Take me home please
Arment's, Westmoreland Road SE17
Season 2014-2015

17th October 2014 was the closest Friday to the twentieth anniversary of the Pie and Mash Club. Another, mightier club than this has risen and long since declined like Atlantis into the liquory deep, yet still we entertain hopes of encountering a relic from this bygone society . . .

Meanwhile back in the 21st Century, a warm welcome awaited our pie and mashers on the pavement of Westmoreland Road. The man in the smock on the block is majordomo Roy of South London giants, Arments. To complete this august, er, October occasion, we were visiting Arments in their centenary year, by way of a double celebration.

The historical resonance was not lost on ever-youthful man of the moment Matthew Lowing, last observed at table in September 2006.

Sir Richard Lucas added a spoonful of supergravity to the proceedings. He topped the league on matchday one, Friday 14th October 1994, with a 4-pie foray by courtesy of Cook's in the Cut.

Doug Benford chugged his way through a non-pie special, while his lunch buddy Katharine Schopflin had the whole world arrayed on her diverse platter. The shower of vinegar added a meteorological precipitation.

Ladies-in-liquor Judith Deschamps and Jean Cunliffe. Their company is never less than decorous.

Ranged below left to right by league ranking are stodgy regulars Charalambous, Evans and Goldwater.

Here's a close-up of that meaty Arment's filling, so beloved of regulars, and cause of past debate and controversy on our Facebook forum. If you're a regular of Manze or Robins this savoury is going to take your tastebuds by surprise. A word of explanation from Cheryl Arment:

"…our minced beef is thoroughly cooked through and not – on our pie chart – medium rare. The colour of the meat is natural because we do not add any gravy, browning or other components, just simple seasoning with fine quality 100% minced beef steak from Scotland, cooked in its own juices. I hope this goes some way to settle the debate."

Alternatively you can opt for an 'eel surprise' . . .

Sprightly, beshorted and recently turned 64, is Big Al Smith, the man for whom summer never ends. Regular subscribers will be familiar with his annual migration to New Zealand at the onset of autumn in the north hemisphere. Long trousers, scarves and tweed no longer occupy space in his wardrobe.

Tom Leader had just driven back from Belgium in his famous panel van. I have yet to clamp eyes on this mysterious pantechnicon, but I believe its rear axle is no stranger to continental beer by the crate.

The pastry motif was a simple and highly effective statement: 'A pie with a heart'.

In the innermost sanctum of the capacious, L-shaped dining area was to be found a trowel of familiar freemasons. Peter, Paul, Andre and Leigh were fuelling up for an avo of Lapis Magnes Lodge No.5024 business – followed by evening imbibements, I shouldn't wonder.

Manageress Lorraine and fellow dinner ladies wear a staff uniform of white shirt and blue apron, while their male colleagues dress in the reverse combination.

The Arments Centenary Mood Board.

As a measure of its standing in the local community, the name 'Arments' won a recent borough competition to find a name for a new building development. If you'd like to know more about Arment's, visit their website at:armentspieandmash.com

What a gaff . . .

This is no ordinary shop as a glimpse into the kitchen reveals. It's more a pie factory with shop counter and refectory; Arment's supplies pie and mash on a commercial and catering basis. It was the chosen provider of pie and mash for 300 funeral-goers at the grand send-off for Peter Moule's dad last year. What a wake.

Afters: fruit pies and individual custard jugs were a novel approach.

The diminutive circular cherry pies were excellent.

Last season's award for meritorious mediocrity in the league: The 13–14 Wooden Spoon finally made it into the hands [and nearly the gob] of Sue Madigan.

Walworth-born siblings Pat Lawrence and Peter Rolfe toast with a tumbler of traditional Sarsaparilla Cordial. Local legends Baldwin's the Chemists have been brewing it up the Walworth Road since 1844.

The view from the middle of Westmoreland Road. It looks like a narcotics haul, but the bin liner of fragrant foliage contained hops from Sue Madigan's Beckenham vine.

The club repaired to a cosy neighbourhood pub called The Beehive on the other side of the main road. A dynamic young Australian from Goondiwindi kindly accommodated our beverage needs ten minutes before the official – and curious – opening time of 3pm. But in the gentle autumn sunshine it was the perfect place for a spot of beer gardening. Life begins at the hop.

St@