I found Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman at the bottom of my chest freezer the other day. Not, I hasten to add, the late and somewhat lamented Liberal Prime Minister (1836-1908), but the frozen carton of pie and peas named after him. Now who, in their right mind, would name a dish of pie and peas after a somewhat obscure nineteenth and early twentieth century Prime Minister, I can hear you ask? The answer is, of course, me and my friend (and in-law), Ian. Some time ago, back in the good old days when pubs were still open, we would frequent a pub quiz, where, along with fifty questions, you were given a free dish of pie and peas. Not wanting to interrupt an evenings’ drinking with unnecessary eating these would occasionally be taken home to be consumed later and, in some cases, were consigned to the deep freeze. I cannot remember exactly which one of us started the habit of naming these dishes after former Prime Ministers, but it is a habit that stuck, and at one time or another, the likes of David Lloyd-George and the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham could be found in freezers around Huddersfield.
By chance, I acquired a rather nice vintage postcard featuring Sir Henry, a couple of weeks ago. It dates from 1905, a time when Sir Henry – known to one and all simply as CB – was in power. His pie and peas were, sadly, well beyond their consume-by date and had to be disposed of. However, to make up for it, CB can share my desktop today.