W H Smith store assistant wins national Cornish pasty competition

Pasty master John Brownlie will be a world authority on Cornwall’s most famous product after scooping a year’s supply of the delicious savoury pastries in a nationwide competition.

But the answer to the question ‘Who ate all the pies’ won’t be John, 65, who works as a store assistant at W H Smith in Shrewsbury’s bustling Darwin Shopping Centre.

The retired chartered civil engineer won a Twitter competition run by the West Cornwall Pasty Company who have a busy shop in Mardol Head, just down Pride Hill from the Darwin Centre and while John admits to a liking for the Cornish pasty he won’t be the only one tucking in.

He has won a pasty a week throughout 2014 and as John is an enthusiastic supporter of a range of charities, he’s going to ensure that some of the West Cornwall Company’s tasty products go to those in need.

He said: “I wanted to try and support the Shrewsbury Ark charity which helps the homeless in the town, gives them a bed for the night and something to eat and what would be better than a nice hot pasty.

“I’m going to donate some of my prizes to them and I also do some marshalling at the motorsport hill climb events at Loton Park and marshalling can be a cold, damp experience too so I’m sure some of my colleagues there will be glad of a pasty.

“I dabble in social media and just got involved in the Twitter competition to name my favourite West Cornwall Company pasty and so I tweeted one each day and they must have picked me out.

“The West Cornwall pasties are very tasty and they’re very big too – about twice the size I’d normally eat.

“My current favourite is the haggis pasty which is appropriate with Burns Night coming up on January 25.”

Sarah Rouen, Manager of the Shrewsbury store in Mardol Head, said: “I’m thrilled that one of our customers has won in this national competition.

“It’s interesting that John likes the haggis pasty as it’s a special one for Burns Night and it’s only on this month – we do quite a variety and there are always new ones coming out but the traditional Cornish pasty is still our biggest seller.”

Kevin Lockwood, Manager of the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres, said: “John does a great deal for charities, both locally and nationally, and he recently raised a substantial amount by growing a Decem-beard.

“It’s typical of him that he is sharing his prize with a local charity and I’m sure they will be very grateful for them.”

Steve Gipson, Chief Executive Officer of the West Cornwall Pasty Compamy, said: “We’re delighted that Mr Brownlie showed such enthusiasm for our #cornishchristmas social media campaign throughout December in which he won West Cornwall pasties for a year.

“We are also pleased that, through his good nature, this prize will be shared between worthwhile charities and we’ll do anything we can to make this process as smooth as possible.”

John and his wife, Alice, have three children and one grandchild, and he admitted his  Decem-beard cost him a Christmas kiss because Alice doesn’t like beards but it did raise £600 for three charities in Africa, Medic Malawi, Self Help Africa and Article 25.

In 2012 he used his civil engineering skills in Sierra Leone where he helped build a village and HQ building in the Gola Forest National Park and he has travelled the world for the last 20 years carrying out building work on an army camp in Kosovo after the conflict, as well as constructing an exhibition centre in Hong Kong.

Related Posts with Thumbnails