pooles4Following yesterday’s post extolling the virtues of Galloways, I got a tweet off @IlfordDaveSCFC (married to a Wiganer @catalinar) who had excitedly spotted a box of Pooles meat and potato pies in the freezer aisle in Beckton Tesco’s. Thus making today’s pie of the day a shoe in.

Far be it from me to dampen the enthusiasm of exiled Northerners unearthing proper meat ‘n’ tater within the sound of Bow bells but the “since 1847” on the box has a story behind it with much more recent history.

You see, Pooles Pies were the stuff of legends. Between them and Galloways they’re probably the inspiration for writing the book. They used to sell them in every corner shop in Wigan in hot glass display counters. And there used to be a little general store on every street corner in Springfield, Wigan when I was growing up.


Pooles also had cafes in town, indeed the remnants of one still exist opposite Wigan North Western station. They were quite dark inside but overflowing with character as old girls wearing traditional pinnies served up plates overloaded with pie, peas and gravy. 

And as for those pies: simply heavenly! They were never the biggest but both the meat and potato and meat were packed with a rich, sloppy filling that poured out delivering such intense flavours they really could not be matched.

So the story goes, that Dave Whelan bought them out and didn’t pay up for the recipe and sadly the “original” Pooles Pies seem lost in the annals of time. Subsequently they went bust last year and were bought out again by Countrystyle foods in Yorkshire.

They’re still not bad though, a bigger size now with a wide range of flavours including a new range of gourmet pies; my only gripe that the crust is a bit crumbly: keep the Gaviscon on stand by.


There’s another 313 pies like the above featured in Life of Pies. If you want to order a copy of the book for just £9.99 plus postage please click this link to order www.lifeofpies.co.uk/buy

You’ll receive it in around er……..69 days!

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No. 2 Deacons of Westoning

No. 3 Murdochs Macaroni Pie

No. 4 Greenhalghs Vindaloo Pie

No. 5 Pieminster Shamrock Pie

No.6 The Crusty Cob

No.7 The French Oven Minced Beef and Mushy Peas Pie

No.8 The Rolling Pin

No. 9 Walkers Pork Pie 

No.10 Potts Pies

No.11 Scouse Pie

No.12 Dickinson & Morris Creamy Chicken Pie

No.13 Plested Pies of Southampton

No.14 Haffners Meat and Potato Pie

No.15 Treflach Farm Pork & Apple Pie

No.16 TJ Parry-Jones & Daughters

No.17 Wienholts Steak Pie

No.18 Peggys of Ambleside

No.19 Crusty Pie Company

No.20 Elliotts of Northampton

No. 21 Lathams of Southport

No.22 The Killie Pie

No.23 Galloways Meat and Potato Pie