Take me home please
Manze's, Tower Bridge Road
Season 2017-2018

Season 24 of that long-running docu-soap 'The Pie and Mash Club' opened under the benign rays of an early autumn sun sailing unobstructed across a cerulean celestial dome. As in heaven so on earth; Borough and Bermondsey backstreets provided almost-as-smooth passage for the two-wheelers seen here. With his deep orange headgear and rosy cheeks, the one on the right has been likened to a 'human bean'.

On the inside of 87 Tower Bridge Road, Friday lunchtime business was pleasantly brisk, with some 15 pie-ticipants eager to disport themselves on the marble-tops after a 4-month summer recess.

Ed Mosse approached the counter cap-in-hand and came away cap-in-mouth.

Tom Leader achieved a 'Noah's Ark' [two of everything], thus securing equal high score of the day.

A two-one and and a two-two ready to fly.

The presence of cola betokens a single sortie mission; stodge and gas is a dangerous gastric combination in pie-to-pie combat.

It turned out the afizzionados were colour-coordinated.

[Right] Terry Moore takes a closer look from the top of a mash escarpment.

[Far right] Eddie Mosse adopts his familiar 'levers-and-pulleys' approach. Mike Goldwater's high-handed technique put me in mind of a Pie-rannosaurus Rex

In an aft pew, stewed eels came under the critical scrutiny of these gristly geezers Doug Benford and Al Smith.

Ladies enlivened and made more elegant otherwise gruff guy proceedings. Here was a familiar face bringing poise to the pies. For professional reasons we shall hereafter refer to her as 'Linda X'.

On the far right, meet new colleague Vikki Cole-Richardson, a West-Londoner and former 'user' of A. Cooke in Goldhawk Road. Vikki recently provided some excellent field notes from her holidays, keeping us up-to-speed with developments in Herne Bay and Whitstable.

A towering embankment of mash, a moat of liquor, a triple-fronted fortress of pastry protecting individual inner sanctums of delicate minced meat – 'tis a platter fit for a king . . .

 

. . . but naturally, for 'tis the scoff of Mighty Nick Everton, reigning champ of the Pie and Mash League.

[Far right] The chili vin casts a long shadow, but Jean Cunliffe dices determinedly, daintily, with her personal set of surgical steel instruments.

Club in session.

What joy bringeth this duo to any banqueting table – it's Millard and Pead of 'We Do The Pies' fame. Precisely 5 years and 24 hours have passed since slimline Mike last dashed the vinegar in competition, but boy he doesn't look a day older!

At 13.43, Dave Pead was eager to transmit news of our gathering to Pete Riley at the Oktoberfest in Bavaria. 'Pie and Mash Club is almost as good' was the modest caption to his social media post card.

Came the reply at 13.45, 'Nah!'

A sobering afternoon in the conveyance at right would be my prescription for Riley's lager-soaked ebullience.

The Burr is back – back to a future unglimpsed by those visionary robo-popsters Kraftwerk. Here he is, making a northern hash of his pie and mash. Surely it's not more fun to compute?

Ian generously gifted Mayhew's historic treatise 'Of Street Piemen' to the club archives.

[Far right] Benford's incredulous gaze was not directed at 'The Man Mashing'. He was taking in the full glory of 'The Model'.

 

[Above] A trophy room catastrophe befell the RCP II award in the summer months, leaving another ill-fated P-n-M gong in smithereens. However, not only did Nick Everton effect a reasonable repair [minus one shard], he rekindled a passion for pottery which has produced arguably the most realistic clay rendition of pie and mash to date. Good work!

Benford likened Everton's elliptical offering to something out of a David Cronenberg movie, before drawing the Forrest Gump conclusion that 'you have to make your own trophy in this life'.

Emerald ladies [l to r]: Tracie, Jessica and Sue.

Here is our chef-de-pies Terry, who often reaches enlightenment at 14.00 hours. Terry divulged that he'll be freshening up the shop's decor soon, and perhaps trying out some fruit-flavoured desserts - a pie-lot scheme if you will.

Dinner lady Kelly was still dishing out grub at 14.11, just 19 minutes from closing time.

Above: no. 87, rear.

Right: no. 87, front

Right: Sue Madigan has just left the building.

Thence to 'The Marigolds' up the street where one can enjoy a glass of red wine in cultured suroundings . . .

. . . or outside on the pavement.

Yours Bermondsley,

St@