Take me home please
Goddard's, Greenwich
Season 2014-2015

Pie and Mash Season 14-15 ended traditionally – in Goddard's recently opened but now well-established premises at the edge of Greenwich Market. It's a superb location for all things traditional and maritime. At the appointed hour of 13.11, we stepped aboard to discover a couple of benches reserved for us in the ship's bows.

Sue Madigan, Paul Gale and his brother Trevor were already at the oars . . . and rowing hard.

Here's a portrait of our first ever champion, Richard Lucas. On 28th April 1995, Lucas secured the Pie and Mash League Championship with 3 pies, 1 mash, 1 liquor and a cherry pie and custard in Clarke's of Exmouth Market. By today's standards that achievement seems almost quaint.

Alan Smith completed his 12,000-mile migration in good time to join us at the summer feeding grounds.

In the cockpit, Messrs Goldwater and Mosse lined up first course and main dish. Behind them Judith Deschamps was champing resolutely towards a season total of 98 – just 2 points shy of the Ladies' Record of 100 points, set by Denise Rouse last year.

The tell-tale plate of a Northerner – the delumptious accompaniment of mushy peas and gravy was just too difficult to resist for Ian Burr.

Tom Leader spent formative years in the Yorkshire latitudes, but for him pie, mash and liquor is in the blood. He bethought the stewed eels were but jellies warmed up . . .

. . . It's true they did leave something of a tangy trail across one's tastebuds.

We were reunited with Deep South Blues Yodeller Dodge Rogers and his charmonious companion in music and melody, Hazel Elliott. As ever, there was an opportunity to purchase his 'Pie n Mash n Liquor' – it was not seized. Unfortunately, members of the Pie and Mash Club are much more interested in digesting pastry and potato than poetry and prose; my own barely glimpsed reports are proof of that.

The only other representative of Lapis Magnes Lodge no. 5024 on this occasion was Andre De St Jorre, eager to imbibe of the ambrosial scoff before heading off to Grand Temple HQ. That's a 'Men United' badge on his lapel.

Though not a freemason, Brentford bicyclist Doug Benford is a renowned freethinker and freewheeler. His latest soundscape collaboration with sculptor Rob Ollins will incorporate everyday sounds from a variety of domestic kitchens, and the installation will be situated in I'Klectik Arts Cafe, Waterloo, London, later this year. But hey guys, how about taking the concept to a whole new level – a huge, slowly rotating monster mobile of 20-foot bronze pies hung from the roof of the Tate Modern Turbine Hall, accompanied by everyday sounds from London's pie and mash shops? Plus a cockney knees-up around the old joanna with pearlies in the foyer. What art!

The sphere of popular music was represented by these lads, sitting just across the way from the Pie and Mash Club. Judging by the hefty, gravy-laden platters and supercharged fizzy drinks this band is a heavily-amplified power trio.

Here is the point at which custard began to flow magmatically over deep strata of rhubarb crumble and apple pie crusts. Alan Smith tackled these geological adversities like a true master of the hemispheres.

After which the atmosphere was pregnant with anticipation. People were getting tired, emotional and in Doug's case, lachrymose.

The wasp-wigs were the innovation of E. Mosse esq. who had them hidden up his jumper. Each syrup raises a quid for the Wasps-backed Brain Tumour Charity. Luckily there were no wasps in the wigs as we doled out the Pie and Mash League Awards. In reverse order:

[Wooden Spoon] Jean Cunliffe with 48 from 6, i.e. the league's lowest consistent average at just 8 points. Judith D. accepts.

[3rd place Bib] Goldwater

[2nd place Silver Mash Spoon] Evans

[Cham-pie-on] Charalambous. Dodge Rogers accepts.

 

We call it 'Realistic Clay Pies II', in honour of the never-recovered trophy last seen in the paws of Dave Arkell on 14th May 2010.

This is the handiwork of expert ceramicist Alicia Logan, who bravely accepted the new commission just 4 weeks before. Yes, the purist will baulk at the decidedly scoop-like rendition of mash, but taken as a whole, it's a superbly weighted and artfully crafted foodscape on an awesome indigo backdrop. All I can say is you'll want to get your hands on it.

Elsewhere in the shop, it was business as usual for the staff. Both ground and first floor refectories were operating near capacity, though there was time for Goddard's dinner lady Jo [below] to take her own lunch break.

Exeunt omnes.

Jeff Goddard came out to salute us, and got embroiled in a conversation about rhubarb, mushrooms and Chislehurst Caves with one of our notable historians, Sue Madigan.

Greenwich offers a variety of walks . . .

Once across the Pie Meridian, the remainder of the ensemble congregated in the beer garden of the fabulous 'Plume of Feathers' for quafilication and quenchment. Ed Mosse brought headgear to suit a range of mindsets.

Cheers 14-15, it's been a helluva trip . . .

Midriver, westward bound.

St@