Tower Bridge Road, 2017. Rick Poole, co-owner of Southwark’s Manze’s Pie and Mash stores, says the chain’s popular Tower Bridge Road branch is under threat as it struggles to keep up with the ever-changing times.
Bermondsey’s much-loved historic pie and mash shop is urging customers to get behind it as it fights to survive the gentrification of the borough.
“There’s always the threat [of closure] because over the years so many things have changed for us in Tower Bridge Road,” said Rick. “One of those things was the red route [which imposes parking and stopping restrictions on certain roads].
“You can drive up to the shop and not be in the red route – but as soon as you drive off you would be in it.
“Then they did away with any parking round the back of the shop, so we have to rely on people turning up in taxis or on foot. The parking is terrible.
They also did away with the market stalls, which were always a help to the shop. Pie and mash shops have always been near markets and so that was another nail in the coffin. The whole area is changing; it’s getting quite gentrified and we need to find ways to keep going.”
Manze's picture by Toby Jones.
I for one hope this never happens, so many memories in Manze’s and the Tower Bridge Road for me and many others. Strange how the people who have no attachment to these places want and try to make the changes. Manze’s and the Market is something they would probably have never used, not classy enough for them but it’s their loss, Pie & Mash was and still is the best. The Market when it was there was full of funny working-class people, working hard in all weathers to earn a crust for their families. Maybe those two words, Working-Class is, the problem in the area now? Of course, this is coming from an old Bermondsey Boy, who luckily doesn’t have to check his wallet to see if he can afford a bottle of Wine, but I haven’t forgotten where I come from, I haven’t forgotten my roots.
Good luck Rick hope it works out.