Just a pie-fect day!   




Artisan Class


1st Honley Village  Butchers – pork, chorizo, goats cheese & sweet chilli sauce 
2nd Keith Dyson – full English breakfast
3rd Honley Village Butchers – pork, chicken & stuffing
4th J. Thomas of Helmsley 
5th E. Middlemiss – pork, stuffing & Yorkshire chutney


Traditional Class


1st Hoffman’s of Wakefield 
2nd Wilson’s of Crossgates, Leeds 
3rd Broster’s of Lindley, Huddersfield.
4th Honley Village Butchers, Huddersfield.


Just a pie-fect day! PDF Print E-mail
Pie Club History

1944aOur dales trip started at the Old Bridge Inn with a fantastic pie (from Michael Thewlis, Golcar) and a couple of pints (except for the two drivers).  We set off for the dales at around 7.00pm and as we approached our destination about an hour and a half later we started looking for somewhere to eat.  A mobile ‘phone discussion between the two cars centred on the choice between fish & chips or a pub meal.  We opted for the pub, and  Mark recommended an up-market hostelry in Malham.  We parked up but it was a short stay, as we received a rude welcome (could it have been our attire?) and were told we would have to wait ages for a meal.

“Not exactly meet and greet at ASDA, is it?” said John, wryly. As we were nearly at our destination we decided to go straight to the ‘hut’ and leave our cars so that we could have a few pints.  We parked up in the field and Mark opened the back of his Land Rover.  At this point it became clear that Kev, who had never been camping before (perhaps he is too butch?), had rather over-estimated on the provisions front, and to everyone’s derision he produced a 25 litre plastic container of fresh water.  This, we thought, was a little over the top for one night.

1949a On second thoughts, we decided to postpone the unloading and set off to walk to the nearest pub.   In this remote Yorkshire countryside we were disgusted to encounter white van yobs, who threw sandwiches in our directions from their passing vehicle as we walked.  At the pub, we ordered some food ( 4 lots of beef and ale pie) and watched the regulars - from a safe distance as most looked like they had been released on licence!  1957aUnusually for us, we were probably the most normal amongst the customers.  On closer inspection one or two bore uncanny resemblance to the famous and infamous.   “Hey look”, said Mark, “ Fidel Castro’s here”,  “ and isn’t that Jeffrey Archer?”  Mark looked round at the number of heavily bearded drinkers “I think I’ll shave mine off” he joked as he got up to go to the gents.  He came back to report that he had seen “ a huge bloke with a capped tee-shirt” wrestling with the condom machine.  When the huge bloke returned to his girlfriend on the next table we agreed it would be prudent not to engage with him or his girlfriend, who was repeatedly shouting “oi” to a sheepdog at the other end of the room.

At this point we were distracted by a number of dog-fights which had broken out in the pub, and we decided to make our way back to the hut as we had an early start and a full breakfast to face the next morning, not to mention our mountain challenge.  “I’m not sure I can manage it up Pen-y-ghent tomorrow” said Kevin.  “yes” said John, “you’ll be knackered carrying all that water”, and we all guffawed at the image this conjured.

I1959at was pitch black walking back along the road and were it not for the red & white light provided by John’s 99 pence torch we may have missed the entrance to the field in which the hut was situated. We crossed the field, using only sheep-shit as our guide, and Kev (who had grown accustomed to 5 star hotels in Benidorm) was already stating to doubt the wisdom of his first environmentally friendly overnight accommodation experience. Only when Mark opened the door did we realise how wonderful it was built in 1933 and superbly maintained, it provided simple accommodation with a touch of ‘boys own annual’ nostalgia. It was after midnight, and the atmospheric dim lighting from the gas mantles would have been almost reverential, had we not then witnessed the sight of Pete’s underpants, or to be accurate the sight of his ‘a**e hanging out of the most enormous hole.

  For those of you who follow the pie club diaries, you will by now be well aware of1975a Peter’s Yorkshire thrift, but even his closest mates were astonished at this ‘display’.  Undaunted by the abuse and raucous laughter, Pete, who is never lost for words, explained that the standard underpants design was not ample enough for him in the front department, and the material had given way at the weakest point.  “ You’re probably a Matalan man” he said scathingly to Kevin, “I need M&S – they’re more generous on the tackle front!”  This banter was great fun – it was a shame to bring the day to an end, but we were ready to fall into our bunks.  Kev, thinking he may need to respond to nature’s call, took one of the bottom bunks.  It was a very warm night, and safe in the knowledge we were in the middle of no-where, we left the bunk-house door wide open…. “Is that a wake-up call?” said Kev, as a loud fart resounded on the stroke of 7.00am, and just as all boys delight in demonstrating their talent for controlled flatulation, there followed a trumping contest, displaying such tone and variety as to fully merit the ‘dawn chorus’ tag given by Kev as it reached its whimpering conclusion.  It was, as ever, no contest, as John’s farts are legendary in both volume and potency – even Kevin was amazed – “for God’s sake, John”, he kept saying.

1989a 1982aWhen the air cleared, most of us agreed it had been a piefect night’s sleep, but Kev did not share this view.  In the dim gaslight and after 3 pints of Black Sheep, he had failed to notice the pile of mattresses and had spent the night on rough canvas. “This is my first time camping and that was the worst night’s sleep I’ve ever had.  My back is full of ridges!”  The ensuing discussion of who had survived the night without a pee interval was a reminder of the sad truth that the dreaded prostate issue was looming, and was already closer for some than others. “Anyone fancy a cup of black coffee?” said Mark.  Kevin had brought 25 litres of water but no-one had brought any milk. “Can’t you get milk out of a sheep, Mark?” asked Kevin optimistically (Mark drives a Land Rover).  “Oh, yes”, replied Mark sarcastically, “ dressed in my underpants and feeling a sheep’s udder not likely!”1999a  John suddenly realised he was due in work that day.  “ I’d better ring and let them know I’m not coming in,” he said, and he took out his mobile ‘phone.  “No chance”, said Mark, “ there’s no reception out here.” This observation triggered a number of reflections on the simple beauty of our situation.  The hut, and its beautiful scenic surroundings, had a timeless feel.  A black & white photograph hung in a simple frame above the door, with the words “ John Moulson, who in 1933 built this hut”.  As Pete observed, generations of middle-class walkers (the hut was owned by a walking club) had looked after this bunkhouse and, just like us, would have discussed world events, like the rise of Hitler, and many others over the course of the last 70 years. Old copies of ‘climber’ magazine, and supplies of unused Izal medicated toilet paper were reminders of another era, prompting nostalgic discussions about anoraks, canvas tents and memories of childhood.

2002a The reflective mood was suddenly disturbed by another tremendous fart, which shook the hut and brought us sharply back to reality – a group of beer-supping pork pie enthusiasts who are a world apart from Edmundson and Hillary, except perhaps in our pursuit of new challenges! 2004aIt was a fantastic Saturday morning in the hottest summer on record - glorious sunshine and beautiful views.  For the first time we saw the hut in all it glory – set in the heart of God’s own county, it even had a small garden which was protected from the sheep by a small fence.   “Baa, baa all through the night” complained Kevin, “ and in the morning they’re silent!” In the garden was a thoughtfully positioned bench where walkers could sit and admire the views, including the famous Ribblehead Viaduct.  The bench had a huge padlock holding it down (who would come to the middle of nowhere to steal a bench?).  “That’s what you call a f*** off lock” said Peter, who was clearly impressed.  Rucksacks packed, we set off for some breakfast, but only after Kev had tipped 25 litres of fresh water on the field.  As we approached the café, Pete exclaimed, “ I’ve lost my wallet!”   “ We’ve never seen your wallet”, quipped John, in a flash.


We had a superb full English breakfast at the Pen-y-ghent café in Horton-in-Ribblesdale to set us up for our physical challenge, and off we went, Mark leading the way up towards the peak.  Kevin clearly had underestimated the scale of the challenge.  As we approached the final scale to the peak, he complained “ you told me a pack of lies – you said it was round the hill, not up a bloody mountain!”  We decided to rest for a cool drink and sit down to plan our ascent route.  “The trick is to find a spot with no sheep turds on it”, said John.

2043a Kevin, who wanted to demonstrate how much planning he had put into this expedition, almost impressed us all when he produced a map – indeed several copies- to plan our ascent on the peak.  There was a mixture of incredulity and rib-splitting laughter when we realised that what he described as a ‘map’ was in fact a leaflet of Britain’s finest attractions (scale 1-20).  “I thought it would come in useful”, said Kevin.  Amazingly, the path up Pen-y-ghent was not on it! We eventually made it to the top and stood to admire the views and reflect on our modest achievement, before making our way down again.  Richard, who was under strict instructions to get home by 2.00pm for a Silver Wedding do, realised that this was looking pretty unlikely, and decided to run the last mile and a half downhill  (a tad unwise given his limited sporting prowess and the searing heat), and to his own amazement he managed it.  Peter, not to be out-done, tried in vain to catch him. With everyone back on flat ground, a celebratory fish & chip lunch was followed by a trip to Farmhouse Fayre in Skipton for the Saturday pie fetch. Summing up the two days, our president (Kev) said, contentedly, “ Two lots of pies and a walk over Pen-y-ghent.  How more healthy can you get!”

2014a 2018a 2016a

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