Take me home please
Roy's, 3 Station Parade, Dagenham Heathway
Season 2011-2012

For many of the Pie and Mash Club, this inaugural trip to Roy's Pie Shop offered a first glimpse of downtown Dagenham Motor City. Detroit it is not. I ascended the long ramp at Heathway Station to the strains of Handels' Water Music and emerged into the broad light of noon on a suburban shopping strip. It appeared well served by a monolithic concrete mini mall, standard high street franchises, charity shops and a Cash Converters but aside from Roy's, the high point was the bridge over the rail tracks in this topographically flat locale. With a £5 pair of 'pre-owned' pantaloons satisfyingly shopped and stowed in my haversack, I hailed local man Graham MacLaurin in front of the 'Eastenders' Favourite'.

Once over the threshold it was not long before we were faced with the friendly Feltham physog of John Leach, who'd made a commendable crosstown commute to take part in the proceedings.

In a spotless parlour of narrow marble tops our league leader Chris Charalambous needed all available elbow room.

My main course: double pie, double mash in a classic scrape, liquor, plus a side of eels. They ran out of ice cream so I had to have another pie for afters.

Here is Charlotte Harvey, whom regular readers will know. Sat next is Carly Prince, another member of the extended Harvey family, and citizen of Dagenham.

Sue Madigan sported her special event Liquor Hoodie – a perfect colour match to the green stuff on our plates.

This precocious three-year old already shows
an exceptional grasp of what is required at the
table . . .

. . . whereas this young hopeful is still learning the basics. A recent addition to the clan, Mack 'Bonnie Prince' Harvey is not yet able to raise his own cutlery, but he certainly raised a right rumpus in Roy's.

These two smarmers added their own brand of exuberance to the meeting.

Edward Mosse was enjoying a rest day from the Chickenshed Theatre production of 'Shakespeare's Island'.

Mike G was buzzing after an en-route visit to The Who Shop. I'd like to see this talented TV graduate take charge of the Tardis, but I fear at 22 he may already be too old for the current crop of Timelords. No matter, in his current incarnation as 'Pie Lord' Mike has set up 'The Pie and Mash Appreciation Society' on Facebook. If you have your face on the book I urge you to 'like it', as they say. Mike has penned a tasty culinary review of Roy's which you can find on the page at March 10th.

Here's a fresh face. Tablemate, flatmate and workmate of E. Mosse esq, this is newcomer Andrew Keay whose second helpings made for a gustacious debut. The young Scot tucked it away like a local.

Linda Holligan remained cool, calm and focused during the meal but afterwards – and for once at leisure – she described how her home town of New Malden has become one of the most densely populated areas of Koreans outside South Korea.

Also present but not pictured was Denise Rouse, who came not only to enjoy the grub, but also to take a look at the neighbourhood in which she once lived.

Tom Leader merely ate enough to remain thirty points clear at second place in the league, although he did go for a pint afterwards.

 

Proud Pete Harvey was keen to immerse grandson Mack in traditional pie and mash culture; I imagine the baptism will take place in a font of warm liquor.

Our staff were Eve and far left, chef Dean and mum Eileen. As advertised on the shopfront, service and civility were indeed their speciality – our many and various requirements were attended with grace and good humour and we were made to feel very much at home.

The Pie and Mash Club in its natural habitat . . .

. . . and causing the traditional obstruction to the thoroughfare.

A study of Edward Mosse.

In the background Paul Grice, a man who has met with a few wrong cheeses in his time, ponders the existence of a 'wrong pie'. I don't think it's possible. Cheese is for nibbling and pies are for scoffing, so a wrong cheese can be taken or left. Whereas a pie is a celebration, and no respectable chef would bother to risk valuable pie crusts on a questionable filling. Or would they? It could be a 'forum topic' for the Pie and Mash Appreciation Society.

The front view of St@. Not my best side.

The local high point.

Meanwhile some 50 miles away to the west, new boys David Pead and Mike Millard challenged 2012 Pub Pie Champion, Carol Haime from The Sandrock, Farnham to produce a liquor to accompany her award-winning comestibles and thus garner remote points for their league standing. It was British Pie Week after all. From the look of this documentary evidence, the creative duo fashioned a win-win scenario. [Or at the very least a one-one-and-one scenario.]

With her decorated beef and onion special Carol did not disappoint, and the lads enjoyed a slap-up meal in sumptuous and chest-puffingly patriotic surroundings. Well done Carol, well done Mike and Dave, well done England!

St@