Take me home please
Tony's, 7 Market Square, Waltham Abbey
Season 2012-2013

A northern outpost of Pie and Mash was attained by a bold detachment of the Pie and Mash Club this 25th January past. Edward Mosse was my trusty travel companion as we headed out of London on a rail from Liverpool Street which thrusts northward into East Herts and beyond. Our alighting point was Waltham Cross, whence we journeyed due east through a mile of flat hinterland made the more bleak by several inches of recent snowfall. Crossing stream and canal, we reached the border of the kingdom of Essex and shortly thereafter gained the western approach to Waltham Abbey. Market Square, the town's focal point, was completely devoid of life. The townsfolk seemed to have concentrated themselves within the walls of Tony's Noted Pie and Mash Shop, est. 1995.

Here was a bustling Pie Shop with authentic 5-star certification from the other Pie and Mash Club [of Great Britain, see above]. According to the shop's Facebook page, David Beckham, Harry Redknapp, Rod Stewart, Paul Weller, Jade Goodey, Tinie Tempah and Eddie Kidd have all lined up at the counter [but not at the same time].

Chris Charalambous and Eddie 'Kidd' Mosse were just visible through the steam at our formica-topped eating station.

A notable quirk is the serving method for a double mash as seen; I can only liken it to two little knockers in a push-up bra.

Michael Goldwater poses for another publicity five by four. That look of steely resolve would be perfect for a remake of ' The Pie Who Came In From The Cold' or 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Pie'. Brace yourself for greatness.

Stat anoints for extra points. Did you know all true Cockneys are baptised in chili vinegar?

Boxing is a theme, but if there was going to be a dust-up, this is the man you'd want at the centre of the ring; F.A. accredited referee and noted pie puncher, Len Wilcock. But with Len at the table you often feel the hovering presence of a yellow card . . .

Tom Leader lit up an after dinner electronic cigarette, and looked very pleased with himself. My observation that Tom possesses the figure for a pipe was not taken as the compliment it was intended to be.

Here we are.

There were few moments when these two ladies were stationary. Such was the flow of coin, comestibles and general commerce that we saw hide nor hair of Tony Lane, the shop's pro-pie-tor. He was almost certainly in the back room, pugilising the pastry with a pair of golden gloves.

Have a deco at the general decor.
The two ladies seated drew my attention. They are Sheila [left] and Barbara [right]. Seekers after the sublime savouries, they undertook three bus journeys from the interior of Essex just to reach this stronghold of stodge.

These two sweet tooths had to raid the fridge for their desserts. Much of Mosse's missed his mush and made a massive mess.

For '50p a ride' you can take a sight-seeing tour of the town square.

We were too full for that kind of excitement, and went in search of ale to accompany Len's refereeing anecdotes.

The Welsh Harp was the chosen setting for a trip down Memory Lane. Len held sway with vintage tales of goalmouth mudbaths, crunching tackles and the mythical line up of Holderness United FC 1977.

Waltham Abbey's Walls. Well worth a butchers, but Tony's Pie and Mash is the jewel in its crown. No wonder Sir David Beckenham is a regular.

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