The Pipes Magazine Radio Show – Episode 178

Kevin Godbee
Thank you for joining us for The Pipes Magazine Radio Show—the only radio talk show for pipe smokers and collectors. We broadcast weekly, every Tuesday at 8 pm eastern USA time and are available on nearly all podcast sites and apps. Listen on your computer, tablet, phone and even in the car! Our Featured Interview tonight is with Ken Barnes. Ken has quite a history in the British pipe world. He has three generations of family in the pipe and tobacco business. When he was 15-years old he got a summer job sweeping the floors in the Charatan pipe factory. Eventually, he became the Managing Director of the company. He has also been involved with Ben Wade and Upshall pipes. In "Pipe Parts", Brian will give us a trip report on his recent travels in London and Copenhagen, along with his trip to the Mac Baren tobacco factory.  Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!

Tonight’s show is sponsored by,,, Missouri Meerschaum,, Cornell & Diehl, and Savinelli Pipes and Tobaccos. Please give them some consideration when making your next pipe or tobacco purchase.

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6 Responses

  • Hi Brian,
    Sounds like a quick, pleasant trip to Europe.
    Ken Barnes is a name well known to anyone who has ever owned or collected Charatan pipes. Seems like Ken was trained ‘the old way’, that is learning all the aspects from the floor up of the business. The James Upshall line that he started also was a very high quality line of pipes. Quality is a key aspect of both of these lines. Great interview. Definitely, bring Ken back for another interview.
    Music – Cream, Crossroads is another well known musical selection. I was not aware that Ginger Baker was a pipe smoker.
    Rant – AL/USAir merger will result in diminished competition. What else would you expect? It’s all big business. You must learn to conform. period. Heh.
    Great show.

  • Hi Brian!
    Welcome back. Thanks for the nice little travelogue. You’re becoming quite the “Rick Steves” of the pipe world.
    Ken Barnes was utterly fascinating. His recount of a [literal] ground-floor to executive rise was as interesting as it was entertaining. You must have him back.
    I have 5 Upshall’s in my collection; all fine smokers. I met Mr. Jones at a Chicago Show many years ago. I showed him the Upshall I was smoking (it was when you could still smoke in the exhibition hall), a Zulu shape from the early 1980s. He recognized it, and said he had made it. Whether he was shining me on, or actually did remember making it, didn’t matter. It was fun meeting and talking with him. The pipe was, and is still, one of my favorites.
    I’m glad you’re enjoying some of the music I sent. I hope all your listeners enjoy them, too. If not, remember, play what you like; like what you play.
    Another fine show, thanks.

  • Really good report on your trip.
    Very nice interview with Ken Barnes. Very impressive resume. I was really surprised at the number of countries he worked in. I would like to hear more from him.
    When businesses merge it is rarely to the benefit of the customer and employer.

  • Hi Brian,
    Very nice show. Thanks for the trip report! I shared some pictures you posted on Facebook on one of the Brazilian groups and they received lots of ‘likes'(150+) and comments. They all specially liked the one showing the huge selection of tobaccos from the Danish Pipe Shop – which is kind of a “view of tobacco heaven” for us over here. This above picture with the stacks of pressed tobacco is also awesome to see.
    Please, do bring Mr. Barnes back to the show! Great story!

  • Hi Brian ,
    Loved the interview with Ken Barnes ! So interesting ! I could listen to all his pipe stories for days , and would love to hear him again , talking tobacconists and shops of Jolly Ole London . I have several James Upshall’s , including a Tilshead love them all ! Thanks for the great interview ! And the pictures of the Flake ! I would have bartered , begged , whatever to get a brick of something as a momento , and to sample … for years !
    Seriously Ken Barnes was Great ! Truly enjoyed it , Thanks to Ken for coming on , and you for having him . Well done !

  • One more thing , I have two Charatans , so sad Dunhill buys and closes production , but I always have wanted a Dunhill , but as of now still never took the plunge , 4110 group 4 … . Charatan are missed . Great Interview ! Thank you