Pork pie on Grandma's front step, a Short Story and happy memories

This is me at 8  years old... cute yeh..
This is me at 8 years old... cute yeh..
Bradford's famous Lister Mill. Heart of the Wool empire of Bradford
Bradford's famous Lister Mill. Heart of the Wool empire of Bradford
Traditional pork pie
Traditional pork pie
The white rose of Yorkshire
The white rose of Yorkshire | Source

A shared memory

This hub is not about making a fast buck, an easy few quid, it is writing for writing's own sake, and to share a little story with those who wish to read it. I hope it raises a smile or two as well... Tony

Childhood in Yorkshire.

One of my earliest memories of childhood is sitting on Grandma’s front step eating a meat pie. Grandma didn’t have a back step, but the worn yet perfectly clean step was always referred to as the front step. The edges of the step each week were clearly marked after a good scrub with a block of soft stone that left a neat edge to it. [the stones were called ‘Donkey Stones’] From here I was to take many journeys. The step overlooked the tiny front yard and the middins along the ‘muck-road side’. Opposite was a row of tiny cottages, all of which had been family homes but at that time had all been converted into garages. Since this time they have been converted back again. Granddad stabled his Standard eight van in one of them, as well as surplus household utensils. One I remember was grandma’s now redundant Peggy tub and posser. After much persuasion granddad had finally been nagged into buying one of the new electrical tub washers that were just beginning to be every woman’s dream.

At the far end of the row in a low roofed cottage was a furniture maker and next to him was my favourite shop in the whole village, the meat pie makers. This gentleman’s meat pies were a work of art and no modern advancement could every reproduce their flavour or beauty. The savoury meat was a gastraunaught’s dream, the heavy brown crust fit for any king. The smell, so heavenly drifted along the street almost every day and I never got tired of it.

My main mode of travel at this time was a tricycle with a handy metal box with a hinged lid between the rear wheels. It meant that I could be sent on a whole host of errands by grandma, either to our green grocers shop along the main road, or perhaps to Rushworth’s the bakers for a loaf for tea. The box also meant that I could collect warm pies on my return. This particular culinary work of art would be taken back to grandma’s step after handing over 3d [three pence old money] and there it would be devoured with all the enthusiasm of any appreciative three year old gourmet.

If you are not familiar with this type of hot pastry pie then I can only sympathise.

In the lid as I called it, the upper crust to most people there was a convenient hole where the hot gravy was poured in. It was after one such visit that an event occurred which was always to be related by the family at those times we all got together to exchange such memories.

I had peddled back along the muck road and taken up my usual spot on the step with my steaming hot pie. I had watched the butcher lovingly pour the hot gravy into the hole in the crust, and then I was away to my perch. The pie was on one of grandma’s plates and I drank the heavenly nectar back out of the hole. The savoury taste was wonderful, so much so that I wanted more. Placing the pie back into the boot of my tricycle I returned to the pie makers. Never have I been back’ards at comin f’rards as they, so I re-entered the pie shop, pie in hand.

**“Nar then lad what’s up wi thee?” the towering, jovial butcher bellowed at me over the din of his machinery. “ is summat up wit’pie?”

“ No there’s nowt up wi’it, I was just wonderin’ if tha could fill it up agheean for me.”

**For those who don’t speak Yorkshire// “Now then lad, do you have a problem?”

“No there is nothing wrong with the pie, I was just wondering if you could fill it up with gravy again please.”

A markerbd6 -
Bradford, West Yorkshire BD6, UK
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Comments 14 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

No fair! You leave us hanging! What did the butcher say to that comin f’rards boy?!

Well-written piece--it seemed I could see you in a little cap, a white shirt, dark shorts, shoes and socks, peddling your trike along the way, and I don't think you mentioned your clothes at all. I think I smell a savory pie, as well.

Voted up--but I'm waiting on the butcher's response! :)

tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire Author


thank you for you comment and interest.

As I remember the butcher in question I'm sure he would have topped me up. I'm delighted you enjoyed the piece.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Hi, Tony

A great story of childhood, innocence - and above all, quality food appreciation! There is not a lot foodwise can beat a good quality, old-fashioned meat pie.


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire Author

HI Gordon

thanks for dropping by. Do you know I can still smell that butcher's shop, which was mostly a pie maker's really. wonderful aromas which is probably where my real intererst in food started.


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stessily 5 years ago

Tony, A charming childhood memory which you have narrated so well that vivid images flow endlessly in tandem with your words!

You set the scene wonderfully with this image: "My main mode of travel at this time was a tricycle with a handy metal box with a hinged lid between the rear wheels. It meant that I could be sent on a whole host of errands by grandma. . . The box also meant that I could collect warm pies on my return."

Fortunately your quest for "more" was the opposite of Oliver Twist's hunger for gruel! But then we are talking about incomparably delicious meat pie gravy.:-)

My nostalgic memory of my beloved paternal grandmother, Grandma Rose, was being entrusted with money to walk a few blocks with my sister Deedee (Derdriu here on hubpages) to the corner, old-fashioned bakery to buy fresh potato rolls. I loved everything about that expedition, before during and afterwards! (We fondly referred to Grandma Rose as Grandma Blue Eyes, as my maternal grandmother, Laura, had brown eyes and thus was referred to by my mum as Grandma Brown Eyes.)

Three years old, imbued with the wanderlust of travel afforded by a tricycle, and undaunted in pursuing your dreams of "more" gravy!

All the votes!

tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire Author


It is odd how some memories persist I don't know about the melting clocks of Salvador's mind but still they hang around the more dusty corners of one's grey cells.

I love the way you distinguished between grandmas. How far is a few blocks? I hear it often on American films, but I have no idea what it means.

good luck. Tony

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stessily 5 years ago

Tony, A block is a measure of distance between two streets. So, for example, the distance from 15th Street to 17th Street would be 2 blocks.

USA being USA means there is no consistency between states, so one block may equal any where from about 1/20 mile (80 meters) to about 1/10 mile (160 meters).

What do you use instead of blocks?

Kind regards, Stessily

tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Hi Stessily

thank you for the information, I guessed it was that, because you call streets by a number where as we still call them by romantic names or some historical name related perhaps to the trades carried on there. Some are not so obvious, like the famous 'shambles' in York which was all butchers. It is the viking influence that the name is derived from. We would say 'it's a couple of hundred yards down the road, or whatever, you know then just how far it is, as long as the teller knows.

Or we say take the second on the left or right or something, again maybe with a guess at the yardage.

nice chatting, I look forward to hearing from you again.

best wishes Tony

martin the chimneysweep 5 years ago

....ee by 'eck Tony lad,ah cud tell jus bi lookin at thi that tha started eytin pahs at a reight early age!

tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire Author

eeyup Martin

thar's reight an all, there's nowt t'beat a gud pie.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

I enjoyed this story from your childhood so much. Thanks for sharing it. The ending, of course, brought a big smile to my face.

While there were no meat pies in my childhood, every morning my grandma made light and delicious buttermilk biscuits (as eaten in the southern USA, so they weren't cookies or pastries).

She would take a still-warm biscuit from the flat cast-iron pan she called a "spider", poke a hole in one side nearly through to the other side, tuck in a bit of butter to melt, then pour in sorghum syrup right up to the edge and hand it to me, no plate or napkin needed. I was given this "biscuit-and-syrup sandwich" as my breakfast whenever I visited her.

I usually always took it outdoors and either sat on the front steps or in the porch swing while I ate it. Need I say that I always went back for a second one? This is truly a sensory memory for me. I can almost taste that syrupy biscuit just thinking about it!


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire Author

The biscuit sounds great, not that I know what sorghum syrup is; but I can imagine you swinging and eating it. Here in the early 50's sugar and some other things were still rationed, but there was more and more home grown things available.

you've been really busy with your comments, I do appreciate it. I look forward to us exchanging comments again.

best wishes tony

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Derdriu 4 years ago

Tony, What a charming, endearing, unforgettable story about childhood experiences in pushing the boundaries with seconds! In particular, I like how you do errands for which you get so wonderfully rewarded as with a custom-made meat pie just for you. Do you know what was in the gravy? Is it possible for you to share the recipe in an upcoming hub?

Thank you for sharing, voted up + all.

Respectfully, Derdriu

tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author


Some things just stick in your head, whilst others pass down stream without a ripple. The recipe for the pies and the gravy are in my hot crust pie, which you have read now. I would like to go back to those days, life was so simple and straight forward.

many, many thanks


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