365-320 Dave & Sarah Staples Brampton Pie Shop, Crewe, Cheshire UK
Dave and Sarah's shop is the latest business to earn a decent crust in Crewe. It was Officially opened by Councillor Margaret Simon, who is Mayor for Cheshire East. This is the first francise for the Brampton Pie Company outside Cambridgeshire.
Slightly cheesily at the official opening Councillor Simon said, “It’s a great vote of confidence that Brampton’s has chosen to set up in Crewe and can only add to the town’s economic growth. I have also become a personal fan and regularly pop in for a pie at lunchtime, as they are located irresistibly close to Crewe’s Municipal Buildings.” I did not check with Dave and Sarah how many pies had in fact been purchased / consumed by the local elected elite, when I popped in to say hello to my old work mate.
Crewe is in fact slightly south of what I would probably term 'Pie Central' in the UK, Wigan. While justly famous for its 1970's Northern Soul 'Wigan casino' pies are a large slice of the Wigan economy.
The annual World Pie Eating Championship is usually held at Harry's Bar on Wallgate, Wigan. The competition has been held since 1992. In 2006, due to relentless pressure from the Vegetarian Society a vegetarian version was added.
In the 2006 competition, the meat and potato pies were all 12 cm (5 in) in diameter with a depth of 3.5 cm (1.5 in). In the separate vegetarian contest, the pies were 10 cm (4 in) by 3 cm (1.2 in).
In the 2007 competition, entries included a competitor's dog, Charlie, who had eaten 20 pies and damaged a further 10 the night before the competition, nearly jeopardising the event.
The last two years victors have been; Fred Wyatt, a 61-year-old warehouse packer won the 2008 Championship, which was broadcast live on the internet by pay-per-view. In 2009
Barry Rigby, a warehouseman won, eating a pie in a record 45 seconds.
Controversy was caused in 2005 when pies were imported (out of the Wigan area) from nearby Farnworth, Bolton and local Wigan pies were sidelined, resulting in a four-man strong protest. A similar situation arose in 2009, with pies being sourced from Adlington.
More controversy was caused in 2006 when the competition was changed (to meet government healthy-eating guidelines) from the number of pies consumed in a given time, to the fastest time to consume a single pie.
Wiganers are proud to be called pie-eaters, but the nickname is not thought to be because of their appetite for the delicacy. The name is said to date from the 1926 General Strike when Wigan miners were starved back to work before their counterparts in surrounding towns and were forced to eat "humble pie".
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