Ginsters of Cornwall – Feed The Man By Alan Partridge. By @benedicttatham

Benedict Tatham

By Benedict Tatham


Ginsters of Cornwall – Feed The Man By Alan Partridge. 

(Read this in Alan Partridge voice – for those of you who don’t know Alan – get to know Alan sooner rather than later).

I don’t tend to eat Ginsters…their sandwiches, pasties, rolls, sausages, pastries, or thin slices… pies, hot pies, wraps, or salads…the only time I’ve ever actually eaten a Ginsters was at a rather piss-poor third-rate service station on the M4 between Kentford and Barton Mills, where a man served me a Ginsters wearing leather gloves and mustache that would rival David Seamen’s. 

You’re probably wondering why I found myself eating a South West Cornish delicacy in a particularly Southern easterly situation (situation pronounced with a ‘d’). 

The reality folks is that Ginsters is everywhere these days. I remember once being particularly impressed by their product placement in a sandwich shop in Swanton Morley. 

I found myself handing a Ginsters from a sweet rack, when my intention was to grab a Yorkie from a special offer range – that’s innovative thinking by the Ginsters team and it didn’t go unnoticed.*  

Anyway, I digress where was I??…Ahh yes, Ginsters. M&C Saatchi released a bloody ruddy good advertising campaign a few years ago which made me think twice about my preconceived ideas about this brand of pasty, that quite frankly no true Cornishman would ever fill his hungry belly with or even feed to his little fishes (if there were any fishes left on the Cornish coast, poor souls… pun unintended.) 

I’ll set the scene: A young man in his late twenties, maybe early thirties, walks down a pathway linking walkers from one end of a park to another, holding the hand of a raaaaather beautiful blonde haired lady (she is taller and a little out of his league). 

He carries with him in his left hand a Ginsters peppered steak slice….a classic. A group of young men are playing football on the grass to his left hand side.

He takes a bite of the peppered slice, looks at his lady friend, makes a nonchalant expression of salivary satisfaction and returns his gaze to the paved road ahead.  

Up to this moment the man had rightly tucked his head down into his neck, avoiding eye contact with the men playing football at all costs; any untoward, low level banter aimed at himself or his female companion, could result in an undressing of the man’s pride and a loss of the females respect.

Then all of a sudden the unthinkable happens, a ball dribbles at medium pace towards his direction and hit’s him square on the left foot, bounces once, and comes to a rest between himself and the beautiful lady, who is already wearing a worried frown.

Any man whose EVER walked ANY intercrossing pavement on this planet knows this feeling very very well, a moment of real ball aching uncertainty. 

A test of this young lads manhood awaits. In a split second it will all be over. But in that split second he has to decide, with authority, whether to pick the ball up and throw it back (high risk – he could easily be judged as inferior to the game in which a group of ‘other’ men were playing with valor) or kick the ball back (the honorable and respected way of returning a stray ball in a field of play). 

The narrator of the scene puts sums it up perfectly, (think Gandalph in The Fellowship of The Ring conversing with Saruman on the Eye of Sauron) 

“It is an open invitation to show thyself up. A lesser mortal might elect to throw it back, but not this man. For he possesses an inner steal that can only come from one place… a peppered steak slice. Ginsters, feed the man.”

Acknowledged kindly with a friendly “Cheers mate” by the male receiver, his manhood has been saved and his dignity remains intact. 

The couple walk off into the distance and riding on the back of his unassailable confidence (given to him by this peppered slice), he reaches out to hold the hand of the lady. 

With two flicks of the fingers he receives nothing. Then a third flick seals the bond and his probably now clammy palm interlocks with hers.

He has succeeded Gentleman, and so has Ginsters.


*Admittedly I was attempting to slip Yorkies into my pocket unseen, whilst maintaining central eye contact with the work Geordie behind the till – lesson learned).   

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