Pipes Magazine » General Pipe Smoking Discussion

Search Forums  
   
Tags:   

Tobaccos In England In The Old Days

(26 posts)
  1. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

    Unregistered

    Posts: 542

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    When I first started smoking a pipe in 1955 the 'Newsagent &Tobacconist'
    shop in the small town of Keighley in West Yorkshire where I worked
    carried a wide range of excellent tobaccos. Some I can remember were
    Escudo, Three Nuns, Balkan Sobranie, Erinmore, St. Bruno, Condor and
    Pibroch but there were many more flakes and mixtures along with a few
    murderously strong twists.

    Flakes and mixtures were mostly sold in one ounce tins (and a 1 ounce tin
    per week was all I could afford in those days) and cost three shillings
    and sixpence. A two ounce tin would have been an unbelievable luxury.
    As an office clerk I earned four pounds (80 shillings) a week and
    a workman's wage in those days was only seven pounds (140 shillings)
    a week so you can figure out the relative values.

    As for any differences I've noted between then and now, Escudo seems
    to be pretty much the same as it always was but the modern St.Bruno
    is a completely different tobacco and has lost all its strength.
    Condor used to be a very strong dark flake but whether it still is
    I don't know as I haven't been able to find any.

    When I got to Canada in 1957 I was delighted to discover how much
    cheaper tobaccos were than in England, but dismayed to find how few
    kinds were available and how different they were. The only ones I
    can remember were Edgeworth and Prince Albert and in fact I didn't
    encounter any of the incredible range of American non-OTC tobaccos
    while there.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  2. didimauw

    didimauw

    Mod
    Joined: Jul 2013
    Posts: 2,983

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Sounds like the good old days. I was born way too late in life!

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 3 months ago #
  3. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2015
    Posts: 4,846

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I can't quite understand you tufftony, your second ever post (a mere one month ago) stated ....

    "Hi all:
    I'm fairly new to pipe-smoking and discovering that it's a huge subject
    and that there's quite an art to it. As a beginner, it's great to find
    such a well-run......"

    ..... yet now you tell us that you've been pipe smoking since 1955!!!

    Which is it to be?

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 3 months ago #
  4. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

    Unregistered

    Posts: 542

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I grow a bit tired of explaining this.

    I began in 1955.
    I stopped in 1972 - 47 years ago.
    I started again a few months ago and in that sense am a beginner.

    Perhaps I should put this information in a signature.

    Regards,

    Tony.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  5. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,354

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    No need to get piffy, tuffy!

    I also did not see the time line till now.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2013
    Posts: 18,163

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Forgive us for being skeptical, Tony. But, the few members that we have ever had that jumped right in and started as many new threads as you, ended up flaming out on us. Plus the name, tuff-tony... We are just not very used to so many threads coming from someone who has just joined. We keep waiting for you to self-combust. Hopefully not though.
    No one here has more weight than anyone else. A newbie has as much to teach the veteran pipesmoker (sometimes more so) as vise versa.

    But, I've only sampled a couple of tobaccos from ancient history. But, age had probably changed them more so than they were different from the new versions. Since I cannot stock up on the old ones, I just enjoy the ones that I like. But, it's to be expected that blends would change over time. It is a natural product that is highly susceptible to environmental changes. So far in my short time smoking, I have noticed changes Astleys pipe tobaccos, and Erinmore. But, sometimes changes are good. Sometimes, just different. It's just a fact. Nothing stays the same, unless it is topped to death with flavor goop.

    Michael
    Posted 3 months ago #
  7. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 2,593

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    age had probably changed them more so than they were different

    Yup. 3 ladies, BS, & Erinmore in particular. The changes in the first & last, OK, not too bad. From what I hear of the "new" BS I wouldn't take it on a bet. and that'd be if the bettor gave it to me to smoke. Edgeworth I hadn't thought about in eons until somebody mentioned it a year or so ago.

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 3 months ago #
  8. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 2,593

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Thinking more on it, I remember an OTC blend I sort of liked BITD that not only can't you find any more, you can't find ANY *info* on it, or at least I can't, apart from an old ad. Marrakesh from Stokkebye. IIRR it was cased all to hellangone (weren't most OTCs back then?) but I liked it & it didn't burn too poorly. Do you remember that one, tony?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  9. warren

    warren

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2013
    Posts: 7,548

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    And, let us not forget, the aging process of the palate. Fond memories are often suspect as we often include things in our past environment when conjuring up such memories. Thus moderating them, making them, often times, better than they really were. I look back on "basic training" more fondly than the bare facts should allow.

    Now "Troost"? No amount of memory alteration can change that blend into something enjoyable. At least in my mind. That was near 60 years ago. I can taste it now, as though it were only yesterday.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 3 months ago #
  10. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 2,593

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Oh, God, warren, you *had* to bring that one up. BLECH.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  11. dcon

    dcon

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2019
    Posts: 541

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I was trying to recall the name Troost slices the other day Warren, I have to agree that they were abominable. It was one of the better selling tins back then. I think their advocates simply died out.

    Duane
    (Not Embers)
    Posted 3 months ago #
  12. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

    The Bard Of Barlings
    Joined: Jun 2013
    Posts: 9,649

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    It's very interesting to hear about some of your memories of blends long ago versus now. I didn't pick up the pipe until 1970, and at that time my options were American OTC's, house blends, imported tins, or the option to have my own blend made for me, and yes, I was one of those names on a tobacconist's rolodex. I don't recall any high end American tobacco houses, like McClelland, which didn't come along until 1977. I think the American tinned product was OTCs.

    I certainly didn't feel deprived of selection, and Copley's, which was across the street from the jewelry store where I worked after school, was a first rate tobacconist. Mr. Copley introduced me to the arcane mysteries of the pipe, and carried on a lively mail order business for his blends. He carried a selection of tinned tobaccos as well, Sobanie, Dunhill, Three Nuns, etc, but the main business were the Copley blends.

    So, I did have the opportunity to smoke the Sobranie line, and also their cigarettes, as well as Dunhill made Dunhill tobaccos, Three Nuns, etc., British tobaccos made in Britain, before they were sold off to Denmark to die. I love St Bruno, but it isn't what it was and I just accept it for what it now is. STG's recent Escudo is an OK blend, but not what it was before it went to STG, the Perique isn't the same, and they're using Stokkebye tobaccos, rather than what was in Escudo before. Older versions of Escudo really rewarded aging, but this stuff hardly develops at all.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 3 months ago #
  13. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

    The Bard Of Barlings
    Joined: Jun 2013
    Posts: 9,649

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    From what I hear of the "new" BS I wouldn't take it on a bet.

    Balkan Sobrainie in the '70's was one of my favorite smokes. This current iteration I can't abide in the least. The only image that comes to mind to describe its flavor is a gasoline fumed cow flop.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  14. warren

    warren

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2013
    Posts: 7,548

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Luckily, for the tobacco "bidness", palates are different. Troost was simply one of those blends that my palate could not, would not accept. I'd suggest that most everyone here has had that experience with one blend or another.

    Now, gasoline fumed cow flop? A great name for a blend. I think it would an attractive name to some here. It would have to be an "aro"? Feed the cows tobacco leaf, collect the return, fume with gasoline and tin it. Leaded? Unleaded? Where are those Pennsylvania boys with all the money?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  15. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2015
    Posts: 4,846

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    "Now, gasoline fumed cow flop? A great name for a blend. I think it would [be] an attractive name to some here. It would have to be an "aro"?"

    Warren, at times, you so tickle my pink

    Perhaps you refer to War Horse Bar?

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  16. warren

    warren

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2013
    Posts: 7,548

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Now, if I could type as fast as my thoughts flow, I'd have it made.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  17. xingpao

    xingpao

    Junior Member
    Joined: Mar 2019
    Posts: 93

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Some of you codgers need to give up some of that old stash you have before estate taxes bludgeon your poor families. I mean don't you people need bourbon or something else us codgers come lately can trade?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  18. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 25,955

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I'm making my peace with various bag, over-the-counter, and tub blends as they are currently available, in case a few are all that are available as time goes by. Most with low or no discernible flavoring can make a tolerable smoke, mostly. Some are really quite good. I'm hoping SPC, C&D, D&R, GLP, and such stay afloat, would be nice.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  19. condorlover1

    condorlover1

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2013
    Posts: 3,606

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    @Warren we are still around but have branched out in another direction in the same space! As to Tufftony's great memories of the 1950s I was fascinated with how he remembered salaries being in shillings. Not a lot had changed by the early 1980s. There were loads of interesting pipe tobaccos around and traditional staples such as Condor Plug, various makes of twist etc were attainable at any reasonable tobacconist or corner shop newsagent. Allowing for inflation I used to buy one tin a week or two 1/2 oz plugs, fill my motorcycle with petrol, give my Mother Twenty Pounds and still have money in the bank. If I had stayed single I'd be as rich as Rockefeller by now!

    Posted 3 months ago #
  20. weezell

    weezell

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2011
    Posts: 9,301

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Key operative phrase is

    If I had stayed single I'd be as rich as Rockefeller by now!
    I FEEL your pain 3 wives later...

    "the weez"...
    Posted 3 months ago #
  21. charf

    charf

    Member
    Joined: Jul 2018
    Posts: 191

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    In the 70’s my grandfather had tins of Erinmore lying around in his den. I gave my brother a tin of Erinmore flake a few months ago and he thought it was exactly the same. Funny how smells bring back memories from decades ago. So the tin note must be reasonably similar.

    I would guess as a young man starting out in his working life smoking would be quite expensive these days (at least by New Zealand tobacco tax standards). However I am old enough and well remunerated enough to be able to pay the tax man for my hobby. I would say as a relative newbie to the hobby that even with the loss of Dunhill and McClellands there is still plenty of variety available.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  22. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 2,593

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    it isn't what it was and I just accept it for what it now is.

    Yup, pretty much what one has to do, Jesse, I fully agree, unless one is just going to hold the line & do a Popeye- "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more!" However in some cases,

    Balkan Sobrainie in the '70's was one of my favorite smokes. This current iteration I can't abide in the least. The only image that comes to mind to describe its flavor is a gasoline fumed cow flop.

    the latter is just what ya gotta do to maintain standards. And I will NOT have my wonderful memories of that fabulous blend demolished by kerosene meadow muffins!

    B

    Posted 3 months ago #
  23. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 2,593

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I'm hoping SPC, C&D, D&R, GLP, and such stay afloat, would be nice.

    This here very true, Tom. I could live the tobacco life quite happily with them surviving. Unlike most of y'all I missed out on most of the McClelland glory years, but I got enough of a whiff of them in their various FM, etc., brands that I picked up here/there on eBay to know what I missed. But they're gone & I can either light a candle or curse the darkness. I like light better; I spill less tobacco packing that way.

    B

    Posted 3 months ago #
  24. hawky454

    hawky454

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2016
    Posts: 2,937

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    St. Bruno is one of my favorite blends, it’s freckin’ delicious! I have tried some of the Ogdens era RR and I much prefer the new version. I think it’s like Warren said, people’s memories are not often reliable when it comes to these particulars. The Ogdens St. Bruno RR was more of a shag cut very similar to GH&Co. Dark Birds Eye. Granted some of the topping had been lost over the years but I think people tend to use hyperbole when describing the blends of yesteryear. Another example is Erinmore Flake. A friend of mine just recently popped his 1995 Murray’s Erinmore Flake and shared it with me. Others have described it (the aged version) as being much more heavily sauced and extremely floral but to my palate it tasted pretty similar, sure it was slightly different but not near as different as people make it out to be. I think people end up preferring the version of the blend that they first tried, this can be seen with the Dunhill tobaccos. Most of the old timers wax poetic about the Murray’s version but most of the pipe smokers of the past decade seem to highly prefer the Danish version over the Murray’s version. It’s very similar to music, you end up thinking your generations music was the absolute best and all the music that came after just sucks. It’s happening to me too. I was in high school in the 90’s so that era up to the early 2000’s is my generation of bands, the crap kids are listening to today is just ridiculous. Obviously every generation has its gems and there is still a lot of good music being made today just as there are good blends.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  25. dcon

    dcon

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2019
    Posts: 541

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Having grown up with Great Depression and WWII stories, I have tried to avoid the “everything was better in the Good ‘Ol Days” statements. I do agree with many in other postings that, we are in a bit of a ‘golden age’ of tobacco, at least, in terms of the breadth of available (in some cases occasionally) tobaccos.

    I am one of those that smoked, and miss, the Murray Dunhill blends. I also had the opportunity to smoke the Sobranies and a lot of other defunct or re-established brands. I believe that the absence of Syrian Latakia has a great deal to do with the newer versions not having that taste we old timers preferred. There are definitely cut and other differences in some of these blends as well.

    I agree that people miss first loves and perhaps look back with rose colored glasses. Palates and tastes are different and evolve. I am glad to have had these taste experiences and to have a comparative repertoire. I recall people actually hating many tobaccos that are admired today. Perhaps someday, someone on a forum will wax on about the superiority of what are cellaring now.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  26. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2016
    Posts: 3,097

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    + 1 for Hawky454,You put it right again, thanks for sharing Your opinion with which I do completely agree.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 3 months ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   instymp, donjgiles, ashdigger, frankrem, npod, winton, michiganlover, folanator