24 October 2007

Lunch - Pie & Mash!

Something of a disappearing style of "fast food" being overtaken by foreign imports.

The traditional food of Londoners is sadly on the decline but real purveyors still exist.

Two can be found in Islington and geographically not that far apart.

Whilst all around them the trendification goes on in leaps and bounds, Clarkes in Exmouth Market in Clerkenwell is still there. Their neighbours are no longer local shops for local people but imported coffee shops and the paraphernalia of the more money than sense set. "I saw you coming" couldn't be more apt.

Luckily the oasis that is Clarkes is there for is that like to keep at least in touch with our heritage.

The other Islington Pie & Mash shop is Manzies in Chapel Market. A stone's throw from Upper Street and its New Labour connotations; all trendy with no real foundations. Honest grub for the working class or indeed anyone not afflicted with vegetarianism!

When I mention heritage. My paternal grandparents lived for over 40 years in Lower Morden. A neighbour, next door but one, was a Harrington. The owner of one branch of what my Gran called the Harrington "eel pie" business. Her son, Vic, moved in more recently! We are talking the 1980's here! He had inherited the other branch of the family's south London shops.

Where are they now? The one on the A3 in Battersea I went to a few times on the way to work on evening shift went AWOL a while back. I've heard that there is one in Tooting or Mitcham. Anyone know?

As Londoners it is our responsibility to preserve our customs and to help them co-exist with all the newcomers from the old empire and latterly Europe, both easy and west.

You have your mission.

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