I recently found myself running a relative to Leigh Infirmary for a hospital appointment, one that would require a bit of wait time. Well, what is there to do in Leigh with said wait time?

I suppose a man’s got to eat for a start…..

I have tried out quite a few pie shops in Leigh and the surrounding areas but my knowledge is by no means comprehensive. I’m getting compelled to Dawsons Pies of Atherton cos they are amazing and there’s also Sargents which is close by. I think I have had Sargents in the past in a pub in Standish (a pub that gives away pies on a Saturday night is always a winner in my eyes) and I am more than familiar with Dawson’s Pies, the only question is whether since re-opening, they are of the same high standard.

There’s also Taylor’s marvellous peppery pies, as previously reviewed on here by yours truly, so you could say that the locals of Leigh are spoilt for choice on the pie front.

Clapham’s are an unknown quantity. My new book will feature not 314 pies but 1,000. Whereas I’d never eat that many personally, getting up to half should be the bare minimum, so that is 186 new pies to try over the next 12 months or so in order to make this project real. So, on we go.

Clapham’s is a very traditional bakery, situated just on the periphery of Leigh town centre. It appears that there may have been some kind of incident a day or two before my visit, as the windows appear to have been boarded up, but the shop is open, so I venture in undeterred.

There’s two blokes in front of me, clad in work gear. I’m always curious to earwig on their order, in case of any local culinary tip offs, and on this occasion it appears that “minced beef pie on a barm please” is the preferred option.

A meat and potato pie is priced at ONE ENGLISH POUND, I am also taken aback by the meat pies, which look small and deep and very reminiscent of Dawson’s down the road in Atherton / Tyldesley.

Other pies available include steak pies, minced beef and pasties (meat and potato and also cheese and onion). The shop is a bit sparse but there is steady flow of pies and sandwiches coming from the kitchen.

I opt for the meat and potato and a meat pie. My little duo arrive in a paper bag, which is hot to the touch, and the smell coming off them, once I am back in my car is breathtaking. A beautiful gluten-ny, gluttony, buttery, lardy pastry, injecting right up into my nostrils.

I decamp to the car park of BJ’s Bingo across the road to tuck in, and it really doesn’t take long at all to devour this pair.

The meat and potato is not a huge pie, but what do you want for a quid? The pastry is wonderfully soft with a firm crust lip. The filling is predominantly mashed potato, with a few clumps of mince thrown in. The flavour is sweet and gentle, with none of the fiery pepper seasoning, I have come to expect from round these parts, the main heat comes from the fresh potato filling, which is burning hot yet delicious.

And with that it is one down, one to go….

The finer details
Date: 7th August 2021
Price: £1.00 for a meat and potato pie
Address: 65 Chapel St, Leigh WN7 2PB
Website: https://www.claphamsbakery.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/claphamsbakery/
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You can buy a copy of Life of Pies here for just £4.99 plus P&P