We’ll miss them when they’re gone

One of London’s last remaining traditional pie and mash shops, Manze’s in Deptford, is expected to close down next year when its owner George Mascall retires to Norfolk.

George is the grandson of Michele Manze, an Italian who settled in London and founded a pie-shop dynasty. The Deptford shop opened in 1914 and is now Grade II listed, with original fixtures and furniture that have hardly changed in decades.

George has worked in the shop since 1980 and inherited it from his parents, who both died recently. He originally planned to be a tuba player, “but here I am 40 years later, still making pies…”. 

He added: “I’m looking forward to retiring, I’m not going to lie about that.”

Another branch of the family runs three pie and mash shops in Peckham, near Tower Bridge and in Sutton. Several other pie and mash shops have closed down in recent years, including local Deptford rival A.J Goddard, which served its last pie in 2018.

George holds the attractions of more recent culinary arrivals responsible for the decline of London’s traditional pit stops: “All those years ago, if you wanted a meal out or a takeaway it was fish and chips or pie and mash. There wasn’t Indian, Chinese, Thai or whatever – now you walk up and down the high street and every other shop is a takeaway food shop.”

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