UK Pipe Smokers....or Lack Thereof

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Gabby Hayes

Lurker
Jun 6, 2021
48
191
So. Cal.
Gabby, I lean toward burleys and every whipstitch I can go for a virginia. In the fall I don’t mind a good vanilla. Yourself?
I smoke Burleys and English/Balkan blends pretty equally. Haunted Bookshop, Old Joe Krantz, Burley Flake #1, Peterson 965, White Knight. But lately I’ve been smoking a lot of Fusiliors Ration and Petersons Irish Flake.
 

PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,543
27,765
Hawaii
You think that’s bad I’m on an island in the Indian ocean where no one is permitted to sell pipe tobacco and any that I get posted in has 300% duty

Usually restrict my pipe smoking to the balcony at home, golf club, the beach or occasionally on a bench outside the office
As far as I know I’m the only pipe smoker here

Seychelles?

I’m in Hawaii, I rarely go anywhere, and when I do, I’ve never seen a pipe smoker here ever.

And there use to be a few nice tobacco shops, now all gone.

This is certainly no pipe tobacco place... :(

P.S. So, 100% of the time, I’m smoking at home.
 

TinCup

Can't Leave
Nov 14, 2019
341
969
Indian Ocean
Seychelles?

I’m in Hawaii, I rarely go anywhere, and when I do, I’ve never seen a pipe smoker here ever.

And there use to be a few nice tobacco shops, now all gone.

This is certainly no pipe tobacco place... :(

P.S. So, 100% of the time, I’m smoking at home.

Close guess, Mauritius
Loose tobacco (pipe or rolling) isn't sold. I think it was a measure to prevent smoking 'other' substances (even cigarette papers are 'illegal' to retail)
However, the personal allowance at duty free means I can get a trickle from folks flying in etc which keeps me ticking over (& means I savor every bowlful I smoke just a little bit more)
 

harkpuff

Lurker
Jan 12, 2012
36
2
I sit on a bench outside my local barbers and smoke typically. There is a nice sun trap there. I also smoke a lot when i'm out walking with my camera.

I don’t know if anyone is interest but here is a little video of me out with my Savinelli taking pictures of a local forest.

What are you smoking in your Savinelli when on your camera shoots?
 
May 9, 2021
1,680
3,597
55
Geoje Island South Korea
You think that’s bad I’m on an island in the Indian ocean where no one is permitted to sell pipe tobacco and any that I get posted in has 300% duty

Usually restrict my pipe smoking to the balcony at home, golf club, the beach or occasionally on a bench outside the office
As far as I know I’m the only pipe smoker here
Damn! That sucks. 300% duty? that is truly insane.

I feel your pain TinCup.
 
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Reactions: PipeIT
May 9, 2021
1,680
3,597
55
Geoje Island South Korea
Contrary to forum membership, pipe smokers aren't a social bunch and tend to seek solitude. There are five others where I work and usually no words are spoken when we're smoking.
I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity. Albert Einstein.

Apparently, he was a pretty smart guy!
 
May 9, 2021
1,680
3,597
55
Geoje Island South Korea
I spotted an elderly pipe smoker in Aberaeron today.
His straight pipe was permanently in his mouth but no smoke was apparent. He seemed to be simply enjoying the view.

I have half planted the seed of having a quarterly pipe evening with two other members of my church. One already smokes cigarettes but is keen on the idea. The other a very occasional cigar smoker. Then there is me.
The idea may not get further than a pipe dream (without the pipe), we are of the opinion that the wrath of our wives might make it not worth the hassle.
If we proceed any further I will report back. But don't hold your breath.
I have suggested a similar thing to the very few guys who I know who smoke pipes. They were/are cigarette smokers.
They were interested in pipes, but living in Korea, they're very few and far between. So I gave them all a MM cob pipe, and cans of tobacco to try. Well, whatya know? They like it!
Still trying to get a "club" or meeting started though.......
 
May 9, 2021
1,680
3,597
55
Geoje Island South Korea
Well.
As my profile explains, and perhaps y’all know by now, I live in South Korea.
There ain’t a whole lot of pipe smoking going on here, believe me!
I don’t get kids looking at moon wonder when I’ve got my pipe fired up, there’s old boys staring at me in wonder!
Unfortunately, I don’t carry any spare cobs with me, but when I offer my tobacco to them to smell, the old guys are extatic! Even taking a pinch to chew & taste. Why not? Maybe it’ll catch on.
 
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marconi

Part of the Furniture Now
May 17, 2019
694
5,322
England
I spotted an elderly pipe smoker in Aberaeron today.
His straight pipe was permanently in his mouth but no smoke was apparent. He seemed to be simply enjoying the view.

I have half planted the seed of having a quarterly pipe evening with two other members of my church. One already smokes cigarettes but is keen on the idea. The other a very occasional cigar smoker. Then there is me.
The idea may not get further than a pipe dream (without the pipe), we are of the opinion that the wrath of our wives might make it not worth the hassle.
If we proceed any further I will report back. But don't hold your breath.
I met a pipe smoker from Abergavenny at the Bromyard Folk festival in the beautiful Wye Valley. I remember it was Abergavenny because he told me about a famous food festival they have in the town every year.

I spent the weekend smoking my cob with this man outside of the beer tent talking about music festivals and beer.
Thinking there would be no pipe smokers at the festival I only brought one cob and enough Stokkebye Evening Flake for four bowls.My new pipe friend smoked a SG or Gawith peach aromatic which he bought from a tobacco shop in Aber. The owner bought in 500g bags of aro and mixed them together and sold it in 25g bags.
After the weekend I sent this man a cob and lots of samples of non aromatics.I hope to see him again at Bromyard this year.When we were smoking our pipes everyone around us seemed relaxed.There was never an issue raised.Festivals are good places to smoke pipes
 

mngslvs

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 24, 2019
259
552
Yarmouth, Maine
Fascinating thread. I've been reading parts of this forum off and on for a few years, and wondered how so many of you had pipe smoking pals. Turns out many of you are like me -- you smoke alone. I have a small room adjacent to my atelier in the basement -- I can smoke there without bothering the spousal unit, who doesn't appreciate pipe smoke, knuckle-dragger that she is.
Anyway I haven't seen a pipe smoker in public for years. I might be one of ten pipe smokers here in Maine. Just a guess, who the hell knows. As to smoking outdoors, I never do it because I like the smoke to envelope me, and outdoors there is almost always some kind of slight breeze. Also it is too much trouble to schlep the various accoutrements -- ash tray, tamper, fire, cleaners, tobacco, sherry, out to the deck. I can't even leave the stuff on the screen porch, cuz for the entire month of June here everything gets covered in yellow pollen. Also the patio furniture is just not as comfortable as my easy chair. So the hell with it I just smoke in my cave.
When I was in college in the late 60s I knew several guys who smoked a pipe. That's when I picked it up---Sir Walter Raleigh, Sail, Middletons Cherry blend......the usual suspects. A friend of mine recently told me that pipe smoking was a thing at the time, and he went to college 1500 miles away. Maybe so but anyway those days are long gone.
I don't know one single pipe smoker now, and there are zero tobacconists in Maine now, to my knowledge, not counting the usual drugstore rubbish. I constructed an order of pipe tobacco at SP.com and got a message saying they can't ship to Maine. [ because of some goddamned new law. ]
I have a somewhat high end pipe collection now, and if I kick off before the spousal unit, wouldn't surprise me if she forgot what I told her to do with them. I mean who the hell smokes a pipe now, anyway ? I DO, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. flags wave, fanfares, salutes, and like that.......
 

Franco Pipenbeans

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 7, 2021
648
1,693
Yorkshire, England
My Grandad got me into this pipe smoking malarkey and back in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s there were loads of old boys, strutting their pipe smoking stuff, up and down the highways and by-ways of Merry Old England.

The air back then was concoction, thick and ripe with the heady scent of cherry aromatics, Clan, Condor and diesel fumes; as I recall it, from the vantage point of my pram, two feet from the pavement, always looking upwards.

Nothing can pollute the air quite like a double decker bus from the 1980’s, aimed directly at a toddler’s face, as he rides his pram and who was always looking upwards.

By ‘98 I was legally allowed into the pubs and taverns of Merry Old England and, as I recall, in one hostelry in particular, local to this observer, the gentlemen in the “Old Phart’s Corner” would be playing crib or dominoes, reading a paper or eagerly looking through seed catalogues, in the hope of finding that one onion varietal that would win the parish vegetable growers prize that summer and all of them, to a man, smoked pipes.

Falcons were the workhorse of the day, the pub pipe of choice: virtually indestructible they are; you can drop them, put them in your pocket and stand up without any fear of the stem snapping or the bowl cracking, leaving a man in a pipe less state of being - a terrible spot to find yourself in.

There were always 4-8 “t’owd” lads, gathered round the dark brown table; the (from modern eyes) over sized tv perched on a shelf above them was only allowed to be turned on for the 6 Nations, the World Cup or war and woe betide anyone (especially anyone as lowly as the pub landlord) who wanted to put it on for any other reason - these old lads turned into a cabal of hissing cobras if anyone even thought about turning it on - “What’s next? You’ll be serving food and then this place won’t be a pub, it’ll be a bloody restaurant!”.

And so the remote control sat, motionless, alongside an empty tv, above the aged Praetorian Guard that sat below, looking at “something for Barbara for her birthday”.

Needless to say, their wives were only names, they were never seen. If you asked where they were you usually got a “No, May will be at the W.I tonight, they’re having a lecture on the intricacies of the the Irish linen trade of the 1880’s - gripping stuff I’m sure.”

During their heated arguments about where best to fish for barbel or if Randy Lad really would win the 4.13 at Kempton they used their pipes like batons; swirling them through the air like a conductor using his baton to control the raging orchestra in front of him, swirling and twirling, conducting the conversation, allowing one or other to talk depending on their conversational pedigree and previous form.

Then begins the prodding and the poking of the pipe stem at the piece of literature causing most offence on that particular day.

“The man must be mad!” Deploys a tactical stem poke at the paper.

“Who’s mad Gerry?”

“That bloody (………….. - insert name of offending individual), we’ll be in the knackers yard by Christmas!” Before the page is turned in disgust; the article best forgotten, move on, next piece nonsense?

To a man, they all seemed to wear thicken woolen cardigans, with brown leather buttons that looked like hot cross buns. The bench creaking and groaning as they leaned back to fish a tamper, a box of matches or an Extra Strong Mint from the cardigan pocket. Ease of access on those cardigans but, word of warning - don’t bend down to get something, otherwise everything falls out of those bloody pockets; it’s a design flaw y’know, might have to get the wife to see them up a bit to reduce the opening.

They had a rule: no one takes the third light off the match; even though none of them had come up against any German snipers in the first war, most of them had come up against the German sniper in the second war and “he was a bugger; he’d never stay still long enough for us to pop him off…and then before you know it, the bugger had popped up somewhere else, taking pot shots from a belfry.” All the while, blue smoke was curling up to the ceiling.

One old lad, Raymond by name, used to tell me that he had a German sniper throughout the war and he was called Helmut. In France it was Helmut taking pot shots as he ran up the beach, and then, on into Germany, Helmut went along too, still taking pot shots at them from behind hedges and barns; Ray used to say that it made it seem more friendly, if you knew the chap who was shooting at you.

The old boys lit up in rotation, almost like dehydrated synchronised swimmers: firstly there was some fiddling with the pipe, scraping it out, with a match usually, knocking it on the rim of the ashtray, without once removing their gaze from the newspaper or the game at hand.

Maybe there would be a rub of a furrowed brow as the empty pipe was placed between dentures and gently blown down, to check the draw was open. A shake of the head, a turn of the page or the placement of a card on the table.

The pouch would be disturbed from its slumber, an occasional tut as the remains of the pouch were picked over. The pipe was loaded, the pouch returned to its natural state of sleep. A match was struck and introduced to it’s victim. Blue smoke rose to the rafters.

Whilst all this was going on, the next chap would be at the scraping his bowl stage and the chap next to him would be at the knocking out stage and, before long, all would be smoking like a little circle of chimneys.

Those lads have all gone now, it’s left to others to moan about the price of beer, “that bloody idiot” and the fact that you can smell the khazis now that they’ve banned smoking in the pub and I think that’s possibly why you never see us in the wild these days - the smoking ban?

It was, at one point, a God given right, that all men on the British Isles were allowed to sup a pint and smoke a pipe at their own pace, in the company of comradesin a houseopen to the public. Ideally next to a roaring log fire on dark winters evenings, whilst putting the world to rights and discussing the merits of marrow fat peas as an accompaniment to meat ‘n tater pie.

Pipes aren’t quick, they are slow, they plod along, they need time and no one has got anytime anymore so we carve out little moments of calm for ourselves, in solitude: in our sheds, our garages, our green houses but rarely in the company of comrades as we no longer set the world to rights.

It’s sad really.

Anyway, that’s my take on it on a Saturday morning.

happy pipes. ✌?