A letter to Lord Sugar: Ye Cherry Pie has got a soggy bottom

Dear Lord Sugar

Wanstead has loads of history, but not much of it is left for us to enjoy today.

One exception is the Cherry Pie sign on the side of the George. The story behind the sign, which is dated 1752, is a bit mysterious, not least because the building is much more recent than that.

One theory, passed down the generations, is that a workman was up a ladder, leaned against the wall and stole a cherry pie from a vendor who passed by with a tray on his head. The workman was brought before court for this minor crime and fined half a guinea, hence the “cherry pey as cost half a guinea”.

Wikipedia tells us more:

The most likely explanation is that it was placed there by the landlord of 1752, David Jersey (corrupted by centuries of repainting and re-cutting the inscription to D Jerry on the plaque), commemorating a feast which included a huge cherry pie. Monstrous pies were a feature of 18th-century Essex rural festivals; the Galmpton Gooseberry Pie Fair in Devon is still in existence, and other inns around the edge of Epping Forest were famed for pies (rabbit pie at The Reindeer, Loughton, now Warren House, and pigeon pie at The King’s Head, Chigwell). Wanstead was well known for its cherry orchards as late as the 1830s, when they were mentioned by poet Thomas Hood, who lived in Wanstead 1832–5.

So you can see this is a charming bit of Wanstead history, which is in your stewardship since you own the building that the George is in. And yet it looks like it’s in a bit of trouble.

A leaky downpipe has clearly made the side of the wall damp. It’s now covered in green mossy stuff, and it will surely not last much longer unless urgent attention is taken.

Please, Lord Sugar, make sure this is sorted.

Best wishes


7 thoughts on “A letter to Lord Sugar: Ye Cherry Pie has got a soggy bottom”

  1. Don’t hold your breath for LBR conservation officers to do anything about conservation matters in Wanstead. Just look at the commercial use of Christchurch Green and the granting of allowing drop downs and car parks instead of gardens in Spratt Hall Road.

  2. Don’t Remind Lord Sugar – Look what he did to ‘The King’s Head’ in Chigwell – Bought a lovely old English Pub – Gave it to his son and now the place is a Turkish Restaurant/Night Club – The people who did are ‘Visigoths’ – It has lately seen some renovation – who did that…And on top of that he’s a Spurs Supporter…..AAgh!!

  3. I wasn’t aware Lord Sugar owned the property and then leased it to JD Wetherspoons?…. They must have a full repairing lease then JD is responsible….

  4. email sent to amsprop:

    Amsprop Estates Head Office
    Amshold House
    Goldings Hill
    IG10 2RW

    Tel: +44(0)20 3225 5555
    Fax: +44(0)20 3225 5678
    Email: info@amsprop.com

    no reply as yet. may be if others could also take up the challenge.

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