G. W. Sims

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jaingorenard

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 11, 2022
608
2,894
Norwich, UK
I just wanted to show off my latest Facebook Marketplace find - a G. W. Sims sandblasted plateau-top. I don't usually go in for this style of pipe, but this one caught my eye: the blast is wonderful. It's also pretty big. Although I only know limited information about Sims, he seems to have been active until the late 1970s (or possibly the early 1980s). I would guess that this pipe is from the early 1970s. He apparently had a carver from Charatan, and that influence can be seen clearly in this pipe. Moti Ezrati (of Upshall/Astley's infamy) apparently collected these pipes, and had over 300.

I think this pipe has only been smoked once or twice. 398304859_361312293136283_258576660909717023_n.jpg385540710_856293502610019_2966067724256314829_n.jpg400008723_1061689581684285_5407274886990570635_n.jpg
 

greeneyes

Lifer
Jun 5, 2018
2,169
12,296
I've spent the better part of the morning searching for any primary historical evidence of G.W..Sims business and come up completely empty handed.

There was an old silver makers mark "GWS" that I'd created a false attribution with in my mind.
 
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simong

Lifer
Oct 13, 2015
2,677
15,941
UK
Lovely pipe!👍
Mr. Sims had a shop in High Holborn, his sister out front & he was confined to the back room, making pipes. He did a very good job too, I used to have a lovely Prince, which I foolishly gave away.
I always heard he used to work for Charatan not Dunhill. Up until the 70’s his pipes were all typically classic English shapes. He seemed to have switched to making a lot of danish style freehands before his retirement or demise.
 

jaingorenard

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 11, 2022
608
2,894
Norwich, UK
Interestingly on Pipedia there's a mention of a shop on Junction Road, N8. I wonder if that was prior to his shop on High Holborn?

@simong was the shop still there when you started buying pipes?
 
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jaingorenard

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 11, 2022
608
2,894
Norwich, UK
I've spent the better part of the morning searching for any primary historical evidence of G.W..Sims business and come up completely empty handed.

There was an old silver makers mark "GWS" that I'd created a false attribution with in my mind.
I can't find anything either. There's nothing on Companies House with addresses at either Junction Road or High Holborn that looks relevant.
 
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simong

Lifer
Oct 13, 2015
2,677
15,941
UK
Interestingly on Pipedia there's a mention of a shop on Junction Road, N8. I wonder if that was prior to his shop on High Holborn?

@simong was the shop still there when you started buying pipes?
I think he moved to Islington from High Holborn. The shop in High Holborn was a tobacconists, which he ran with his sister.
I never met him or visited his shop. All I know about him comes from people I’ve met who did know him & frequented his shop on High Holborn.
 

simong

Lifer
Oct 13, 2015
2,677
15,941
UK
Most likely completely unrelated, but in trying to find more information I came across this wonderful footage of Peckham from 1913 (it happens to feature a tobacconist called Sims & Ascott):

That’s a shame, can’t get the video to play more than a couple of seconds.🙁

Could have been a relation I suppose, Sim is not a common surname. The only other sim I’ve heard of is that wonderful Scottish actor, the late Alastair Sim.
IMG_4575.jpeg
 

jaingorenard

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 11, 2022
608
2,894
Norwich, UK
In doing some digging, I found the Junction Road address in a 1975 phone directory:

(Edit: I'm not sure why the quality is so poor, it shows up better until I upload it. The address is 110 Junction Road).

G.W. Sims.jpg
 
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jaingorenard

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 11, 2022
608
2,894
Norwich, UK
They also appear in the 1960 and 1963 telephone directories at 153 Riverside Road, Canonbury.

And in 1954 he was at 61 City Road, Clerkenwell (listed as a pipe manufacturer even back then).
 
Last edited:
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simong

Lifer
Oct 13, 2015
2,677
15,941
UK
Unrelated to GW Sim (as far as I know) but talking of Holborn, should show a photo of a building many smokers here in the UK will recognise.
Shervingtons was the last tobacconist here.
IMG_3254.jpeg
Before Mr. Shervington it was John Brumfits.
IMG_4576.jpeg
If you haven’t guessed it by now, the building was used on the older tins & pouches of Old Holborn.
IMG_4578.jpeg
 
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jaingorenard

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 11, 2022
608
2,894
Norwich, UK
As far as I have been able to work out, he was based at the City Road address as a pipe manufacturer at least as early as 1935, and as a tobacconist as early as 1927. He moved to the Riverside Road address at some point in the late 50s. He then moved to the Junction Road address by 1966, and no longer appears after 1978.

In 1914, there is a G. W. Sims at 71 City Road (Pipe Manufacturer) and a G. W. Sims & Co at 148a Essex Road (Pipe Manufacturer and Repairer).

I never would have guessed they'd been going so long, with so little information available!
 
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jaingorenard

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 11, 2022
608
2,894
Norwich, UK
Unrelated to GW Sim (as far as I know) but talking of Holborn, should show a photo of a building many smokers here in the UK will recognise.
Shervingtons was the last tobacconist here.
View attachment 259957
Before Mr. Shervington it was John Brumfits.
View attachment 259955
If you haven’t guessed it by now, the building was used on the older tins & pouches of Old Holborn.
View attachment 259956
It may have been you who shared this with me (apologies if so!) but here's a great interview with Phil Shervington: