Take me home please
Kelly's, 526 Roman Road E3
Season 2011-2012

An extraordinary extra-curricular Pie and Mash Club Gathering in the East End on Friday 1st June 2012.

But what's this in aid of, I hear you say? I thought Season 2011–2012 was done and dusted. So did we. But mere days after the close of play at Exmouth Market on May 11th, the mighty Reuters Media Agency got in touch and wanted a slice of our meaty news-pie.

As it happened, a very nice lady called Suzanne Plunkett contacted the Club in search of some pie and mash action for her photo assignment about traditional London life and 'peculiar British cuisine' – the perfect appetiser for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. Suzanne was looking for a venue as traditional as they come, and we came up with a favourite within javelin-range of the Olympic Stadium.

Sue Vening of Kelly's was telegraphed, and by reply promised 'a shop festooned with bunting in true East End fashion'. In Sue's words, 'someone has to fly the flag'. Thereby a contingent converged upon the Roman Road at the appointed hour of 13.11 on Friday 1st June. Among them was a long-seasoned member of the club recently returned from his winter home in NZ, Big Al Smith.

Inside the shop, Suzanne Plunkett, armed with her personal supply of cheesecloth, was exploring all the angles . . .

Four men ready to shovel some pie.

The sharp-eyed among you will have spotted other delicacies on offer in the window: 'Cumberland Sausage, Mash and Gravy £3.30' and 'British Chicken with Mushroom Pies £1.70'. But tempting though they were, we were here for one thing and one thing only.

Once Suzanne had captured her set pieces and ambients, we invited her to embark on a new culinary experience; the Minnesota-raised lens-lady had never before chowed down on the ambrosial scoff.

Titans of West London John Leach and Stuart Frost crossed the metropolis to add to this jubilacious occasion, and our numbers were boosted yet further by Preston lad Paul Grice and Season 11-12's wooden spooner Sue Madigan.

Sue was in rambunctious mood as I presented her with the engraved award . . .

[In case you're wondering, all the photos with a green border are courtesy of Suzanne Plunkett. Many thanks to her for some great pictures.]

Stuart Frost is a man who puts gravy above liquor whatever the occasion and the additional side order of mushy peas certainly seemed to put some wind in his sails.

Frosty and Statto in earnest dialogue.

I had the pleasure of meeting two charming Bow Belles and lovely gells who are regular customers of Kelly's. Here are proud mother Marcia and daughter Demi-Louise with an impressive display of appetite, spoon handling . . . and considerable bite.

But the Kelly experience is in a class above the merely utilitarian. The attractive dessert display case seen here gives cause for pause and I was not the only one who fell for the crumbly comestible delights contained therein.

A smile worthy of Davinci's consideration. If only the old master had had the inspiration to depict his muse plunging her hand into some eels-in-aspic.

[Far right] Sue Vening in action.

As promised, the dining hall was thoroughly bedecked with bunting for the impending Diamond Jubilee weekend. I hope these pictures help to convey the marvellous bastion of tradition and pillar of the community that is Kelly's, and the wonderful enthusiasm and hard work that Sue and her staff put into maintaining it.

If you can't get down there in person, have a look at the G. Kelly website or visit the facebook page, wherein I urge you to 'like it'.

We were not ejected from the premises; this noble pieman was merely directing us to the pub.

Meet the staff: Dean and Robert worked tirelessly in the kitchen to make sure supply met demand, while Margaret and shop-owner Sue Vening were counter-side, serving with a wonderful mixture of friendliness and civility. They entertained our photographic antics with amazing patience and good humour.

Behold this year's cham-pie-on and compleat culinary man C. Charalambous esq, whose silver medallion acted like a magnet upon the opposite sex as he posed in front of Kelly's.

Our photo-reporter was keen to portray us standing before various local shops of our choice, but nobody had the front for this one.

Sue Madigan opted for George's Plaice down the road, while your statistician popped next door to Champers at number 528.

'Nature's Bounty' with Brian Catchpole.

Mike Goldwater went for a 'Bow Wash'. Do you need the service?

Six of the best. Or half a dozen good eggs.

The Grand Union Canal is mere minutes distant by foot, and an ideal place to walk off lunch and ale away from the hustle and bustle of Roman Road.

I spied some local colour at Hackney Wick Lock. The Cafe at the End of the Wick seemed like a fitting place to mark the end of the road for this remarkable season. But I hope to see you next term for some more. P-P-F-N [Pie-pie for now].

Your faithful recorder,

St@