Ian Walker: Pipe Saviour

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klause

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Jul 9, 2012
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Late last year I picked up 4 beautiful pipes; 3 Meerschaums, and a briar. All were old, and in poor shape, apart from the briar. The Meers needed a full wax job as they were dull and chalky, the briar just needed a good clean. I spent a few hours in quiet bliss as I set to work, releasing the inner beauty of them all.
There were problems though. 2 of the Meers and the briar had stripped threads and broken bone tenons. The other meer had at some point in time had a very poor repair job done on the tenon resulting in a hairline crack developing in the neck. This was a bit of a bugger, as they were intended to be smoked. I actually smoked the meer with the cracked neck, as it was so beautiful and begging to be smoked - I am a man of little to no patience, so risked that smoke - and, it was magnificent.
That smoke ðecided me. I was going to get these repaired by an expert. But who? I remembered my old, €10 Dunheill Shell that had a crack in the bowl (HUGE cake from previous owner) - I'd sent it to Ian Walker to see what he could do, and he'd stunned me with his repair, and was even more pleasantly stunned at the cost. I couldn't understand how he could do the work he did for the little he charged.
So, I emailed Ian, a man of few words, and asked if he'd have a look at my pipes. He was game, so I packed them up and waved them off at the post office. Ian duly contacted me and we agreed the work. I was excited, and the anticipation was killing me, until yesterday. They arrived at my door. I'm just back in from 3 hours in the greenhouse with the 2 bend Meers and an Erinmore plug. Wow!!!!



The above needed new threads and bone tenons. I don't know how old the Meers are, 1 has silver marks, but the date letter is obliterated. The briar is dated to 1905. A happy coincidence with the bent meer is that the original owner carved his initials on the front of the bowl, in small letters - they are also, as it happens, my initials!! This pipe is home.

This meer is just absolutely gorgeous. It had a crack, so Ian put a silver band on it. It looks like it was always meant to be - and better, he monogrammed it with the Norther Briars monogram, and it works beautifully. It real silver. This one smokes itself.
So, basically, this is to thank Ian for his work in saving my beautiful pipes and giving them to me so that I can enjoy a lifetime with then. Thanks, Ian.
Any of you fellows in the UK or Ireland who need a bit of work doing on a treasured pipe, I recommend Ian - wholeheartedly - he's a gentleman and a true craftsman.
Thanks again, Ian.

 

misterlowercase

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May 31, 2012
4,296
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Gorgeous as always, your keen eye finds some real stunners!
Great work by Ian no doubt,

you're lucky to have such a skilled man on hand for such work!
I recently went through a pouch of Erinmore Plug and really enjoyed it - reminded me in flavor profile of some very old Murray's era stuff I was lucky to get my hands on, but the newer flake version I tried didn't seem to have hardly any essence at all, yet the plug carried deep fruitish flavors along with a sort of bitter floral twang,

good stuff.

:puffy:

 

klause

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Jul 9, 2012
554
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Troy, cheers, mate - appreciate it.
First few puffs of the plug and I got a gorgeous peppery zing, then it settled to a gorgeous robust, solid smoke, with lovely little nuances of flavour. First plug of this in about 3 years - it's great stuff. The new flake is great, but not as flavourful as the old stuff. Luckily I have a good few tins with over 10 years on 'em - for a special day. I picked up 10 tins of the new flake at Dubai duty free last December, for less than €10 !!!!!!!! Amazing!! Going to let it age a bit, but may pop a tin when the plug is finished ;-).
I get your view on the old Murray's stuff - good solid tobacco-ie stuff - old school is the only way I can describe it.

 

brass

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Jun 4, 2014
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United States
Beautiful pipes. I have a couple of meers that could use such loving attention. I wonder who stateside could offer similar service?

 
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