A bakery in Bolton run by ex-offenders has been left flying high after winning big at the 2022 British Pie Awards.
Proving that everyone deserves a second chance, the bakery scooped up four gongs at this year’s prestigious ceremony held inside Melton Mobrawy’s 12th Century St Mary’s Church, also known as the ‘Cathedral of Pies’.
Cleaning up, the team of ex-offenders impressively won the overall vegan category with their chickpea curry pasty – leaving them feeling completely ‘ecstatic’.
HM Pasties were also awarded silver for their cheese and onion pie and twos bronzes for their traditional pastry and creamy vegan leek and mushroom pies.
In a heartfelt post shared to social media, the bakery said that achieving such recognition felt like a ‘validation of the work of the whole team’.
“This is such wonderful news for everyone in the bakery team,” they wrote.
“Four of our products to be recognised in this way, judged by experts, is such a validation of the work of the whole team.
“We couldn’t be prouder and thank everyone who has wished us well, bought our products and supported our journey so far.”
HM Pasties, set up by former prisoner Lee Wakeham in 2018, offers a lifeline to those in need of work experience after leaving prison.
Using ingredients from local prison farms wherever possible, the bakery makes delicious Cornish pasties and pies.
They weren’t the only ones to win big, either, with a total of six different Greater Manchester pie makers taking home gongs this year.
Ate Days A Week (Stockport), HM Pasties (Bolton), Great North Pie Co, Patel’s Pies (Manchester), Fraser’s Butchers (Bolton) and Baldy’s Pies (Wigan) all scooped up impressive comments from the judges this year – proving chefs in the north west more than know what they’re doing in the pie department.
Ate Days A Week, which has only been churning out pies for 18 months now, took home four awards – most notably, a prestigious Gold for their Lamb Pie Of The Tiger.
The team also took home silver awards for their Madrassive Attack and Ox Cheek Pie of the Tiger pies and scored a bronze for their Salt and Pepper Chicken Pie Of The Tiger.
Speaking on the win, owner and chef Andy James said: “Proper proper mad to even conceive that we’ve not even been making or selling pies for 18 months yet and that’s 5 awards in that time.
“I’m seriously proud of what we’re doing and where we’re going. Next year, we’ll be a class winner I promise that!”
Local favourites, longstanding winners and now, also, judges at the awards, the Great North Pie Company alsos did well – picking up two more awards to add to their collection.
Their Corned Beef and Potato and Chicken and Bovril Balti pies both earned Bronze awards at this year’s event, spelling good things to come for their Manchester pie shop – also due to open in the city later this year.
Elsewhere, Patel’s Pies, founded during the pandemic by ex-scaffolder Steve Patel, won two silver awards for their Aloo Matar and Chickpea and Paneer pies.
HM Pasties Bolton neighbours Frasers Butchers also got an acknowledgement, receiving three awards in total: a silver award for their pork pie and Huntsman pie, and a bronze for their classic meat and potato pie.
Meanwhile Wigan’s Baldy’s Pies, not to be overlooked, picked up a gold award for their Fisherman’s Pie.
The team was also awarded with a bronze gong for their Big Jim pie – comprised of bone marrow, braised beef shin, confit onion and pistachio crumb.
Further afield, the Cheshire Pie Company and Glossop’s butchers Mettrick’s also picked up awards at the 2022 competition.
Woman who protested alone outside Chanel show labelled ‘a queen’
A woman who staged a lone protest outside the Chanel show in Manchester last week has been inundated with praise from locals.
The woman was positioned on High Street, mere metres from where a-list celebrities and high-fashion models were parading for the fashion giant.
The fact that the exclusive event took place in Manchester has been considered a huge coup for the city, and one which will have had a significant economic impact.
But the woman outside the Chanel show chose the opportunity to highlight the stark contrast between the luxurious fashion show and the harsh reality of many living in poverty in our city.
She held a sign that read: “Over 250,000 children living in poverty in Manchester. Higher than UK average.
“Manchester has one of the highest level of homelessness. 1 in 74 people. 7407 and rising!
“Where have you hidden the homeless Andy??”
Speaking about Chanel, she told photographer Project Certi: “No one was consulted about this. It’s not for the people of Manchester. You can come here if you want a celebrity spot but that’s not for you.
“This sort of thing moves around the world, they’ll have it somewhere weird and wonderful every year, and this is kind of like, capitalising on the working class history of Manchester.
“The poster’s got, ironically, the suffragettes on it, you know, people fighting for rights. They’re using images from the Hacienda, they’re using music of Joy Division and New Order, all of that what made Manchester on the music map all came out working class struggle. It all came during Thatcher and the attack on the working class, which is exactly what we’re seeing now with 12 years of austerity.”
She also highlighted the man who died on the street in the Gay Village on a night where temperatures dropped, and the ‘cr*ppy B&Bs’ that homeless people find themselves housed in.
Speaking of the impact of Chanel on Manchester though, Deputy Leader Luthfur Rahman OBE said: “The impact of the decision by CHANEL to hold its prestigious Métiers d’Art show here in Manchester is something that is already resonating with people around the globe and is going to continue to be felt by the city for quite some time.
“It speaks volumes about the regard in which Manchester is already held across the world, but more importantly it also sends a clear signal to international businesses and the international visitor economy that Manchester is the place to be.
“It’s impossible at this stage to even begin to quantify the economic impact hosting the event has had on the city, or to put a figure on it. The true impact will involve not just the direct spend and income generated within the city over these last few weeks leading up to and during the event, but also the longer-term benefits that will come from the massive boost to Manchester’s profile that CHANEL has given the city, that in turn translates into more visitors coming to see what Manchester has to offer, and more businesses choosing to invest here.
“It has been without doubt quite a moment for Manchester, not least coming as it does off the back of many other significant moments for the city this year, that together place Manchester in absolute pole position on the world’s stage for the years ahead.”
In the comments on Project Certi’s video, one person wrote: “Thank you for giving this woman a platform.”
Another wrote: “Whoever this woman is, she’s a legend. As are you for capturing it.”
Someone else posted: “I have so much respect for this woman, I’d love to meet her and let her know she’s not alone in her feelings towards this.”
One comment said: “She is such a queen, bang on with everything she’s saying.”
Unexpected Manchester city centre street named ‘one of the most polluted’ in the UK
A new fieldwork study has revealed the worst air polluted city centre streets in the UK, and a popular Manchester thoroughfare has been named one of the worst.
Except, it’s really not the street you’d expect it to be.
For some bizarre reason, despite the fact it’s a pedestrianised commercial shopping street in the heart of Manchester city centre, Market Street has been named one of the most polluted streets in the country.
Recordings were taken at high streets in the 25 largest towns and cities in the country over a two-week period, and the results found that 76% are exceeding the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended annual level of air pollution, The Hoot reports.
The study enlisted a planning consultancy to collect samples using an air quality monitoring device at 11am on either a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday to ensure as much comparability as possible between the locations.
The study comes after a poll of 2,000 adults found that 36% have concerns over the health of the community due to air pollution, or the health of their family (26%) or themselves (25%).
Speaking on the shocking findings from the new study, Sam Clarke, who is the chief vehicle officer at the sustainable energy business, said: “With millions set to hit the high street this festive period, we wanted to look at the state of the nation’s air quality in the locations people will be doing most of their Christmas shopping.
“It’s shocking to see that so many were above the World Health Organisation’s annual recommendations for air pollution, and that one in 10 shoppers are even planning on foregoing the highstreets altogether due to air quality.”
20 streets in the UK were over the recommended World Health Organisation recommended levels of 5 µg/m3).
The Most-Polluted Streets in the UK
Stoke-On-Trent (Parliament Street) – 11.7
Newcastle (Northumberland Street) – 11.5
Leicester (Gallowtree Gate) – 11.2
Coventry (West Orchards Way) – 11.1
Hull (Jameston Street) – 10.7
Bradford (Broadway) – 10.6
Southampton (Above Bar Street) – 8.8
Nottingham (High Street) – 7.7
Luton (George Street) – 7.6
Manchester (Market Street) – 7.6
Northampton (Abington Street) – 7.3
Birmingham New Street – 7.3
Liverpool (Church Street) – 7.1
Derby (St Peter’s Street) – 6.9
London (Oxford Street) – 6.8
Sheffield (Fargate) – 6.3
Brighton (Western Road) – 5.6
Leeds (Briggate) – 5.3
Portsmouth (Commercial Road) – 5.1
“If we’re to reach the World Health Organisation’s annual target of 5 µg/m3 of PM2.5 in our air, collectively we need to change our behaviours,” Sam Clarke added.
“With vehicle emissions being a key contributor, anything we can do to travel more greenly, from walking more to cycling, and including electric vehicles, is a very valuable set forward to improve the air we breathe daily.”