The Arments story began in 1914, the year of the Great War, when William and Emily Arment bought their first pie shop. Situated at 386 Walworth Road the shop was decorated in the traditional style of the day, with glazed tiled walls, marble table tops, opening sash windows – and a floor covered with sawdust!
The couple knew the property well since Emily’s sister Liz had been working in the pie shop for previous owners The Evans family. Liz joined couple William and Emily in the running of what was to become Arments Eel & Pie House. This involved hard work - and long hours preparing the pies and potatoes entirely by hand.
William was originally from Middlesex, but Emily was a true Cockney – having been born within the sound of the Bow Bells.
Over the years Arments became an established business and both Emily and William became well-known and much-loved figures in the local community. We are told they were regarded as the people’s King & Queen.
After William’s death in 1931 Emily and her children continued to keep the business running right through the Second World War. This was quite an accomplishment due to the scarcity of food. Emily made up for the shortfall by selling nutritious soup to hungry, rationed Londoners - and she was known for offering free meals for those in dire need especially the children from the Workhouse - later known as Newington Lodge Public Assistance Institution - in Walworth Road.
On Emily’s death in 1945 son William (Bill) took over the business. Bill married Rita Coats, a local doctor’s daughter, in 1957.
Together, with the help of Bill’s sister Gladys and her husband Vic who were employed as Managers, they ran the shop and oversaw its expansion into its new premises. Two further shops opened – one at 278 Walworth Road, and one at 10-12 Westmoreland Road opened in 1959.
It wasn't until the mid-sixties that the original pie shop at 386 Walworth Road was closed. The pie shop at 278 Walworth Road also closed in 1974.
Then in 1979 the shop at number 10-12 Westmoreland Road was closed and relocated to larger premises across the road at number 7-9 where it remains to this day. Glad and Vic’s daughter Vicki also helped in the shop for many years.
Roy, Bill’s son, took over the day-to-day running of the shop in 1982, and after his marriage to Cheryl in 1983 the pair ran the business jointly. Although now parted, Roy and Cheryl continue to co-own and run Arments Pie & Mash House, along with help from Cheryl’s sister Lorraine and their nephew Paul.
Arments customers continue to experience delicious pie, mash and liquor meals – made to the same secret 100-year-old recipe.
While the sawdust on the shop floor is long gone we’d like to think William and Emily would be proud to know that our handmade pies, mash and liquor hasn’t changed. We are happy that Arments remains a family-run business to this day.
Our standards haven’t changed - but we have moved with the times - our online ordering service has added a new level of convenience - and our traditionally based menu items reflect the changing tastes of customers.
Arments have always believed in giving back to the community and we continue to support and sponsor many good causes locally.