Take me home please
Goddard's of Greenwich
Season 2016-2017

In search of tradition they trod on 19th May 2017. They found it at the end of an alleyway off Greenwich Market in the form of ‘Goddards at Greenwich’ – a traditional pie and mash shop. With eels.

The word ‘traditional’ is emblazoned on Goddard’s bill of fare, along with the Union Flag in full flutter. Dare I say ‘fluster’ in this uncertain Breggsit era?

Closer inspection of the menu shows this to be a comprehensive pie shop offering a full range of fillings, but with the customary single/double/multiple portion combinations, and following the pay-at-the-counter, easy come, easy go format we know and love. Bottled beers and cider are also available, making this a well appointed watering hole for touristic hordes and local lunchers alike. If you want to see a pie and mash shop of the future, look no further.

Pie-packing postie and five-times League Champion Chris Charalambous graced us with a farewell appearance. He’s finally gone and done it – moved on up North where they eat Another Pie from a Different Kitchen.

As we were detained on the pavement by a small but determined film crew of two, a trowel of freemasonry’s finest hove into view to impart even more tradition to the occasion. [L–R: Jess Clift, David Langridge, Paul Gale, Roger Bray.]

The ceremonial procession to the counter and the ordering and dispatch of vittles was captured from the touchlines by cameraman Jamie Grant.

The superbly well-organised galley easily catered for our divergent orders along with the usual Friday lunchtime rush-hour.

Close up, table-side, of someone committing pastricide.

Under the guiding influence of ex-Londoner Paul Gale, these Cornish newbies took to the London delicacy like er, bricks to mortar.

The first course got the thumbs-up from the mighty Nick Everton.

Charalambous grinned bravely, philosophically, upon the sunset of a golden reign over the Pie and Mash League.

Andy Potter merely gurned.

Succulent chunks of juicy jellied eel were my choice for the side, but some opted for the stewed option with liquor.

The promise of being on film might explain why this was the best-attended p-n-m event to date. Shoehorned into Goddard’s newly-available ‘function room’ at the ground floor rear of the premises were 21 competitors from all walks of life. It was perfect for minimum disruption to this all-important end-of-season finale.

A collective focus settled upon the proceedings.

Serious consideration was given to the fare before us – colours, flavours and textures were cogitated, elucidated and debated. Before being shovelled down.

It was a single portion of mash which secured Terry Moore a top ten finish, just 2 points ahead of Chris Charalambous.

Sue Madigan finished up her food – and Season 16-17 – as recipient of the League's Wooden Spoon. It's the award for the lowest scoring average over two or more meetings in a season. There's no shame in that humble accolade as this club is all about being there.

These full-bodied fellows could not forego their fifteen minutes of fame: Peter ‘Ace of Pies’ Riley and cohort David ‘Gallons of Custard’ Pead, who fittingly took a table under the 'Beer, Lager and Cider' board.

Riley has recently set off on a culinary tangent as the ‘Big Souper’. It's a health-promoting odyssey into liquid nutrition which has even seen Pie and Mash Soup dribble unguently from the Ace’s ladle. [See here for the recipe.] His personal soundtrack is the 8-minute version of Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Souperman’ – just enough time to prep, blitz, season and serve. Hmmm, scrummy.

Here’s the other half of our docu-duo, Kitty Lam, looking a bit jelly-faced.

Big Al Smith looked very much at ease amid the clatter and chatter.

My old colleague Sandra Margolies could not resist the delicious but non-scoring accompaniment of minted mushy peas, clearing the platter with the acceptable exception of a burnt sliver of top crust.

Sweet afters came in many and varied combinations of crumble, custard, pie and ice cream. At Goddard’s your crumble comes in a buff ovenware set afloat on a sea of custard.

Enjoyment was had, although you can see from these pics there's a question of how best to tackle the custard on the underside of one’s crumble-crockery.

Mosse’s showboating solution was for the camera only – never should custard be sucked, snorted or injected.

Thankfully Judith Deschamps and Doug Benford gave the gathering a gobbet of gravitas.

Champie-on and champie-on-elect.

The final statistics started to fly in, along with the settling of a friendly rivalry between occasional participants Potter [20] and Cecil [12, from 17/03/17].

The Awards

Bronze: Nick Evans
Medal hopeful Ray Goldstone enjoyed a sparkling debut season but tragically mis-timed his holidays, allowing your scrivener to scoop the snug-fitting Third Place Bib.


Silver: Mike Goldwater
He couldn’t live up to his surname but he cruised into comfortable second place, a couple of P.B.'s during the season ensuring a career-high Silver Spoon.

Gold: Nick Everton
The supremacy of Nick Everton never looked in doubt after his 40-pointer in Round 10. Everton effectively gave the rest of the field a three-match head start before his debut at Lavender Hill last November. With 9 meets averaging 31 points under his comfortably adjusted belt, Pie and Mash's most coveted title was there for the taking by the burly West Londoner. The Realistic Clay Pies II Trophy – looking diminutive in the new champ’s grabbers – is now ensconced in the trophy cabinet of his gentlemen’s club.

Mister Bronze, Mister Gold and Mister Silver on the podium. Charalambous later joined us on the rostrum for a past-champs portrait.

Jamie ‘Bisto’ Grant and Kitty Lam.

Despite the apt colour of his splash-proof cagoule, Jamie’s no parsley preferrer. I assume only gravy trains stop at his home town of Princes Risborough.

Theresa and Steve are two of the tireless and obliging staff at Goddards.

As on many a previous occasion, supremo Jeff Goddard was at the helm of the good ship, and man, does he man it manfully.

The Club on the corner.

Goddard’s has always been superbly placed and well-appointed for a large party, but there was a general consensus among us that their traditional pies are a deal tastier than before, with improved pastry. If you haven’t been for a while, check them out for yourself. They’re also larger than your average pie, so you should be set up for a satisfying lunchtime treat.

Thence a short walk back down the alley to the Coach and Horses for a conveniently placed end-of-term drink.

Joyful and triumphant.

St@