COX3121011765
ANDY POTTER458
ANTHONY RUELLO3133022858
SCOTT CECIL455
JASON SHARP353
EDWARD MOSSE445
JOHN LEACH344
DENISE ROUSE3022011535
DAVID ROYALTON-KISCH230
TED BATTS328
ALAN TERRY228
RICHARD LUCAS228
GRAHAM DARLOW128
ALAN SMITH227
THOMAS KRAFT224
TONY CHUNG224
NICHOLAS KINGSTON-SMITH117
JAMIE TANNER116
CHRIS WALTER1022011515
DOUGLAS BENFORD113
ANTO MORRA108
BEN HARVEY18
JACK MOSSE108
REHAN QAYOOM10110188
TAMSIN EVANS18

Clement day provided pleasant backdrop for an outing to the Park. In this case Upton Park. At the behest of Len Wilcock, ardent Hammers fan, the Club made its inaugural trip to Duncan's at 365 Green Street. An address I like; it carries a note of perennial optimism ideal for followers of fickle football fortunes:

Offside, or not offside: that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous decisions,

Or take an early bath in a sea of bubbles . . .

For some moments I believed that the company would consist solely of Len, myself and the conversational staff of Duncan's. All under the watchful eye of 'Jason'. Clearly we had interrupted an art project — and a bit of a headache, judging by the evidence.

For Luminous Len, it had been 'nil by mouth' all morning, and the plate before him in the picture was merely a starter. On the other side of the marble top was my layout. Look at those 'artisan scrapes' of mash and dream on you TV chefs.

This man made the mash possible. His name is Mark and it was something of an honour to watch as he strained his spuds with bare hands.

A selection of fizzy drinks is complemented by the full range of tea, coffee and hot chocolate.

It was half term so we had the delightful company of Denise Rouse, all the way from Berkhamsted.

Things you should know about Berkhamsted:

1. The terminating point of the Norman invasion, Berkhamsted is where William of Normandy became William the Conqueror.

2. The town is home to the oldest extant shop in Great Britain, dated by dendrochronology of structural timbers to between 1277 and 1297. At 173 High Street, and until recently Figg's the Chemists, it is currently in use as an estate agent.

3. Berkhamsted has no Pie and Mash Shop. What are those crazy town planners thinking of?

Sadly Terence had motored all the way from Hayward's Heath for a plateful of Nathan's instead. That's him exhibiting his evidence with a despondent gurn. Although I have a weakness for puppy dog eyes, I am inclined to believe him; full marks for effort.

Pie and mash is enjoying an antipodean representation this season. Mister Ruello succeeded in drawing five points clear of his absent sparring partner Mister Sharp with a mash-ive 28-pointer. The latter was rumoured to be crying tears of non-brewed condiment into his chips at windswept Ramsgate. Newcomer Chris Walter started confidently, though the can of tizer flags up his novice status.

In the further illustration I am bestowing upon Rehan Qayoom works by John Betjeman, poet and champion of all things familiar, cosy and English. However a reference to Pie and Mash in his oeuvre has yet to be found, so I charged the Club's Poet Laureate with an 8-liner 'in the style of'. I have yet to hear from him . . .

[Right] The crucial scene from Act II. After a wait of seven and a half minutes, my spoon broke through the upper crust, shattering it into Five Easy Pieces. Things will never be the same again, for this was a pie-votal pastry moment of the highest order. For another crucial 'diner' scene, click here.

In Duncan's there is a nice potted history of Pie and Mash just beyond the counter. Click here for a close-up.

The Upton Park sun shone in on the lover's seat, here occupied by Mister and Mrs Ron Cox. Says Ron, 'Ruth and myself had a lovely time even though for me the space between the chair and table was a bit snug. The quality of the food more than made up for it.'

Those of you romantically inclined 'after hours' will be glad to know that a readily available meal for two can be heating up nicely in the kitchen at home while things are heating up nicely on the sofa in the lounge. For such an occasion I recommend uncorking a Pie-not Noir.

Not your traditional view — but I ask you, who on earth doesn't like gravy? Fortunately the good lady declined inclusion on the leader board, sparing embarrassment all round. Apparently after we left, the people at Duncans spent some time talking to the Cox's and 'encouraging Ruth to try liquor again when she is ready'. Truly excellent food and service — highly recommended.

St@

Governor,

The Pie and Mash Club of Blighty