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Big Ben (Gubbels) pipes bankrupt

(12 posts)
  1. arno665

    arno665

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    Sadly E. Gubbels in Herten, the Royal Factory of tobaccopipes (i.e. Big Ben), is bankrupt. The artisanal production branch of the family company is no more after 149 years. The trading house, Gubbels Trade and BV Gubbels Pipecleaners, on the other hand, continue to exist.

    With the production of fully handmade briar wooden tobacco pipes finally stopped, Elbert and Alfons Gubbels say goodbye to a piece of company DNA and cultural heritage. But also from six involved employees.

    “I had hoped to be able to maintain production,” says Elbert Gubbels in an explanation. “But the anti-smoking lobby and the government’s policy of discouragement are terrible. Fewer smokers, fewer stores. While pipe smoking is a certain lifestyle that requires good communication.”

    Gubbels wants to keep a part of its history visible, but is removing the expensive machine for the Big Ben pipes from the company. “We have a solid stock and cannot keep on stacking. We will first sell it and then have the new pipes made in Italy. Where the briar also comes from. Then we give it a final touch in Herten. This is how we maintain our global market. On a small scale, with around ten, eleven employees, we hope to be able to continue for a very long time.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  2. mso489

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    So the artisan pipes are no more, but the factory pipes will be produced in Italy and will continue, if I read correctly. I like my one Big Ben pipe, a straight churchwarden. It's a factory pipe, so similar ones will continue to be produced, but I am most saddened to hear the artisan soul of the outfit will be no more. Pipe making has been an honored craft and tradition for hundreds of years. Now it will become a renegade activity like gun running or numbers. I'm sorry to see that.

    Posted 1 week ago #
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    frozenchurchwarden

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    Glad I already got mine.

    Big Ben pipes are some of the best value around. Excellent stem and button work.

    If they can maintain standards from Italian production it probably won’t impact the end product but it’s sad to see another locally owned factory close.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  4. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Does that mean the end of Al Pascia's Curvy pipes?

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 week ago #
  5. disinformatique

    The Pipe Monk

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    This is indeed sad news. Duane, I think yes. I wanted to buy a set of Curvy but always missed out.

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” One of the reasons behind this statement is that pipe smoking is meant to be a slow leisurely activity. It takes patience to smoke a pipe. Unlike cigarettes and cigars, there is a certain amount of technique to smoking a pipe. Where cigars and cigarettes can just be picked up, lit and puffed on, pipes require the development of a technique in order to get the best smoking experience.
    Posted 1 week ago #
  6. mso489

    mso489

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    The tightening tobacco laws and regs will close out more and more businesses, and inhibit start-ups. Not a good bet for a business, though a few bold souls launch them. The pipe and pipe tobacco market will live on under the wing of the biggest companies and longstanding companies (I think) but the number of brands of pipes and blends is sure to narrow. My guess is it will all hit a plateau and be neglected as other concerns take over public and public health attention. For those sitting on a ton of leaf, this really doesn't matter. For people with spare cellars, you might squirrel away some tubs and tall jars. Anyone with twenty or more serviceable pipes, you're set for life on that score.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  7. chasingembers

    Embers

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    My one and only Big Ben. A dromedary I've had for years.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  8. kcghost

    kcghost

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    More bad news from the front.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  9. laniromee

    laniromee

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    Can we get a link to the news/source? Even if not in english. I want to understand better the case.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  10. arno665

    arno665

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    Can we get a link to the news/source? Even if not in english. I want to understand better the case.

    This is the link from the newspaper "De Limburger".

    https://www.limburger.nl/cnt/dmf20190625_00111748/productie-ambachtelijke-pijpen-e-gubbels-na-149-jaar-ter-ziele

    But I don't think you can see it all because it is a so called Premium article.. I roughly translated the text to English.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  11. laniromee

    laniromee

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    Thank you very much, Arno.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  12. aquadoc

    aquadoc

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    There are a number of curvy's still available on the Al Pascia website. For some reason, I thought that Gubbels was working with Al Pascia but that the shaping/carving was done in Italy. Surely, the Italian artisans can also finish the pipes too.

    "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and sex, you don't actually live longer; it just seems that way."
    Posted 1 week ago #

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