Take me home please
Noted, 481a Leytonstone High Road
Season 2015-2016

There was a convergence of great minds upon the concourse of Leytonstone High Road Overground Station 5th February last. Minds not focused on the imminent electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking line; rather the more immediate 'eelectrification' offered at the nearby 'Noted Eel and Pie House'.

A handsome rendering of something Conger-esque adorns the shiny new frontage of the shop, but inside the fixtures and fittings remain reassuringly quirky.

We joined the queue with locals and regulars, including Ron, 80, and his titanic tupperware take-out. Luckily the vats were full, and there was a steady flow of foil-baked pies from the furnace. Check out our previous 'pail shots' from 2008 and 2011.

Sonia was our front-of-house customer care co-ordinator.


Here's a man who's used to investigating alternative power sources – Roger Harrabin, ace environment and climate journalist. His personal micro-climate will certainly have been warmed a few degrees Celsius by the stodgy heat sources on his plate – even without a splash of the inhouse chilli vinegar.

Ed Mosse stuck resolutely to his one-one-one and one combo; another 12-pointer to consolidate his 5th place in the table.

Doug Benford dismounted his bicycle at Gunnersbury, but maintained high visibilty throughout the afternoon.

Terry Moore came from the opposite end of the metropolis to join us for a solid 3-3-1.

It should here be noted that Noted's portion of mash is a single scoop. So the array on the right is a 2-2-1 with a bowl of stewed eels in their own juice.

Joining Sue Madigan on these distinctive steel work surfaces was independent film-maker Abbie Brandon. By no means an aficionado of the ambrosial scoff, she nevertheless chowed down with the Club in order to get a handle on our scene. You see, there might be a film in it, innit? Check out some of Abbie's work here.

Here's a still from the action on the rear table, middle aisle. When ex-champ Rikk Lukas gets his jacket off, you know that serious business ensues [see below]. With modest mash portions and smallish pies, the experienced pro saw a chance for a big points break. By the end of the session he was 8 clear of Goldwater in bronze position.

Look into the mirror . . .

On the far side of the dining room, Judith Deschamps was ensconcing herself and two pals new to the club, Ray and Renata Plassard. The two newcomers were game – and concise in their judgements. Ray described the pie and mash as 'alright' while Renata explained that she was Swiss.

Sue Madigan was getting in the mood for the Year of the Monkey.

Ian Burr's is fingerlickin' good.

'Thermostat' feels the heat.

A welcome latecomer arrived in our midst – Peter Harvey of Walthamstow fame. Harvey's footballing 4-4-2 was a restrained outing for a known enthusiast. But for Champ Charalambous' absence it might have been a whole other ball game . . .

If you are ever boating locally at The Hollow Ponds, look out for Kenny. Kenny's a Kelly's man by birthright – born and bred in Bethnal Green Road – but work brings him into the radius of 'Noted'. Mention pie and mash and you might get an oar thrown in.

Father and son in the rear window, at the 'mind-the-step table'. Danny and his dad had travelled in from Essex for this picturesque lunch.

You will find no other ambience like this.

Neither Naughty Table nor Elevated High Chair were put to use this lunchtime.

Sonia was assisted by dear Chelsey and, behind the scenes, cousin Vicky. Our featured Pieman is Alfie Hak, whose surname carries with it a weighty family history . . .

If I have the computations right, in the late 1800s Alfie's grandfather's grandfather – Huite Hak – was sent over from Holland at the age of 9 to find work. He learnt the eel trade from the Manzes and a Dutch cousin in Hoxton called Dick Fortune [Fortune's remained in Hoxton into the 1970s]. Huite and his brother later opened shops in Hoxton and Bow, which latter remained in family ownership till 1977. Bow then passed to Les Shields, their faithful pieman since 1962. Les moved the business to these premises at Leytonstone a few months later.

Not much has changed since then, although you do wonder if they're sponsored by Coca-Cola.

A notable pavement line-up.

The whole outing had a filmic quality to it, enhanced by the Alfred Hitchcock Bird House at the corner of nearby Lynn Road. The building is adjacent to the birthplace of the Master of Suspense at 517 Leytonstone High Road – now a petrol station.

The Club's own young film-maker couldn't resist a little Hitchcock Hopscotch on the bird-embossed paving outside.

Pool balls and pints were sunk in the traditional setting of The Bell, which name resonated with Pete Harvey's newly discovered campanological talent. Sadly there were no Sallies for us to pull.

Goodbye Leytonstone [High] Road.

You have been Noted.