We visit Mad O'Rourkes world famous Pie Factory in Tipton as it celebrates 100th anniversary

Mad O’Rourkes Pie Factory has been serving up delicious, handmade pies for decades on the site of a Tipton pub celebrating 100 years
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A big celebration was recently held in Tipton to commemorate the centenary of the building now housing the world-famous Mad O’Rourke’s Pie Factory.

Norman Bartlam from the Ladywood History Group reported on the occasion, noting the rich history of the site. According to Robert Hazel, Chair of the Tipton Town Library's Local History Group, the group was established in 2009 with the aim of passing on key historical milestones to the local community.

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"We became aware that there had been a pub on this site since 1923, which was the Doughty Arms, although there was a pub before that," he said. "It's 100 years of the building that we're celebrating today and most people know the Pie Factory, it was opened in 1987 and it's one of those destination pubs of the Black Country so today we're unveiling it a blue plaque."

The funds for the plaque were raised via a successful crowdfunding platform initiated by Hazel. The resultant plaque is a testament to the historic significance of the site, given its prior status as the Five Ways Hotel and Doughty Arms before it became the renowned Mad O’Rourke’s Pie Factory.

Keith Hodgkins from the Tipton Civic Society provided some additional interesting insights. He explained that the site of the pub had three separate identities over its history. He starts with the Five Ways Hotel, "The earliest record of that is 1857 and we think that was built to take advantage of the new Turnpike Road which this was, the Tividale to Sedgley, Turnpike Road, which opened in the 1840s."

Mad O’Rourke’s Pie FactoryMad O’Rourke’s Pie Factory
Mad O’Rourke’s Pie Factory

Hodgkins further explained that the original pub was built on a crossroads known as Five Ways, a name that contemporary citizens find funny considering only four roads currently converge at the spot. He shared, "But back in Victorian times there was a fifth track, there's really only a track we think that led over towards Coseley."

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Adding to the historical narrative was pub historian Steve James, who shed light on the evolution of the building into the Doughty Arms in 1923. "Councillor Doughty, who was chairman of the licensing committee said there won't be another new pub in Tipton unless you name it after me and so they called it the Doughty Arms," he highlighted.

The Pie FactoryThe Pie Factory
The Pie Factory

James also related details about the Irish man, Colm O'Rourke, who opened the chain of pubs including The Pie Factory in the 1990s. He adds that their signature dish, the Desperate Dan Cow Pie, is still available today, rewarding finishing diners with a certificate.

The commemorative plaque marks a century of local community, conversation, and notable dishes served at a beloved Tipton pub. As Keith Hodgkins puts it, "It’s a really well-known pub and a great advert for Tipton."

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