Gazette letters: Closure of Manze’s and environment

Manze's pie and mash shop in the 1970s.

Manze's pie and mash shop in the 1970s. - Credit: Archant

What a sad piece of news that Manze’s pie and mash shop is closing its doors, writes Pauline Dudley, born and raised in Islington.

Growing up in Islington in the 60s, it was part of our weekend ritual, going up to Chapel Market which then was packed from end to end with stalls of all descriptions, spending our pocket money and then going in to Manze’s for a pie and mash. Or eels and mash on the odd occasion.

All marble tables, wooden benches and sawdust on the floors, you ordered your pie and mash with liquor on the top and sat down and ate it with a spoon.

It was always full and noisy, and warm in the winter months. I have happy memories of Manze’s and other pie and mash shops in Islington, most all long gone. I guess in these modern times it’s amazing that it’s lasted this long but there will be thousands more like me who will forever remember Manze’s.

“Dry summer causes record subsidence claims” was the BBC headline on the December day that our insurance company agreed to start monitoring my home’s cracks, writes Nicola Baird, Islington Green.

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Apparently between July and September of 2018 there were 10,000 subsidence claims worth £64 million – a rate not seen since the dry summers of 2006 and 2003.

As the average Islington property sells for £771,865 (Right Move) people have mixed feelings about million quid homes with shaky foundations.

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Even if Islington home owners live in terror of the “S” word, they’re still the lucky ones as subsidence chat about London clay is exclusive to homeowners. Meanwhile thousands of people in Islington are insecurely housed: in 2017 there were 806 families in temporary accommodation and another 295 housed outside the borough. Plus, there are ever-increasing numbers of hidden homeless who are unable to afford rent and many rough sleepers living on the streets.

Even when the average monthly private rent is £2,525 ( a Highbury estate agent warned that local rentals are flying as “a lot of homes are having subsidence work. Even houses that have never had it before.” And the reason? Last year’s long, hot, record-breaking dry summer.

Subsidence doesn’t make you a refugee, but there are many in the UK who can’t get insurance because they live in a flood risk area. Islington is at low risk of flooding, but Islingtonians know first-hand the knock-on trauma of flooding after that burst water main in December 2016.

Each year insurance companies hike their rates and hope for more clement weather. But subsidence figures show climate change is altering the very ground Islington is built on. Strange weather, cracking buildings, ever more displaced people… surely these are good reasons to inspire your family, friends and work colleagues to make reducing your impact on the environment a priority for 2019? Let us know what you are doing.

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