Sunday, 28 December 2014

Last Chance for Pie and Mash in Shepherd's Bush

Cooke's Pie and Mash, on the Goldhawk Rd. But not for long.
Cooke's Pie and Mash has been a feature of the the Goldhawk Road for over a century - but this long tradition of authentic local food will soon come to an end, once the redevelopment of Shepherd's Bush Market begins in 2015. Market traders are soon to be moved to temporary accommodation while demolition of the existing structures takes place and the ground is prepared for a huge new housing and shopping development. So Cooke's days are numbered, and the shop made famous by Quadrophenia will soon be gone.

Hurry now while eels last
Cooke's is very much a part of Old Shepherd's Bush, part of a neighbourhood which is fast being transformed, ever since the sprawling new Westfield centre opened its doors in 2008. Gentrification, which until a few years back seemed to have by-passed Shepherd's Bush entirely, has finally caught up with us, and new build is taking place in every direction. Like it or loathe it, The Bush is changing.

The plans for redevelopment of the Market have long been controversial. Where you stand on the new changes probably depends a lot of whether you miss the passing of Old Shepherd's Bush, or welcome the new gentrification.  In my local neighbourhood, opinion is pretty divided, but probably with a slender-ish majority in favour of new investment. The market has become fairly run-down in recent years, and the new plans which were unveiled in The Old Library last year looked pretty swish.

Plans for the new market.
But why does Cooke's Pie and Mash have to go? That's a good question, which a lot of people would like to know the answer to. Among those opposed to the plans for the market are local MP Andy Slaughter, former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, and the Hammersmith and Fulham Historic Buildings Society, who oppose the destruction of the row of Victorian shops of which Cooke's forms a part.

All this will go
After all, it's not just Cooke's that will disappear (though, according to the Daily Mirror, the owners have accepted a "seven figure sum" to sell up). The whole parade of shops lining the Goldhawk Road will be demolished, to make way for the blocks of flats which are the currency which will pay for the new market.

New flats aren't necessarily a bad thing.  London has a massive shortage of housing, so new build is essential if supply is to keep pace with demand. But like everything else in West London these new flats will be expensive, far beyond the financial reach of most local residents.

Quadrophenia - movie magic in Shepherd's Bush

And the market regeneration is just the tip of the iceberg. There are half a dozen major building projects in the works in Shepherd's Bush, most of them taking place in the former brownfield sites to the north of Westfield. Supposedly, we're even going to get a Soho House with a rooftop swimming pool once the BBC TV Centre on Wood Lane gets redeveloped.

A far cry indeed from Pie and Mash.


The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. Read about the Campaign to Save Hammersmith Park, find out about our new Farmer's Market, see what's on at The Bush Theatre,  find out the latest news on the future of Shepherd's Bush Market,  and the Council's plans to upgrade the Goldhawk Road and the Uxbridge Road. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at

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