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Newsletters 2005 index 


Published in December 2016, the Pipe Club of Norfolk book covers the first 40 years of the club.

54 black and white pages with 40 pictures illustrating various events in the club's history.

This book represents a fascinating part of pipe smoking social history.

The .pdf file copy costs only GBP £4.99 or USD $5.99

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Volume 6 Number 1 Spring 2005
PCN Meeting 15 December 2004
The draw to determine the winner of the 'guess the famous pipe smoker' contest from the Autumn Newsletter took place, and the correct answer revealed as ex US President Gerald Ford. The winner was Michael Walls, so the prize of 50 grammes of tobacco wings its way to Bradford.
There were 34 prizes in the Christmas draw, including a top-of-the-range Peterson pipe (won by the Secretary), a boxed set of Port and Stilton (won by the Secretary) and a box of cigars (won by the Secretary). The booby prize was won by the Chairman. A festive buffet followed, with sandwiches, sausage rolls, quiche and chocolate logs. A few days later the Secretary presented Ian, the Landlord of the Rosary, with a hip flask, and Nina, the landlady, with a CD on behalf of PCN members. Unfortunately the pipe club nativity play had to be cancelled because we couldn't find three wise men and a virgin.
33rd PCN Annual General meeting
19 January 2005
Apologies were received, minutes were read, (and in the absence of the Chairman in the USA) the Vice Chairman gave a revue of the year's activities. Balance sheets for both the Club accounts and the Norfolk Championship were available, the Auditor gave a favourable report, and all officers were re-elected. These were Chairman Len Ellis, Vice Chairman Reg Walker, Secretary/Treasurer Keith Garrard and Auditor Frank King Jnr. The AGM took 19 minutes to complete: this must be some kind of record.
PCN Meeting 19 January 2005
Following the AGM normal club business was discussed. Tony Pringle had sent the club a large pipe, which we will auction at a later date. The Secretary brought along a new tobacco for sale- Trafalgar Flake, which is a rum-soaked navy flake blended in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
We were then joined by local historian Dick Barham, who gave us a talk illustrated by photographic slides. This was a jolly interesting presentation on Norfolk churches. Dick has been visiting us for several years now, and never fails to entertain us with something new and interesting. The monthly raffle was run, and yes- the Secretary did win a prize.
PCN Meeting 16 February 22, 2005
Before the annual Briar Smoking Contest took place the Chairman welcomed three potential new members. Three grammes of Gawith Hoggarth's Best Brown Flake No.2 was smoked in pipes of the members' choice. Keith Coleman was the first to bite the dust after 12'55, with John Elvin close on his heels with 14'45. At the hour mark only four smokers were left: John Betts went out after 60'51 and then Reg Walker at 62'30, leaving James Oxley- Brennan and Len Ellis to fight it out. James finally puffed out after 63'30, leaving Len (66'05) the victor and winner of a GBD pipe. James received 50grs. of Full Virginia Flake. The monthly raffle was held and, believe it or not, the Secretary won nothing.
Pipesmokers Exposed:
BBC1 Inside Out, 24 January 2005
Some months since the BBC Journalist started making his film on PCN our 8 minutes of fame arrived on the evening of 24 January. The piece opened with Keith Garrard, complete with cough, opening Churchill's Tobacconist Shop at an unearthly hour of the morning and being interviewed about the forthcoming smoking championship. Then it was over to The Rosary where PCN members were filmed 'training.' Next was the Lansdowne for the Norfolk Championship.
This centred on our own champion, Len Ellis, the current British champion Reg Stevens, and 'dark horse' George Kristlik from the Czech Republic. They were shown being interviewed, followed by the start of the contest under the watchful eye of referee Ken Paterson and timekeeper Sheila Blowers. The whole thing built up to a climax, with a nailbiting finish between Len and Reg. Most members were featured, including John Elvin in a thoughtful silhouette, and the programme finished with Keith locking up the shop and waving goodbye.
What's In A Name?
In the Middle Ages (that's the period between the Saxons and the Tudors that nobody could think of a name for) there were lots of sheep in England. In fact, in 1300 there were 15 million of them, three times the human population. When the sheep were sheared, the wool was carded, spun into yarn and then woven. To ease the weaving process, the natural grease was left in the wool. But the resulting cloth was coarse and widely meshed. So a Walker was employed to pound and clean off the grease and other impurities.
The solution in which the loosely woven cloth was soaked needed to be alkaline in order to break down the grease, and the cheapest form of alkaline solution available was stale human urine. So if your surname is Walker, one of your distant ancestors probably worked in the wool industry and spent several hours a day trudging up to their knees in stale urine. If our members could produce enough of this liquid, perhaps we could re-enact this at one of our meetings. I'm sure our two Walkers would willingly volunteer. (One of the Walkers writes: I'm sure that the Secretary is full enough of said liquid to provide enough for all of us. Another Walker writes: Taking the err... mickey?)
From the Archives 1994
The 21st. AGM was held in January. At an unexceptionable meeting, all the officers were re-elected en bloc. In February the annual briar smoking contest took place and it was won ( surprise, surprise ) by Len Ellis in 80 minutes with Shaun Struthers finishing second. At the March meeting the landlady of the Rosary Tavern, Ann Mortimer, presented the members with four tins of tobacco that she had purchased on a trip to London, the lids were removed and the contents enjoyed. At this meeting Don Warman gave a talk on astronomy. The club dinner also took place in March. A darts match was played against the Mill Tavern in April, with the Pipe Club winning 4-3. At the April meeting there was a games night. with skittles, shove ha'penny and cribbage among the events. John Leverington turned out to be the best all round sport. A "guess the tobacco" evening was organised in May in which Tony Larner proved himself to be the expert. New member David Crabb was welcomed at the June meeting at which our guest speaker was Dick Rayner who gave us a talk on the history of the Norfolk Regiment during World War One.

The annual bowls tournament took place at the British Rail green in July, this was won by Tony Larner. A buffet consisting mainly of crabs (in honour of our Cromer winner?) and ham (in honour of our Stowmarket Secretary?) was enjoyed at the Rosary Tavern. Also in July Ronnie Bobbin presented a music quiz. As the music was from the right era for most of the members, the scoring was fairly high, with Alan Holmes coming out top of the pile. The August trip to Cromer was postponed due to a strike by railway signalmen. Sweet Dublin tobacco (three grammes, and this was three grammes too much for the taste of most members) was smoked in the clay contest in August, . Frank King Jnr. was the victor in 68'32.

The rearranged trip to Cromer took place in September but was dogged by bad weather and a poor turnout. At the monthly meeting new member Stephen Cox was introduced. Also this month saw the return darts match with the Mill Tavern. This time PCN lost 5-2. Dick Barham was our guest speaker in October with slides of Norwich in the form of a quiz, the winner was James Oxley-Brennan. The third Norfolk Championship took place at the Lansdowne Hotel in October. Peter Knight was in the Guest Speaker spot, and 28 smokers took part- including two from the USA. The winner was Keith Garrard, who received a Peterson Rathbone pipe for his efforts. The tobacco smoked was Radford's Mixture and the pipes were by Wilmer.
At the annual darts tournament in November Keith Garrard found himself in the final for the third year running. This time he won, beating Len Ellis in a nailbiting final. A cheese and pickle evening was also enjoyed. There were 22 prizes in the Christmas draw in December, and the draw was followed by a seasonal feast.
By our Court Correspondent, Frank King Jnr. There was pandemonium today at Horseferry Road magistrates court as the well known amateur detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes was arraigned for a number of offences against the "Tobacco oppression for society's health" (TOSH), act of 2005. Holmes, who pleaded guilty, asked for several thousand other offences, committed over the past 120 years, to be taken into consideration. Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard said it was by far the most expensive investigation in police history. Holmes had smoked in a huge variety of languages in magazines, books, televisual broadcasts, various forms of advertising and notoriously on the kinematograph. He was also known to be patron of a number of societies where members may have smoked. These sources revealed that Holmes had also been involved in a string of minor offences such as illegal entry, burglary, trespass and withholding evidence from the police.
Addressing the bench, Holmes claimed that tobacco aided his concentration in solving a number of complex problems and cogitating methods to keep track on a criminal mastermind known as Moriarty. Mr. Lestrade dismissed these accusations as "Bosh" as in the course of his investigations he had never seen Mr.Moriarty smoke. The court gave leave for Mr. Moriarty to sue Holmes for slander. A search of Holmes' premises, 221b Baker Street, confirmed that he was a regular smoker of tobacco pipes, cigars and Turkish cigarettes. Under astute questioning from chief magistrate, Major Phil Anders, Inspector Lestrade revealed that Holmes was known to take cocaine and opium. " If only you had contained yourself to these substances, you would not have found yourself in this sorry mess" lamented Major Anders.

In summing up Major Anders said that Holmes was clearly a long term international tobacco fiend who had tried to impugn others as a smokescreen for his activities, then promptly fined himself £150 for use of a non p.c. term. Holmes, who was denied bail, was warned that he could only expect the full penalty of the law when sentencing was carried out at the next quarter session. A minor charge of bee smoking was dismissed through lack of evidence. In a separate hearing Holmes' long standing associate Dr. John Watson MD admitted similar charges, claiming that pipe smoking alleviated pain from an injury sustained by a Jezail bullet in the Afghan wars. It was shown that the injury was variously in the shoulder or the leg as convenient.
The bench decided that if Watson, as a medical man, did not know, the wound was likely to be pure invention. Watson, who continually interjaculated with cries of "By Jove!" was shown to have accompanied Holmes in most of his smoking activities. It was shown Watson had been known to carry offensive weapons in public, to wit a stout cudgel and an unlicensed old service revolver. The bench said this was really very naughty of him and should he ever be released, which was unlikely, he must not do it again or he would get a severe wigging. A spokesman for the BMA said that Watson was sure to be struck off at a future hearing. A warrant was issued for the arrest of one Mycroft Holmes.
Book Review: The Art of Pipe Smoking
A friend recently passed over a book bought from a second-hand shop in Norwich: The Art of Pipesmoking by Joaquin Verdaguer, decorated by Norma Crockford. It was published by Curlew Press in 1958, and its 60 pages cover the origin of smoking, the birth of pipes, types of pipe, the art of filling etc. The chapter I particularly like covers 'Physicians, Nicotine and Hygiene,' and it finishes with the words '...above all, don't compromise by buying one of the contraptions called hygienic pipes with their inner convolutions and intricate filtering systems. Hygiene is the smoker's evil demon. What if you were found stuck one day with a pipe actually denicotizing the tobacco? Perish the thought! Nicotine is one of the few drugs retaining, in spite of abundant use, its stimulating effect on the body. So leave it where it is. Unless allowed to preserve this grain of devilry, the pipe will become as unexciting as a sterilised test tube. Don't let the health fiends inflict upon us caffeine-free coffee, nicotine-free tobacco and alcohol-free beverages. Why drown this beautiful world of ours in an ocean of near-beer?' The book ends with the words 'We shall live in a world created by our pipe, the world we carry around with us and which peculiarly our own, the world which at every moment, alas, is ending for someone. And we shall understand why the French announce a man's death with the poignant words: Il a casse sa pipe: 'He has broken his pipe.'

An old sticker in the front of the book discloses that the original owner was Mr JFM Brackley, of Henley Road Norwich. The latest telephone directory shows that he is still living there, and the Secretary confirms that he was a Churchill's customer for years, and lived to a ripe old age. So smoking a pipe obviously did him no harm!
Forthcoming events
Friday 1 April Annual Club Dinner on All Fool's Day. No comment. Wednesday 20 April Ronnie Bobbin with his quiz on famous pipe smokers Wednesday 18 May Smoking contest using 4grs. of tobacco Wednesday 15 June Tobacco sampling evening. How well do you know your tobaccos? Wednesday 20 July To be announced. Any ideas? Wednesday 17 August Auction night. Bring along your unwanted Dunhill straight grains and smoking miscellany and we will auction them for club funds. Wednesday 21 September The annual clay pipe smoking contest Sunday 9 October 14th. Norfolk Open Championship at the Lansdowne Hotel
Urgent Reminder
If you have not renewed your membership for 2005 you are well overdue. Please send a cheque for £6.30 made payable to The Pipe Club of Norfolk to: Keith Garrard,18 Florence Road ,Norwich ,NR1 4BJ.
Volume 6 Number 2 Summer 2005
PCN Meeting 16 March 2005
Thirteen members turned up at The Rosary on the first fine evening of the year, but where was the Secretary? On a seminar for Raffle Organisers? With Bill Taylor looking for the Vice Chairman's nearly-finished calabash? No, according to the note pinned on the Clubhouse door...'my apologies for not being with you this evening: my family has dragged me away to Tunisia' (I see that the temperature that day was 73 degrees centigrade- not hot enough to leave the hotel bar then). The note went on to say that several people entered the 'name the famous pipe smoker' quiz in the Winter newsletter. Most people, including our Chairman, thought it was Bing Crosby (in Santa Claus disguise). Only one person correctly identified the smoker, and John Walker wins 50 grammes of tobacco for naming Len Ellis! Perhaps our Chairman should look in the mirror more often.
The main event of the evening was an entertaining and informative talk from James Oxley-Brennan. He brought along dozens of original matchboxes and memorabilia from his vast collection. Many of the names brought back memories of the days when the British match was king, long before the gaslighter was a flicker in the Taiwanese manufacturer's eye. The ever-efficient John Elvin had brought along tobacco and raffle prizes (no fear of a Secretarial win this month) and we toasted the health of Tony Larner's newly-born daughter Emily.
Famous Norwich Tobacconists
John Buckle was Sheriff of Norwich in 1787 and Mayor in 1793. He was a Whig, an Alderman for Mancroft Ward and a tobacconist at 6 The Haymarket. His trade sign was The Golden Pipe. He died intestate at his home in Hethersett on 4 February 1818, aged 70, leaving all to his only son and next of kin, Thomas Starling Buckle the rector of Bramerton. His daughter, Rebecca married John Herring. There is a mural to their memory in St.George's, Colegate.

Thomas Brook was landlord of the Eldon Stores, 2 Bethel Street from 1867 to 1889. His advert of 1877 reads – TEA DEALER AND TOBACCONIST WINE, SPIRIT, ALE AND PORTER MERCHANT IMPORTER OF FOREIGN CIGARS AND FANCY GOODS BULLARDS SPARKLING CHAMPAGNE ALES London Brown Stout, Bitter and Imperial Ales drawn from the wood. CONCERTINAS FROM 4/- EACH – INSTRUCTION BOOK FREE

With 15 minutes of the game left, nippy inside left Jimmy Shields fastened on to left winger Tommy Newell's cross. He smashed the ball into the back of the net and Norwich City, playing their first ever game of football had equalised. Jimmy Shields had the privilege of scoring City's first ever goal. It happened on Saturday, September 6 1902 when Harwich and Parkeston provided the opposition.
The local newspaper report of the goal read as follows – "Newell worked the leather down prettily, and chose the right moment to pass to Shields. The latter took aim, and had the satisfaction of seeing the ball get past the keeper. The keeper looked as if he could not understand how he had missed the ball. The spectators promptly shook hands with themselves and a prolonged cheer greeted the effort which once more placed the sides on a level footing." Jimmy's playing days were cut short by injury, he only made four other appearances. For several years he and his wife ran a tobacconist and cigar merchants shop in Magdalen Street. He died in 1947.

Samuel Bishop's Matchless Tobacco
See! Stretched on nature's couch of grass
The foot-sore traveler lies!
Vast treasures let the great amass:
A leather pouch and burning glass
For all his wants suffice.

For him the sun its power displays
In either hemisphere:
Pours on Virginia's coast its
blaze, Tobacco for his pipe to raise-
And shines to light it here!

Born in 1731, the Rev. Samuel Bishop went to Merchant Taylor's School in London. After taking his degree at Oxford, he returned to spend his life teaching there, becoming headmaster before his death in 1795. This epigram shows how the notion of the sun serving both to ripen tobacco in America and to light the smoker's pipe in England tickled his fancy.

Christopher Smith
PCN Annual Dinner Friday 1 April 2005
A small but elite turnout for the annual dinner in the clubroom at the Rosary. As members enjoyed prawn cocktail or home-made mushroom soup followed by Nina's steak and kidney pudding or roulades of chicken with stilton, Dusty Springfield was playing in the background. The now famous bread and butter pudding which is made annually by Ian's mum was as good as ever. As the wine flowed copiously (especially at the Secretary's end of the table), John Eason was called upon to give an impromptu after dinner speech in which he related stories about his days with HMSO.
A free raffle was organised by the Secretary, in which the Vice Chairman was the first to be drawn from the Secretary's new Tunisian hat to win the star prize of a GBD pipe. Other prizes went to the Chairman, Auditor and Secretary (no fiddle there then). A general natter followed until Colin Wylie decided to relate a tale about the availability of string during his days at British Rail, at which point most people either fell asleep or ran for the bar. Pity Don Warman was unavailable on the night- his counter-tales of how the unavailability of pairs of scissors in the steel shortage of the mid- 1960s nearly brought HMSO to its knees would have made a fine counterpoint.
Pictures of the enjoyable evening can be seen on our website at www.pipeclubofnorfolk.co.uk
PCN Meeting Wednesday 27 April 2005
The Secretary announced that the club had been entered in the Eastern Evening News Top Tips competition. Any money won would go to a local charity.
Ronnie Bobbin was with us to present a picture quiz on famous pipe smokers. There were 25 pictures with a question to go with each. The winner was John Eason who scored 35 out of 50, Keith Garrard and Colin Wylie were joint second with 32. The pictures included Alan Whicker when he was a war correspondent and Errol Flynn playing for the Hollywood cricket team. The usual raffle was held, and not content with winning the quiz, John Eason won first prize. It goes without saying that the Secretary also won a prize. It is indeed a tribute to his organisational skills that he manages to run and win the raffle each month.
PCN Meeting 18 May 2005
The draw was made for the picture quiz in the Spring newsletter. Several people correctly identified local naturalist Ted Ellis (apologies to those outside Norfolk who had probably never heard of him). The first name to be drawn from the vice chairman's hat was the vice chairman: is this a magic hat, or has he got a magic head?
The main event of the evening was a smoking contest using 4 grammes of tobacco, in this case the choice was Murray's Exmoor Mixture. Match expert James Oxley-Brennan was the first out after only 2.05, his Vestas proving to be the Swan song for his pipe. Len Ellis went out after 59.25 leaving John Walker the winner with 64.05. The winner was presented with a handsome GBD pipe and the runner up 50grs. of tobacco.
BBC Radio Norfolk Drive Time
Keith Garrard, Keith Coleman and Reg Walker appeared live on BBC Radio Norfolk's Drive Time on Wednesday 4 May. This was the local sports section and the subject was pipe smoking contests. John Walker should take a bow, as presenter Chris Goreham was complimentary about the PCN Website. He nearly had a seizure when we whipped out our pipes in the strictly non-smoking building, but luckily nobody had a light.
Personal Column
Pipe smoker, mid fifties, g.s.o.h. Likes real ale and travel, seeks government that will leave him alone.
Mark Twain Speaks from the Grave
"I don't want any of your statistics. I took your whole batch and lit my pipe with it. I hate your kind of people. You are always ciphering out how much a man's health is injured, and how much his intellect is impaired, and how many pitiful dollars and cents he wastes in the course of ninety-two years' indulgence in the fatal practice of smoking; and in the equally fatal practice of drinking coffee; and in playing billiards occasionally; and in taking a glass of wine at dinner, etc., etc., etc. . . .

You never see but one side of the question. You are blind to the fact that most old men in America smoke and drink coffee, although, according to your theory, they ought to have died young; and that hearty old Englishmen drink wine and survive it, and portly old Dutchmen both drink and smoke freely, and yet grow older and fatter all the time.

And you never try to find out how much solid comfort, relaxation and enjoyment a man derives from smoking in the course of a lifetime, (and which is worth ten times the money he would save by letting it alone,) nor the appalling aggregate of happiness lost in a lifetime by your kind of people from NOT smoking."
Mark Twain, San Francisco 1865
From the Land of Green and Black Stuff
The Irish papers have recently contained the news that hundreds of Public Houses are flooding the market, with 20 bars up for grabs in Dublin alone. Publicans claim that they cannot encourage enough drinkers to keep them solvent. They blame a combination of the smoking ban and the influx of café bars. There was an overall drop of 5.3% in bar sales last year and Diageo, owner of the Guinness brand, had to relaunch after its beer sales dropped five per cent. And it's happening here: An article in the London Evening Standard claims that more than 80% of London Pubs are set to become smoke-free as a result of a law due to be implemented in 2008 banning smoking in pubs which sell food.
The Champion Pipesmoker of Great Britain (1972)
HMSO, the Government purchasing department privatised in 1996, used to publish a staff magazine entitled SO Review. The October 1972 edition contained the following article, written by Bob Foulds, who at the time was manager of the HMSO regional branch in Nottingham.

'Dear Editor. You asked me how I aspired to become Champion Pipesmoker of Great Britain- a fulsome title which I hope will not be abbreviated to the Biggest Puff in Nottingham. The answer is I didn't- it was a spur of the moment thing like entering the National Rhubarb Thrashing Championship. I was persuaded into having a try at a competition run by Ogden's St. Bruno in 1971 which called for the answers to six questions about pipes and tobacco and the writing of a slogan for St. Bruno. All who answered the questions correctly became members of the Pipe Club of Great Britain and gained entry into the regional heats of their pipe-smoking championship. The winners of the regional contests would go on to the final. The prize for each regional heat was £10 and a very good Barling pipe; the first prize for the final was £1000, a trophy and a perpetual silver salver. Second prize was £500 and a trophy; third was £250 and a pair of superb Barlings. The regional heats were held in the latter part of 1971 and were smoking contests.

I had no idea what a smoking contest was until I attended the Nottingham area competition at the Albany Hotel in November. The rules are simple- all competitors receive a standard clay pipe about 14 inches long, a packet of tobacco and a box of matches. The pipes are small bowled and hold at the most one twelfth of an ounce. On the word 'go' one opens the packet, fills the pipe and lights it using as much tobacco and as many matches as one wishes. There is, however, a time limit of two minutes for this operation and when that expires no more tobacco or lights are allowed and the timing of the smoking begins. As pipes go out so competitors fail and the person keeping the pipe alight the longest wins. By a stroke of fortune I had bought a pint of bitter just before we sat down to compete and had been charged 20p for it- extortionate, I thought, but I realised that with beer at that price I needed to win the £10, so puffing and sipping gently both pint and pipe lasted seventy minutes and I wound up the winner. When I explained that my success was due not to any special way of filling the pipe, but solely due to the high cost of beer, they didn't believe me but then, they don't know me quite as well as my fellow Lancastrians.

This success brought entry into the final held at the Festival Hall, London, on 5 January 1972 where, with twenty-five others, I set to once more. On this occasion we were seated on a floodlit stage and the public were allowed in. Ted Ray was compere and a good time was had by all except perhaps the contestants, who were sweating it out. The rules were exactly the same and we were off to a good start. The spectators had little interest in us at first, being more concerned with Ted Ray and the bar, but as time went on and the number of competitors remaining was reduced so interest grew and the crowd, including fourteen press photographers and a television camera team, gathered round. I found this very off-putting but I managed to overcome my feelings. To cut a long story short, after 107 minutes 58 seconds I found myself £1000 better off to my very great delight. Fringe benefits were a small engraved silver ashtray and the longest clay pipe I have ever seen- all of three feet long which, I may add, I have smoked although someone had to hold the match to the bowl as my arm wasn't long enough to reach. The secret of long-distance pipesmoking? I haven't one. I can only conclude that it was the tobacco- St. Bruno Rough Cut- which is, oddly enough, the brand I have always smoked. The competition is an annual one, open to all members of PCGB.'
From The Archives- 1995
The Annual General Meeting took place at the Rosary Tavern in January and at an uneventful meeting the committee were re-elected en bloc. The club briar smoking competition took place in February smoking MacBaren's Mixture. The winner was Len Ellis with a time of 77 minutes 40 seconds.

In March Terry Pearce gave a slide show on places of natural beauty in Norfolk. An excellent club dinner was also enjoyed in March in the Rosary clubhouse. Keith Garrard presented a quiz on pipes and pipe tobacco in April, this was won by Keith Coleman and James Oxley-Brennan who tied in a photo finish. A welcome visitor at the May meeting was Mrs. Sheryl Parsons the new owner of Churchills Tobacconists. The main event was a contest smoking 4 grammes of Ogden's Mixture, this was won by Keith Garrard with a time of 81 minutes 5 seconds. In June a tobacco sampling evening was held in the form of a quiz, Tony Larner proved to be the expert on this occasion.

The 4th. Annual Bowls tournament took place in July with the winner being Frank King Snr. The usual good meal was partaken at the Rosary afterwards. Also in July an evening was held where members brought along pipes and artefacts from their vast collections and displayed them in the clubroom. In August Dick Rayner gave a talk entitled "Army recruiting in Norfolk in 1916". The annual outing to Cromer also took place in this month, visiting Crossways Tobacconists, several pubs and Munroe's fish and chip shop. In September James Oxley-Brennan broke the club clay pipe smoking record with a time of 82:47. The tobacco was Terry Pearce's special mixture. October saw the 4th. Norfolk Pipesmoking Championship at the Lansdowne Hotel, this years guest speaker was John Gawith of Gawith Hoggarth Ltd. well known tobacco blenders and manufacturers. The contest proved to be the year of the secretaries with PCN Hon. Sec. Shaun Struthers winning (66:59) and PCL Hon. Sec. Peter Wiseman the runner up (61:40). Ennerdale Mixture was smoked in Barling pipes. Len Ellis won the annual darts tournament in November and at that month's meeting a cheese and pickle evening was enjoyed. There were 35 prizes in the Christmas draw in December, followed by a sumptuous seasonal buffet.
Forthcoming Events
Wednesday 17 August: auction evening. Bring along your old Dunhill Straightgrains and we will sell them. ( It's like Flog It gone mad)
Wednesday 21 September: the annual clay pipe smoking contest
Sunday 9 October: the 14th. Norfolk Open Pipesmoking Championship at the Lansdowne Hotel (formerly the Pearl Continental). This year's guest speaker is Ian Walker of Northern Briars. The competition pipes are by Cadogan, and the tobacco is Robert McConnell's Scottish Cake.
Wednesday 19 October: to be announced.
Wednesday 16 November: the ever popular cheese and pickle evening.

Volume 6 Number 3 Autumn 2005
The deaths of two old friends and longstanding members of the Pipe Club of Norfolk are reported with deep regret.

Tony Linklater regularly attended meetings, and the PCN annual championship, until his wife became unwell. She subsequently died, and Tony returned to his native Scotland, where he stayed until his own sad death in July 2005.

John Leverington was one of the stalwarts of PCN, well known for his stories and his sportsmanship. He was a star of our darts and bowls tournaments. We heard of his death early in August 2005.

Both Tony and John will be sadly missed.
PCN Meeting 15 June 2005
For this meeting the Secretary had arranged a flake tobacco sampling evening. A sheet of paper with descriptions of twelve flakes was issued to each member, along with six samples of tobacco. The idea was to identify which six flakes these were, a couple of members managed a nil return and generally the scoring was fairly low.
The winner was Tony Larner, who correctly identified four out of six- a bit suspicious really, as he had just spent a weekend away with the Secretary at the PC British Championship. Even more suspicious was the monthly raffle, at which the Secretary won two prizes.
A Visit to the Netherlands
Three PCN members, namely Keith Garrard, Reg Walker and John Eason, set out from Norwich on Tuesday 5 July to travel by train and ferry to Middelburg in the Zeeland region of The Netherlands. After spending Wednesday exploring the town (and the Vice Chairman buying a replacement trilby- it's a long story) and the excellent tobacconist Sigarenhuis Anno 1920 owned by Mr Van de Warrt, the Administrator of the local pipe club, we made our way to Braai-Tapperij de Mug on the Vlasmarkt. Following a hearty meal washed down with de Mug beer, we joined members of 'tWalchersche Pijproockgilde in their meeting room.
The assembled company made us very welcome and each of us was presented with a tie and a book. We were also offered free beer for the evening. The words 'died and gone to heaven' were heard from the lips of one of the company. A pipesmoking contest took place; smoking a mixture the Administrator had blended himself. We far from let the side down, recording the following times: John 43'50; Keith 60 minutes exactly; Reg 65'45. The winner, from Belgium, recorded a time of over two hours. We made our farewells and thanked everyone for a splendid evening and made our way back to the hotel for a couple of beers before bed. Thursday was local market day so we had a look around, stopping for a rest and a beer as we did so. On Friday we made the long trek home, stopping for a rest and a beer as we did so. An excellent break was had by all.
An alternative report:
Three Men on the Bummel
Ten things not included in the Official report on the trip to Middelburg:
1. Walker left his hat on the train to London. He bought a cheap and nasty replacement in Middelburg. Any employee of One Railways seen wearing a blue Borsalino should be reported to the Club Secretary.
2. The Club Members were shown to be mere amateurs when it came to drinking. A German sailor in our hotel shifted an estimated 30 glasses of Dutch Pils during our first day in Middelburg (and at least four packs of Marlboro). Mercifully he slowed down somewhat thereafter.
3. The Club Secretary is brilliant at Cryptic Crosswords, provided he has at least two others to help with the hard ones.
4. John Eason fell in love with Koko, a fellow resident of the hotel. Koko is an African Grey Parrot.
5. The Club Secretary had already fallen in love with Black Parrot, a tobacco which he heartily recommended (and subsequently bought up the entire Dutch stock before Walker and Eason could get a look in).
6. Much time was spent by two members watching Channel 25 television.
7. Dutch tobacconists help their clients by opening tins to allow the aroma and texture of the wares to be sampled. We understand that a well-known Norwich retailer will not be following this example.
8. The Middelburg club night was enlivened by the presence of a blonde female Dutch television presenter, who promised to maintain contact with the Club Secretary.
9. Dutch tobacconists give free goodies to valued clients (lighters, cigars etc.). See item 7 above, second sentence.
10. The team was surprised and delighted to find that there is a small town at the Hook, which has a good variety of bars, shops, and buxom girls in tight vests. The next trip may penetrate no further into the interior of the Netherlands than this.

I make that fifteen libels- sixteen if Koko can get a lawyer on Higher Perches.
Bach goes to town
Whene'er I take my pipe and stuff it
And smoke to pass the time away
My thoughts, as I sit there and puff it,
Dwell on a picture sad and grey:
It teaches me that very like
Am I myself unto my pipe. Like me this pipe, so fragrant burning,
Is made of naught but earthen clay;
To earth I too shall be returning,
And cannot halt my slow decay.
My well used pipe, now cracked and broken,
Of mortal life is but a token.

No stain, the pipe's hue yet doth darken;
It remains white. Thus do I know
That when to death's call I must harken
My body, too, all pale will grow.
To black beneath the sod 'twill turn,
Likewise the pipe, if oft it burn.

Or when the pipe is fairly glowing,
Behold then instantaneously,
The smoke off into thin air going,
'Til naught but ash is left to see.
Man's fame likewise away will burn
And unto dust his body turn.

How oft it happens when one's smoking,
The tamper's missing from it's shelf,
And one goes with one's finger poking
Into the bowl and burns oneself.
If in the pipe such pain doth dwell
How hot must be the pains of Hell!

Thus o'er my pipe in contemplation
Of such things - I can constantly
Indulge in fruitful meditation,
And so, puffing contentedly,
On land, at sea, at home, abroad,
I smoke my pipe and worship God.

Johann Sebastian Bach - 1725 (1685-1750)
PCN Meeting 20 July 2005
Those ageing disc jockeys Walker and Coleman presented an evening of musical delight playing 78 rpm records on various pieces of equipment including two wind up gramophones (one kindly provided by Richard, a man who clearly understands shellac fatigue).

In the first half Walker played music from mainly the 40's and 50's all with one word answers (and we know the word Frank Snr. used); the second half consisted of Coleman playing 50's music. Len Ellis and Keith Garrard thought they had done fairly well, scoring 24 points each until John Eason declared his score to be a mighty 41.
This was later found to be an error- in fact, he scored 42. All three were awarded tobacco for their efforts., but the real winner was John Walker, with a much improved score over last year. He was last seen skipping down Rosary Road singing 'I got a point! I only bloody got a point!' Watch out for next years music event when "Your ace DJ, THE BIG K, your host with the most" will revive his 60's Roadshow. His 'groupies' tell me that it was only called a Roadshow as so many of the audience kept telling him to hit the road, jack................
Edward Bulwer-Lytton's Pipedreams
Born in 1803 as the third son of the irascible General Earle Bulwer-Lytton of Heydon Hall, Norfolk, Edward was brought up by his mother. After his own unwise marriage, he set out to repair his finances with his pen. Fortunately his long novels and his dramas were popular in their day, though generally neglected nowadays. Bulwer-Lytton also entered politics- he became an MP, served briefly as Colonel Secretary and received a peerage before his death in 1873.

His novel Night and Morning (1841) includes this remarkable passage:
'A pipe is a great soother-a pleasant comforter. Blue devils fly before its honest breath. It ripens the brain: it opens the heart and the man who smokes thinks like a sage and acts like a Samaritan.' In later life Bulwer-Lytton inherited Knebworth House, near Stevenage. There a portrait by Edward Ward may still be seen. It depicts the author in pensive mood enjoying his chibouk- a Turkish pipe with a cherrywood stem around six feet long. He plainly preferred his smoke well-cooled.
Christopher Smith
Tradition of Pipe Smoking in Ireland: reprinted from Clare Champion March 2004
The Riches of Clare exhibition at the local-authority run Clare Museum charts the county's history. In this article, Tomás Mac Conmara tells us about an old habit which is rarely seen today.
Pipe smoking is a habit rarely seen these days due to smoking restrictions and cultural change, but also due to the emergence in the early 20th century of the cigarette. In the days before cigarettes, and for some time after, the common man and woman smoked tobacco from a clay pipe. Indeed, the widespread distribution of such pipes even today, is indicative of their once common usage. Clay pipes, or "Dúidíns" as they were known in Ireland were once found in almost every house in the country. Their association with traditions, along with the pleasure of "taking a puff", led to their growth in popularity throughout the country but most particularly in the rural communities of Ireland. They were often associated with storytellers who would keep an attentive crowd in suspense in the midst of a story while having a smoke from his dúidín. Clay pipes were also particularly prominent at wakes, where trays of tobacco filled pipes, Guinness and whiskey would be provided for the mourners.
As soon as a person died, relatives or friends would buy a number of items for the funeral ceremony and these typically included a half barrel of porter, a gallon of whiskey, snuff, tobacco, and of course clay pipes. It may seem strange now, but the clay pipe was one of the most important parts of any wake and was considered improper to be without them. A gross or more was usually purchased and this would then be filled with a twist of cheap tobacco, and passed around to all the mourners in the room. Traditionally, the shank of the clay pipe was dipped into some Guinness or whiskey, a process that scaled the mouthpiece and imparted a good flavour to the clay for the smoker. Upon receiving the pipe it was customary to say "Lord have mercy" and in time the pipe became known as a "Lord ha' mercy".

The village of Knockcroghery, County Roscommon, was for almost 300 years the dominant area for production of clay pipes in Ireland. Towards the end of the 19th century, seven different families were involved in the production of clay pipes in the village, but this local industry ceased abruptly on June 19, 1921, when a party of Black and Tans burned down the village during the War of Independence. Today in Knockroghery, where Curley's Claypipe factory once stood, this old craft has been revived. Using the original tools and techniques, clay pipes are painstakingly hand made using the same skills employed by the artisan's centuries ago. It was the popularising of tobacco by Sir Walter Raleigh at the end of the 16th Century that led to the growth of the clay pipes in Ireland.

Initially, they were of small size, directly linked to the expense in obtaining the "better tobacco" from Spanish colonies in the New World. After relations between Spain and England improved, larger pipes began to be produced with the stem sometimes reaching a foot long. Great effort was made to look after your clay pipe. Due to their fragile nature, tapping the pipe against a hard surface in order to dump tobacco or ashes out was ill advised. The pipe was cleaned by placing it on the coals of a fire where all the residue would burn to ashes. This process could actually result in making the pipe more durable. Although clay pipes are relatively common artefacts of the past, to see someone slowly manipulate a piece of tobacco and a pipe into a smouldering extension of themselves while telling you about the old days is indeed a rare event, not least because of our changing attitudes to tobacco.
PCN Meeting 18 August 2005
The August meeting was an auction evening. Members brought along unwanted articles which were auctioned by the Secretary. Lots varied from old pipes, pipe racks, books and videos to Christmas decorations. Every lot was sold, some members buying more than others (was the Vice Chairman entirely sober?). The result of an entertaining evening was a profit to club funds of £182.45 and more orders for new stems for Churchills.
From the Archives: 1996
At an uneventful AGM in January the current officers were all re-elected.

The annual briar contest was held in February, with the victor being Frank King Jnr. in a club record time of 89'05. An indoor games evening was held in March which included bar skittles and table football. This was won by Andrew Parsons. A buffet followed. Also in this month, 19 members sat down to an excellent annual dinner at the Rosary Tavern. In April Keith Coleman presented a quiz on radio and television. This was won by Keith 'Square Eyes' Garrard. Frank King Jnr. struck again in May, winning the 4gr. contest in a time of 89'22. It was reported at the June meeting that our Chairman Len Ellis had won the British Championship and the PCN team had won the team trophy. Frank King Jnr. struck yet again at this meeting winning the tobacco sampling evening by correctly identifying 5 out of 6 of the tobaccos. How many free pipes does he need?

At the July meeting Tony Larner presented a quiz on pipes and tobacco. Most members found this rather difficult, and the winner was Keith 'Tobacconist' Garrard with 13 out of 20. The annual bowls tournament was also held in July, with Len Ellis getting his name on the trophy for the first time. The usual good buffet was enjoyed afterwards. Ten members turned out for the annual trip to Cromer which included a visit to Crossways tobacconist and an alfresco fish and chip supper. The clay smoking contest in August was won by James Oxley-Brennan for the second year running.

Peter Wrightson of JTI was our guest speaker at the September meeting, bringing with him a large number of samples. In October Bill Taylor was the guest speaker at the 5th. Norfolk Open Pipesmoking Championship. This year's winner was Andrew Briggs with a time of 108'08. In November John Leverington won the darts tournament, going through the evening unbeaten.

A cheese and pickle evening was held in November. On the 12 December 15 members turned up for an open evening at Churchills. The owner, Sheryl Parsons, had laid on food and drink and a free raffle (which was won by Keith 'Employee' Garrard- some things never change). Several members finished the evening off at the St. Andrews Tavern. There were 40 prizes in the Christmas draw at the December meeting, which included the usual seasonal buffet.
Forthcoming Events
Sunday 9 October: 14th. Norfolk Open Championship at the Lansdowne Hotel.
Wednesday 19 October: Cigar smoking contest. Who can produce the longest ash?
Wednesday 2 November: Annual darts tournament. Prizes for the winner and highest score. Sandwiches afterwards.
Wednesday 16 November: Cheese and pickle evening.
Wednesday 21 December: Wear a funny hat (the Vice Chairman already does)- it's the Christmas draw and party night.
Wednesday 18 January 2006: Pipe Club of Norfolk 34th. AGM

Volume 6 Number 4 Winter 2005
PCN Meeting 21 September 2005

Thirteen competitors took part in the annual clay pipe contest and clays of various shapes and sizes were smoked using 3grs. of Trafalgar Flake to mark the 200th. anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar plus the local connection with Lord Nelson. John Elvin lost his sea legs very early on, going out after only 1 minute 27 seconds, When John Betts went out after 38:10 this left Len Ellis and Colin Wylie to battle it out for first prize. Len walked the gangplank at 45:30 to leave Colin Wylie the main man with a time of 51:43. Colin was presented with a Parker pipe.
Note: A certain contestant only managed 32 minutes. We wonder where the wind was blowing from that night. (see alternative championship report below).
14th Norfolk Open Pipesmoking Championship, 9 October 2005
A fine day greeted the contestants as they arrived at the Lansdowne Hotel for the 14th. Norfolk Open. The five trade stands, each packed with quality pipes, were very busy as people arrived from as far afield as the Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Birmingham and Thorpe Hamlet. A very good three course Sunday lunch was enjoyed before toastmaster Dave Bullock introduced the guest speaker Ian Walker. This was followed by a few words from Chairman Len Ellis.
A giant raffle then took place with three of the first ten prizes going to the Secretary (Surprised? You could have knocked me down with John Elvin's feather duster. Anyway, he needed a couple of new pipes) The winner of the most prizes must have been Tim Knight, as he appeared to leave with two suitcases.
Then to the contest itself: straight billiard pipes with saddle mouthpieces had been supplied by Murray, Frame and Love, and the contest tobacco was Robert McConnell's Scottish Cake. For the second year running George Kristlik was the first out. John Elvin kept up his remarkable form of late and soon followed suit. In an exciting climax, Len Ellis overtook Balraj Singh by 3 minutes and 10 seconds with last years winner, Reg Stevens in third place. (full list of times below).
Guest speaker Ian presented George with the dreaded wooden spoon, the team trophy to the John Hollingsworth team, and prizes to the top five finishers. With 41 competitors this was yet again a very successful day.
The organisers would like to thank all those who made the effort to attend and the following for kindly donating prizes, Clive Humm, George Krislik (Jan Pipes), Bill Taylor (Ashton Briars), Cadogan, Alfred Dunhill Ltd., Merton and Falcon Ltd., Northern Briars, Anglia Direct Ltd., The Rosary Tavern and Churchills, plus all those individuals who brought along prizes on the day.

The full card speaks for itself:

1. Len Ellis       1:24:10
2. Balraj Singh       1:21:00
3. Reg Stevens       1:11:03
4. John Walker       53:47
5. Dave Bullock       53:35
6. John Green       53:16
7. Michael Taylor       48:24
8. Mark Dyer       45:54
9. Richard Adamek       45:52
10. Peter Hatten       44:16
11. Tim Knight       43:51
12. Martin Oliver       41:37
13. Reg Walker       41:21
14. Peter Wiseman       40:03
15. Richard Neville       39:10
16. Gerard Radegonde       39:09
17. Keith Garrard       37:46
18. George Doubleday       37:45
19. Chris McCann       37:19
20. Tony Larner       37:03
21. Chris Gregory       36:09
22. Tony Kelly       35:40
23. Leon Pickering       35:28
24. Gary Weston       34:56
25. Frank Gurney-Smith       32:41
26. Alex Burn       32:16
27. Keith Coleman       31:33
28. John Betts       30.00
29. Michael Thompson       28:09
30. Peter Blackman       27:33
31. John Eason       24:51
32. John Whitlock       23:48
33. Tony Bullen       23:38
34. Mark Heel       22:34
35. Richard Ravenscroft       22:08
36. Dave Polhill       21:34
37. Frank King       20:39
38. Ian Walker       14:24
39. Phil Leach       12:51
40. John Elvin       8:26
41. George Kristlik       1:42

Team Scores were John Hollingsworth, Birmingham 4:36:57; Pipe Club of Norfolk 4:01:11; Pipe Club of London 3:01:30
PCN Meeting 19 October 2005
Adrian Baker was welcomed back to the club after a long absence. The Secretary gave a financial report on the recent Norfolk championship, and reported that Ian and Nina- our hosts at the Rosary- were shortly to leave the pub.
A cigar smoking contest took place to see who could retain the longest ash. As members held their cigars in an upright position, referee Keith Coleman dashed around with his highly complicated measuring equipment. The winner of a very exciting contest was Frank King Jnr. with 2 7/16'' . Others achieving over 2 inches were Tony Larner (2" 1/8), Len Ellis (2" 1/16) and John Walker (2"). John Eason had bent ash and blamed the wind, and Keith Garrard said he should have won as he was the only one with an erection at the end of the contest.
PCN Annual Darts Tournament 2 November 2005
A good turn out (nine players) for this year's competition; a round robin was played with each player competing in 3 games. At the end of this, three players- Len Ellis, Keith Coleman and Keith Garrard- returned 100% records. Len drew the long straw and received a bye into the final and the two Keiths battled out the semi-final, with Garrard narrowly winning. In a tense final Len 'the Power' Ellis proved too good for Keith and took the first prize. For a long while Reg Walker was winning the highest score with 136 but Len crept in with 138 to bag that prize as well. John Eason blamed his disappointing performance on the wind around the oche. Sandwiches and chips rounded off an enjoyable evening.
PCN Meeting 16 November 2005
Tony Larner was presented with 50grs. of tobacco for scoring a maximum 18 points in the Autumn newsletter picture quiz. The answers were –

1. Vincent Van Gogh
2. Moe Howard
3. Joseph Stalin
4. Basil Rathbone
5. Andie McDowell
6. Edwin Hubble
7. J. R.R. Tolkein
8. Clark Gable
9. Cary Grant
10. Albert Einstein
11. Russ Abbot
12. Stephen Fry
13. Graham Chapman
14. Harold Wilson
15. Trevor Baylis
16. Eric Morcambe
17. Mark Twain
18. Nigel Bruce

The main event was the ever popular cheese and pickle evening, 12 different cheeses were available for tasting including Norfolk White Lady, Lincolnshire Blue and Suffolk Gold. Pickles included mild onions, strong onions, gherkins, walnuts, papaya and locally made piccalilli. The fare was washed down with real ale and everybody went home happy.
Each answer contains the word pipe

1. Racing trainer based at Wellington, Somerset.
2. A member of the sea horse family
3. Mock Orange
4. Eriocaulon septangulare
5. Australian shrike
6. To have to pay heavily
7. A small recorder
8. Calumet
9. C17H19O3N
10. Pop group whose drummer was Reg Nave
11. UK singer/actress born 09/09/82 in Swindon
12. Boatswain's call "hands turn in "
13. To snivel or weep
14. The piper in a Morris Dance
15. Old Toby in Lord of the Rings

ANSWERS BY FEBRUARY MEETING to Keith Garrard, 18 Florence Road, Norwich, NR1 4BJ or keith.garrard@ntlworld.com

An Alternative View of the Norfolk Championship 2005
The following article was received in an unmarked brown envelope. The writer purports to be one Joe O'Shann. We believe that this may be an anagrammatic pseudonym.

'Waking to a clear blue sky and a slimming breakfast of black coffee, everything seemed set for an enjoyable and successful day. The pre-ordered taxi arrived bang on time, and your correspondent arrived at the Lansdowne Hotel just after twelve noon. Needless to say, there was already a group of hard trainers already in residence at the bar, notwithstanding the absence of Real Ale. And the trade stands seemed to be doing some good business, despite a well-known Norwich retailer telling anyone who would listen that his emporium contained many fine Briars and would be open first thing on the morrow (God, and John Elvin, willing).
Your correspondent purchased an Ashton Briar, large enough to guarantee over an hour's smoke even for novice practitioners like what I am. Well satisfied with my purchase I returned to the bar, and received disturbing news as I did so. The Chairman told me I was to be a member of the Norfolk team. I expressed the hope that it was the 5th team, as I was thinking of taking up speed smoking.
I was then told by the Secretary that he had overlooked my entry and hence would be seated in last place in the competition. No worries! I looked forward to sitting in a quiet corner and concentrating on breaking the ten minute barrier.
A nice lunch and a few glasses of claret later, I felt quietly confident, but was slightly disturbed to find on entering the hall that I was now to sit in position number 18. Oh no! Windy corner, the elephants' graveyard of hopes and ambitions. Battered by gale-force winds from three sides, we lit up. Well, some of us did. My neighbour, who had travelled dome distance to be there, had the (non-Czech) lucifers provided whipped from his despairing grasp by the prevailing Force Nine and thus his hopes evaporated without troubling the scorer. Not that mine lasted much longer. As contestant after contestant in Windy Corner dropped out (largely on account of hypothermia and exposure) I too succumbed to the inevitable. As I was helped to the bar by a mountain rescue team, I cast an envious look at those basking in the warmth of better starting positions.
A glass of beer later, I felt recovered enough to return to the hall to see the last stages of the contest. The Chairman continued his inconsistent run in this championship. Having plummeted to second place last year, he won it this time. Full details elsewhere, no doubt. And he was sporting in his moment of victory, congratulating the runners-up, and telling me that if one person had not been in his team we would have won the Shield.
Ah well, I could have told him. Still, I did win four raffle prizes, met some nice people from places as far afield as Southend, and generally enjoyed myself. And it's important to be a good loser, I always say. But next year I shall be the contestant in the thermal vest, anorak, and with an inverted fish-tank over my head.
Anticipated comments from the Editor: 1) It's his wife I feel sorry for; 2) Any wind generated in any corner of the hall is likely to have come from the author of this piece; 3) The inverted fish-tank idea seems a good one to me.
A typist writes: It seems to me that the important phrase in this piece is 'a few glasses of claret later....' And the man who took the place of the writer in Position 41, Frank Gurney-Smith, at his first ever contest, performed admirably with a full 7 minutes 50 seconds more than old claret-chops. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
The Secretary adds: It has long been a tradition of the event organisers to place the best smokers, or main competitors, on the long straight tables so the audience can have a good view of the exciting finish. The "also-rans" or "no-hopers" are always placed in the corners to save their embarrassment when making an early exit from the contest. Hope this clears things up.
Seventeenth Century Tobacco Laws
In the light of the much-discussed proposals to ban smoking in public places, The Guardian published a small piece on 27 October giving some historical perspective. In 1604 King James I raised import tax on tobacco by 4000%. In 1617, Mongolia imposed the death penalty for smoking (as did China, in 1638- death by decapitation). 1624 saw the Pope threatening excommunication for snuff use; sneezing was considered too close to sexual ecstasy. The Greek Church's excuse for banning tobacco in 1634 was that it had intoxicated Noah. Smoking was banned in New York in 1639 and made compulsory at Eton School- to help ward off the plague.

The secretary adds: It seems that the Norwich authorities disapproved as well. In 1677, a local motion was passed that "the Bellman doe proclaime in all places through the city that no person do take tobacco in the streets by day or by night"
From the Archives- 1997
The 25th. AGM took place in January. Owing to severe fog, only eight members were able to make it- so propriety was observed. In February, the annual briar contest took place, smoking 3grs. of Oriental Mixture in Big Ben pipes, which had been kindly donated by the Alliance of Pipe Clubs. The winner was Shaun Struthers in 1'20'20 with Adrian Baker second. Seventeen members turned out for the March meeting, at which Ronnie Bobbin presented The Old Codgers Music Quiz- won by Shaun Struthers. The annual dinner also took place at The Rosary . April's meeting was a tobacco sampling in the form of a quiz, won by Tony Larner. In May a contest smoking 4grs. of Blantyre took place and Tony Larner (1'19'00) beat Len Ellis in an exciting finish. The June meeting took place at The Lansdowne Hotel, as The Rosary was temporarily closed. Peter Blackman of Cadogan was the guest speaker at this meeting, and gave a talk on the history of Cadogan as well as bringing along several samples of their pipes.
A five man team went to the British Championship in June, but failed to retain the trophy. Len Ellis was our best performer with 47'42. The individual winner was Laurence Moulton from the South West club.
Keith Garrard won the annual bowls tournament in July. The monthly meeting took the form of a tombola evening, followed by a buffet. In August the annual clay contest took place smoking Charatan Whisky. The winner was Len Ellis in 1'04'30, with Frank King Jnr. the runner up. September saw a quick change of programme and instead of the scheduled event, a contest with not many rules took place smoking as much Revor Plug as one could get in ones pipe. The winner was (oh what a surprise) Len Ellis with 1'55'00 with a very green looking John Elvin finishing second. Dick Barham presented a slide show and quiz on Norwich in October- won by James Oxley-Brennan. 40 smokers took part in the 6th. Norfolk Championship at the Lansdowne Hotel. Roger Merton of Merton and Falcon Ltd. was the guest speaker. 3grs. of Sundowner Mixture was smoked in BBB pipes and the champion was Alan Rockliffe from Pipe Club of London (1'21'31) with our own John Betts finishing second. The famous match stick went to John Elvin. Len Ellis was victorious in the darts tournament in November beating John Leverington in the final. This month also saw the ever-popular Cheese and Pickle evening. In December, 40 prizes were up for grabs in the Christmas draw and the usual festive buffet was enjoyed.
Commemorative 25th. Anniversary pipes (made especially for PCN by Milville) went on sale to members during 1997. Mine is still smoking well.
Forthcoming Events 2006
PCN Meetings are usually set for the third Wednesday of each month.

18 January: 34th. PCN Annual General Meeting to be followed by a display of pipes. Members are asked to bring along their favourite pipes, or any unusual pipes and other smoking artefacts from their collection.
15 February: Annual PCN briar smoking competition.
15 March: Ronnie Bobbin will be along to test your knowledge with his pictures and questions on famous pipe smokers.
19 April: Mark Acton of Tor Imports- supplier of Robert McConnell, Rattray, Dunhill and Samuel Gawith tobaccos- will be with us.
17 May: PCN contest smoking 4grs. of tobacco. The club record is 97 minutes.
21 June: A tobacco sampling evening.
19 July: It's your ace DJ, THE BIG K, your host with the most. The secretary revives his 60's disco. A music quiz with a difference.
Sunday 8 October Fifteenth Norfolk Open Pipesmoking Championship at the Lansdowne Hotel, Norwich.
Sunday 15 October: World Championship in The Czech Republic.
A tobacco blender from the now defunct Murray's factory has joined forces with Peter Stokkebye of Denmark to reproduce Bulwark Flake and Irish Slices. These are now available from Churchills, phone 01603 626437.
Annual subscriptions are do for renewal on 1 January, please send a cheque for six guineas (£6.30), made payable to the Pipe Club of Norfolk to Keith Garrard 18 Florence Road Norwich NR1 4BJ.

Thomas Hutton ran a successful tobacconist shop in St. Andrew's parish in the 17th century. His profits must have been good because he opened a second shop in the neighbouring town of East Dereham. Like many businesses of the time, Thomas Hutton traded in a variety of things including groceries and paper but his principal trade remained tobacco. The smoking of tobacco had grown popular in England during the 17th century. When Hutton died in 1673, he left over seven-hundred weight of leaf tobacco stored in hogsheads, driers and presses. There were also clay pipes, tobacco boxes and hot charcoals provided free in the shop for customers to light up. MOSES LEVINE

At the junction of St. George's Street with Colegate there is now an open space where, in 1937, buildings were pulled down to improve visibility. The houses affected were 31 and 33 St. George's. The former had a weather vane on its gable that was illustrated by Claude Messent in his book on the subject. The pointer, which represented a pipe, was probably put up about a century ago when the shop was occupied by Moses Levine, a tobacconist and pipe maker. It is said he used to hold competitions among his customers, giving a prize to whoever made the best job of colouring a pipe. The house dated from the 17th century; there is a model of it in the Strangers' Hall museum on which the name over the shop is Pinchin's. JOHN GITTENS

John Gittens, Grocer, Tea Dealer and Tobacconist having opened a shop opposite the White Horse, near St.Michael's Coslany Bridge, in the parish of St. Laurence, Norwich, humbly solicits the favours of his friends and the public in general. He sells Teas, Coffee, Chocolate and every other article in the grocery trade on the lowest terms. The Norfolk Chronicle 20 May 1780
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