Take me home please
Cooke's, 150 Hoxton Street N1
Season 2015-2016

Hoxton Street was the scene of important business this October 16th last. Select members of Lapis Magnes Lodge No. 5024 joined with the Pie and Mash Club in the destruction of 37 pies and assorted sundries in the roomy refectory of Joe and Kim Cooke. Veteran clubber Lucas's button badge seemed entirely appropriate to the episode, which could be entitled 'Wafty Trowels'.

Among the delegates was notable 'History Boy' Ben Hayes [below, centre], last listed on our ledgers in Sep. 2014. From his new office in Wharf Road, Cooke's is well within the lunchbreak radius.

We got a grisly glimpse of Chris Charalambous's fearsome laughter-gear as he made short work of the fish course.

Ed Mosse has been feasting all month on World Cup Rugger, hence his sporting attire. If Pie Conversions were written into the Union Rulebook, England might have had a shout at the Web Ellis Trophy . . .

You'll be relieved to hear ladies were present; in addition to Judith and Jean, Katharine Schopflin swung by with Doug Benford for an eastend lunch.

Gorgeous.

Hayes soon made history of his pies.

Champion-of-yesteryear Rikk Lucas takes a more methodical approach to the task at hand. His trademark series of relentless, reductive strokes is based on the T'ai Chi Chu'an Sword form, for he is the Pie and Mash Master of Short Weapons.

If we handed out gongs for gusto, Goldwater would grab, er, gold. But we don't.

Here are two men of the north who have embraced our stodgy southern foodstuffs. On the near right, Grice hasn't graced our table for some 11 months – that's the hectic world of contract accountancy for you. This Preston-born Brixtonian is a big fan of Lavender Hill's Golden Pies Shop.

On the far right, Ian Burr contemplates the dales of his youth whilst demolishing an escarpment of mash.

Ed, Al Smith, Judith and Jean in the middle aisle.

Regular readers of this column will know that Judith Deschamps is another of our eminent historians.

An epoch has passed since we last clapped eyes on the craggy visage of the gentleman seen here splashing vinegar onto his ambrosials. Christopher 'CF' Fagg lives, breathes, eats and, er, digests history thanks to an exciting new role with English Heritage as 'historian-on-call'. I say give this man a Thames barge, a megaphone and a boatful of paying punters and it won't be long before we're back in the castle-building business again.

Comfortably installed in the northwest corner of this high-ceilinged dining room were a band of brothers; [l to r] Trevor Gale, Paul Gale, Bill Moule and Peter Moule. I believe the lunch was as well-suited as they were for an afternoon of business at Freemason's Hall.

There were 8 fruit pies available. Of this finite fact we were made aware by the shattering tones of Kim Cooke: 'Who wants afters?' A few minutes later, the cherry-lava pies came through from the kitchen. You can have them with ice cream – or not.

Jean Cunliffe's noble mission of the day was to transport an entire family meal back to Eden Park for neighbours-in-need. Bravo Jean.

Colleagues comparing notes. In a nutshell, the overall impression was favourable.

Joe Cooke looked well at ease at the big boys' table – turns out he's a trowel-wafter too!

The dinner ladies of F. Cooke, Hoxton.

The working man's appetite was plated, salted and sated.

Behind the bottles of Vinney, old black-and-white blue eyes peered out picturesquely:

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up – and didn't spit it out
I swallowed the lot, and vomited not.
I did it pie way.

Pavement assembly, N1.

There followed a picturesque perambule through the extensive hinterland of Hoxton in search of a quiet watering hole.

The Wenlock Arms. Bullseye.

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