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Newsletters 2006 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

To obtain a .pdf copy, simply click on the following Paypal link and enter payment details:


I shall email your .pdf copy as soon as I see your order.

A few hard copies are available on Ebay: click here 
Volume 7 Number 1 Spring 2006
PCN Meeting 21 December 2005
Tony Larner was presented with 50grs. of tobacco for winning the Christmas quiz; his second quiz win in a row. There were 40 prizes in the Christmas draw, including wines, spirits, pipes and pipe tobacco. The first two prizes out of the hat went to the Secretary (nothing new there) and the star prize, a Peterson pipe, went to Frank King Snr.

Chris and Debbie our new hosts laid on a very good seasonal buffet, which was enjoyed by all. The best Christmas hat was worn by Frank Gurney-Smith, and the silliest by Reg Walker (nothing new there). Watch out for next year's Pipe Club Panto when Keith Coleman will play the dashingly handsome Aladdin; the Secretary, Cassim the King of Thieves; Frank King Jnr., Widow Twankey; Reg Walker, the beautiful Princess Jasmine; and John Eason Iago the Parrot.
34th PCN Annual General Meeting
18 January 2006
Members had been asked to bring along interesting or unusual pipes to display at this meeting, as the Secretary was late arriving (on his way back from a luncheon at the Savoy in London- Reggie's Tea Bar on the Market is no longer good enough for him). The prize for the most inventive display must go to Tony Larner., with a lifelike representation of A Well Known Norwich Tobacconist Shop.
Thus to the AGM, where apologies were made and minutes read. The Chairman, in his report, said the club had had another good year. He thanked the members for the good attendances, and the Secretary for all his hard work during the year. Balance sheets for both the Championship and the Club were available (any member wishing for a copy please contact the Secretary). The cost of the PCN web site was discussed, and after a vote it was agreed to continue with it as a valuable information service. All incumbent officers were re-elected: Chairman Len Ellis, Vice Chairman Reg Walker, Secretary/Treasurer Keith Garrard and Auditor Frank King Jnr. In his report, the Auditor said that the books were in good order and he saw no reason for an increase in membership fees.
In normal club business the Secretary suggested that as we no longer have use of a bowling green it might be possible for a day out at the coast to hold our annual tournament which could be combined with a meal. The first fiddle, sorry I mean raffle of the year took place and yes, you've guessed it, the Secretary won a prize.
Crabbe's Clause
The Reverend George Crabbe (1754-1832) was born in Aldburgh, and was from mixed parentage (Norfolk and Suffolk). On the subject of A Smoking Club, he wrote as follows in his 1810 work Clubs and Social Meetings:

A Club there is of Smokers-Dare you come
To that close crowded, hot, narcotic Room?
When midnight past, the very Candles seem
Dying for Air, and give a ghastly Gleam;
When curling Fumes in lazy Wreaths arise... ..
When but a few are left the House to tire,
And they half sleeping by the sleepy Fire;
Ev'n the poor ventilating Vane that flew
Of late, so fast, is now grown drowsy too... .

Submitted by John Walker
PCN Meeting 15 February 2006
It was a rather solemn bunch of pipesmokers that greeted me at the Rosary Tavern, this being the day after the government voted to ban smoking in all public places. We welcome any correspondence on the subject.
The result of the quiz in the Winter newsletter was announced; John Walker and Keith Coleman being the joint winners with all 15 correct answers. They were given the choice of drawing lots, splitting the prize or a fight on the car park. Although most members seemed to be in favour of a fight, they decided that sharing was the better option.
Our old friend Ronnie Bobbin was with us again with his picture quiz on famous pipesmokers. Each picture had a question to go with it, and the highest scorer on the night was Keith Garrard with 43 points. Frank King Jnr. was second with 41 and John Eason third with 40. A very well put together quiz and a most entertaining evening.

The evidence is unequivocal: the ban on smoking in public will not save any lives. On scientific grounds, the vote to ban smoking in public places must rate as one of the greatest victories ever for mass-hysteria. On all sides we heard how this would save thousands of lives; how the evidence for the damage done by passive smoking is overwhelming; how, since bans were imposed elsewhere, as in Ireland, pub trade has been booming.

In fact this is wholly untrue. When it was first established in the 1950s and 1960s that smokers incur a higher risk of cancer and heart disease, this was not enough in itself to get this fearful practice banned. But the sanctimonious revulsion that built up against smoking made it inevitable that efforts would be made to prove that smoking is harmful to non-smokers as well.
The only problem was that one study after another showed that health risks from passive smoking are non-existent. One 1998 study concluded that regular exposure to"environmental smoke" is equivalent to smoking six cigarettes a year. A seven-year study for the World Health Organisation the same year found the risk of cancer from passive smoking was"statistically insignificant". The largest study, based on 118,000 Californians between 1960 and 1998 and published in the British Medical Journal in 2003, confirmed that smokers had a"higher than average risk of mortality", but found their partners were unaffected.

The anti-smoking lobby squealed at such unwelcome findings. Yet all this hard evidence was happily swept aside by the Gadarene rush of the self-righteous.
As for the belief that the Irish smoking ban has been universally popular, a detailed recent study by Insight Research showed that 67% of Irish pubs have lost trade following the ban, and that for two thirds the losses have been significant. The only pubs bucking the trend are those which have created outdoor"smoking areas" such as heated patios. For the anti-smoking fanatics, I'm afraid, that sanctimonious glow will have to be its own reward. In terms of"saving lives", the evidence suggests that they have achieved nothing at all.
Cold Comfort
Commuters who shiver in cold railway stations should spare a thought for the Edwardian explorer Harry de Windt. In 1902 he travelled far beyond the trans-Siberian railway to carry out a feasibility study for an extension of freight and passenger track all the way to Alaska. Travel across great tracts of the region was possible in the winter, when the marshes froze, but it was hardly comfortable. At one point, near the mouth of the Kolyma river, he met a blizzard." A breastplate of solid ice was formed by driving snow on our deerskins" he reports in From Paris to New York by Land (1903),"and an idea of the intense and incessant cold which followed may be gleaned by the fact that this uncomfortable cuirass remained intact until we entered the first Tchuktchi hut nearly three weeks later".

The Tchuktchis were the indigenous people. The first storm was a poor thing, compared with what followed, but it was bad enough; the tent blew down twice. There could be no fire, and therefore no food, and because of cold and hunger, no sleep."I passed the cold and miserable hours vainly endeavouring to smoke a pipe blocked by frozen nicotine," he reports. The unhappy party dined on such days by holding lumps of frozen fish or meat in their mouths"until sufficiently soft to be swallowed. There was, of course, no means of assuaging thirst, from which we at first suffered severely, for the sucking of ice only increases this evil."
19 April : Mark Acton of Tor Imports-supplier of Robert McConnell, Rattray, Dunhill and Samuel Gawith tobaccos- will be with us. Worth supporting as Mark will be travelling all the way from Devon to present this meeting.
17 May : PCN contest smoking 4 grs. 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 his 60's disco. A music quiz with a difference.
16 August : An auction evening, bring along your unwanted Dunhills, Ashtons and Charatan straight grains and we will sell them.
20 September : The annual clay pipe smoking contest. Yuk!
Sunday 8 October : The 15th. and probably last Norfolk Open Pipesmoking Championship at the Lansdowne Hotel, Norwich. Don't miss it.
Sunday 15 October : World Championship in The Czech Republic.
If you haven't paid your subscription for 2006 you are well overdue.
Please send a cheque for 6 Guineas (£6.30) to Keith Garrard 18 Florence Road Norwich NR1 4BJ. Please make payable to The Pipe Club of Norfolk.
Volume 7 Number 2 Summer 2006
PCN Meeting 15 March 2006
In the absence of the Secretary, who had been dragged kicking and screaming by his family to the sunny shores of Tunisia, there was very little business on the Agenda. Formalities over, the main event of the evening was unveiled as the Annual Briar contest, smoking 3 grammes of Barney's Punchbowle in pipes of the members' choice.

The first to bite the dust (if not the shellac) was that most honourable of Club members, John Elvin, after 720 seconds (sounds better than 12 minutes) closely followed by Leon Pickering, whose young and relatively unsullied lungs expired at 12'05. When the great Len Ellis departed three minutes short of the hour this left a new winner of the contest in the person of Richard Adamek. Richard's time was 64'20 and for his efforts he was presented with a very nice pipe.
PCN Meeting 19 April 2006
Matters for discussion included arrangements for the British Championship, the Annual Dinner, the Annual Bowls Tournament and this year's Norfolk Championship. Ian Walker was to make the pipes for the Norfolk, and the competition tobacco was to be Mick McQuaid Ready Rubbed. Gerry Mir from Tor Imports was welcomed to the meeting, and he was accompanied by a wonderfully large selection of tobaccos for us to sample. These included the range now produced by BAT, Dunhill Royal Yacht, de Luxe Navy Rolls, Flake, My Mixture 965 and Early Morning Pipe. Rattray's tobaccos- Hal O' the Wind, Black Mallory, Old Gowrie, Marlin Flake and Red Raparee.

After Gerry gave a brief introduction, the members began to sample as many as they could manage. The Secretary ran his usual fiddle- sorry, I mean raffle- and you will never guess what happened. The Secretary's ticket was first out of the hat. Quelle surprise, as they say in Trowse. At the end of the meeting all names were put in the Chairman's hat and the remainder of the tobacco was raffled off, so everybody went home happy. Including KJ Coleman, who actually broke his duck and won a raffle prize.
PCN Meeting 17 May 2006
Many years ago, before we adopted the CICP rules, our contests consisted of smoking four grammes of tobacco. Every year we hold a contest to maintain this tradition and to attempt to beat the club record of 97 minutes. This year we smoked four grammes of Mick McQuaid Ready Rubbed tobacco in pipes of the contestants' choice. First out, to keep up his fine form of late, was John Elvin at 26'55.

At the hour, three smokers were left. John Betts managed 68'47; John Walker 70'09. This left Richard Adamek the winner for the second contest running (could he be the new Len Ellis? We couldn't ask the old Len Ellis, as he was in America at the time). Richard's winning time was 79'16 and he was presented with a pipe by the Vice Chairman. Photos are lodged on the PCN Website.

No surprise results in the raffle: the Secretary won first prize for the second meeting running. How does he do it? Letters on a postcard please.
The British Championship:
A Three Day Event
We (Secretary Garrard and Vice Chairman Walker) started out from Norwich on a warm Saturday morning heading for the West Midlands. After three trains and a bus we eventually arrived at Knowle, where a refreshing pint of Bass awaited us. Sitting in the sun outside The Wilson's Arms we were joined by Tony Larner (and about 150 Football supporters from the local British Legion who had just seen the Football World Cup on the big screen). After a few more pints we decided to have a wash and brush up before our evening meal. An Indian restaurant was the choice, and we enjoyed such delights as Lamb Bhuna and garlic nan, the evening was rounded off in The Vaults, an excellent real ale pub.

Sunday morning, a hearty breakfast and the morning papers in the sun, where we read all about England's 1-0 thrashing of Paraguay. We arrived at the Old Silhillians Club to be greeted by our fellow team members, trade stands were perused and I for one resisted the temptation to buy yet another pipe. We were split into two teams for the championship, an A team of 5 and a B team of 4. Dr. Plumbs were packed with 3 grammes of Samuel Gawith's Westmoreland Mixture, the signal was given, and 46 smokers lit up. Our main man Len Ellis did us proud by finishing 2nd behind the runaway winner, ember chasing Andrew Briggs. Len's time was 1:29:17, other Norfolk places were 11th John Walker, 12th Reg Walker, 13th John Betts, 16th Keith Garrard, 17th John Eason, 21st Colin Wylie, 22nd Dave Polhill and 25th Tony Larner. We all received prizes for taking part and most of us won raffle prizes. The event was once again excellently organised by the Birmingham boys. Hopefully this won't be the last.

Sunday evening and the intrepid three met for a wonderful Thai meal washed down with South African Chardonnay, chosen by the Secretary. Sunday night quiz at The Red Lion was the next thing on the agenda. We have finished last in this in the last three years, but this year we spoiled our record and did quite well. After a mardle and a few more beers we called it a night. Monday and it was time for the long journey home, but not before we had a walk round Birmingham and sat in the park in the sun and watched the world go by. A game of bowls awaited me on return to home soil followed by a few pints of Young's Bitter back in the local, not a bad weekend at all, just a pity I didn't the championship, the quiz or the bowls.
Three Men on the Bummel: Five more in a Vauxhall

An alternative report on the British Championship 2006
Thanks to the generosity of PCN in subsidising travel expenses and entry fees, a larger than usual number of members had entered for this year's British Championship. Three of the hard core, who would do anything to spend a weekend on the razzle, had opted to journey under their own steam, and stayed two nights in luxury at the Knowle Hilton (so exclusive you won't find it in any hotel guide) dining at various gastronomic centres of excellence.

Five more (Messrs Walker J, Betts, Wiley, Ellis and Eason) travelled to the wilds of Warwickshire in a hired Zafira. Thus it was that at eight o'clock on a hot Sunday morning your correspondent found himself standing beside the A11 marvelling that life did indeed exist at such an early hour, and hoping to goodness that his garbled instructions had been understood by the expedition's leader- Walker, J. he need not have worried, for at the appointed hour the People Carrier duly appeared and stopped to pick him up (though probably only after a split vote among those on board- the deadlock being decided by the Chairman's casting vote, as he needed another body to make up a second team). The arrangements were that we should pick up John Betts at Thrapston (where your correspondent had a nasty accident some years ago- more details some other time) and so with Colin Wiley at the wheel we proceeded west.

Arriving at Thrapston, one of the team lost a considerable amount of money when the large bet he had placed on Betts being late (coupled with Japan to win the World Cup) went belly up in the first leg. After a refreshing cup of coffee and a small morsel or two to sustain my inner self, the party proceeded with Betts at the wheel. I had not realised until then that John is merely an anglicization of Juan and that his middle name is Fangio. But after overtaking Jensen Button and posting third fastest time in the free practice session for the British Grand Prix, we returned to the motorway and arrived at the Old Silhillians Sports Ground only five minutes after leaving Thrapston.

Well, perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but we couldn't resist it, no more than we could miss being made welcome by the members of the John Hollingsworth's Pipe Club who organise the championship. Shortly after we arrived three hung-over characters (Walker R, Larner and Garrard) arrived with tales of drunken orgies and overindulgence that I will not repeat for fear of offending you, dear reader, but only to say that the revel had ended with a late-night (or early-morning) Vindaloo, of which more later.
While most of the party renewed old acquaintances, and wandered among the tempting trade stands, your correspondent settled down to a small helping of Lasagna con patate fritte, just to refresh any parts of the inner self that he might have missed at Thrapston.

And so to the contest. As always, full details and times elsewhere, but readers will be relieved to hear that conditions were calm and generally mild (except next to Messrs Walker R, Garrard and Larner, where they were decidedly wet and windy, due to the aforementioned Vindaloos) as we packed our Dr. Plumb pipes with a popular mixture from the North West extremity of the Kingdom. But only two minutes after light-up one of the home favourites was out, and so grateful not to be the winner of the Golden Matchstick, or this contest's equivalent, we proceeded among the usual stony silence, interrupted only by erudite remarks from various aficionados (Have you heard the one about the Englishman? etc. etc.).

There were two nasty accidents during the contest, both fortunately causing no lasting damage to the contestants concerned. One left the hall for urgent sanitary reasons only to drop his pipe in the porcelain receptacle provided, while another (Norfolk) contestant experienced a nasty blowback and a jet of warm brown fluid, location unspecified, which put paid to his hopes. The suspected cause was Vindaloo poisoning. I will say no more.

We all did very well, in my humble opinion, especially our Captain and Chairman, Len Ellis who smoked his way to a brilliant second place. We were all awarded with generous prizes for our efforts, and much more importantly we nearly all won prizes in the raffle, Colin Wiley winning first prize of a handsome pipe by new Swedish maker (Sven Goran Eriksson) and the sum of £100 for his favourite charity, RNLI.

And so back home with Walker J at the wheel for the last leg after dropping off Betts at Thrapston. A wonderful day. My thanks to all concerned, especially those who drove, and most of all to the home club for making it such a splendid and friendly occasion.

Those of you who are not fans of the Victorian author Jerome K Jerome, may wish to be aware of his definition of the German word Bummel... ... ' I should describe it as a journey, long or short, without an end; the only thing regulating it being the necessity of getting back within a given time from which one started... .we have been much interested, and often a little tired. But on the whole we have had a pleasant time, and are sorry when'tis over.'
Smoking Times
Good to see that The Times newspaper of Saturday 10 June 2006 carried a prominent article on Pipesmoking, centring on the fact that Ms Linden Milner had'lifted the trophy at the annual contest of the Halifax Pipesmoking Club by keeping 3 grammes of tobacco alight for 67 minutes, using only a couple of matches... Ms Milner owns 18 pipes and has been a pipe smoker for five years... she is proud to be the club's only female smoker... Margaret Chapman, a retired tobacconist, is a club member who does not smoke but enjoys the social life. Sadly, Ms Milner is unable to be the Halifax club's delegate at the national championships in Solihull... she has nominated Alan Whitrick, with a personal best of 70 minutes, instead.'

The article includes the facts that'Only an estimated 2% of British men smoke pipes, but among the over-60s the percentage doubles. Pipe smoking is in decline; in 1974, 12% of British men were pipe smokers. According to US studies, cigarette smokers are 70% more at risk from premature death than non-smokers, while pipe smokers have a 10% greater risk. The world record pipe smoke of 198 minutes was set in 2003 by Gianfranco Ruscalls, a professor of philosophy from Turin.'
Father Leonard

A tribute by the anagrammatic Jonah Nose, with apologies to the poetic Lewis Carroll
You are old, Father Len, the young man exclaimed
And I notice from long observation
That your pipe stays alight
By day and by night
Without bother or deep tribulation.

It's a knack, said the sage, that I've honed to an art
From years of work and hard toil
For the Queen and her dad
Through good times and bad
Though I never once left England's soil.

You are wise, said the youth, and wondrously deft
At smoking your pipe with success.
Does it help when you finger
Your bowl and then linger?
How does one acquire such prowess?

You must practice a lot; you have to start young
And keep it on day and night
You must buy a good pipe
And tobacco that's ripe
Not a mixture that's scented and light.

Myself, when a boy, in my north London home
I practised for hours in my bed
To get a good length
Though it took all my strength
And left me quite weak in the head.

You're a star, said the youth, who was aged sixty-four,
And your diet is wholesome and healthy
Does this help in your aim?
Could we all do the same?
And win prizes, and thus become wealthy?

Not a chance, said Len E, I have secrets galore
To keep me ahead of the game
How to load; how to tamp
In the style of a champ
These are skills that have brought me great fame.

And I won't pass them on to young cubs like you,
Though you beg me again and again
If I did and you learned
The skills that I've earned
That could signal an end to my reign.

So just stop your noise, go and sit with the boys
Who can't make it last for an hour
When I light up and puff
On this shag that's so rough
You can marvel at all my great power.

With one last throw of the dice, he tried to be nice
And persuade the master to cite
How he puffed; how he blew
In short all that he knew
For a book that he wanted to write.

But the elder was coy and he said to the boy
(For by now he was getting the hump)
I won't say this again
For it causes me pain
Just clear off and go take a jump!
A Fan Writes... submitted the following paean to our tobacco expert:
According to Googlism 

larner is one of the oldest
larner is experienced in handling accounting fraud cases
larner is a master of the Japanese guitar
larner is a member of the society of exploration geophysicists
larner is one of the most talented and respected DJ's on the scene
larner is innocent until proven guilty
larner is the President of mid America
larner is a special agent of the treasury department
larner is immensely popular with young artists
larner is the physiotherapy manager at BUPA Norwich
larner is well known as a fisherman
larner is a computer
larner is the man
larner is sitting at the hotel bar
larner is especially flirtatious
larner is the worst effing supporter in the world
larner is generous
larner is already making a pretty big impression
It was announced that the AITS had changed the date of their trade fair at Trent Bridge and it now coincides with the Norfolk Championship, this means we will lose many of our trade stands. After a short discussion it was decided to keep our date.

The evening consisted of a pipe tobacco sampling contest, five well known tobaccos had to be identified, these were Clan, Gold Block, Three Nuns, Condor and St. Bruno. A sixth tobacco was blended by the secretary and a prize was offered to the contestant who gave it the most apt name. Two members John Betts and John Eason failed to identify any of the tobaccos, several got three correct but the winner with all five correct was Tony Larner. Tony was presented with a tin of Dunhill My Mixture 965.

The prize for the best name for the mystery tobacco went to John Walker with his suggestion of "Solstice", very apt considering the date. Other names offered included "Old Throatburner" and "Churchills Sweepings". The normal raffle was held and would you believe it the secretary failed to win, a stewards enquiry is being held.
Wednesday 16 August An auction, bring along your old Dunhill straight grains and we will sell them, or bring along any old rubbish and Reg will buy it.
Friday 8 September The annual club dinner, see attached details.
Wednesday 20 September The annual clay pipe smoking contest.
Sunday 8 October The 15th. Norfolk Open Pipesmoking Championship at the Lansdowne Hotel, Norwich. This years guest speaker is famous bandleader, drummer and pipe smoker JACK PARNELL.
Wednesday 18 October Richard Adamek presents the evening's entertainment.
Wednesday 15 November Cheese and Pickle
Wednesday 20 December Christmas draw and seasonal buffet.
Volume 7 Number 3 Autumn 2006
PCN Meeting 19 July 2006
The Secretary and owner of that fine establishment Churchills astonished everyone by opening two tins of tobacco for the members to try. These were Ashton's Consummate Gentleman and Guilty Pleasure. Then there was the event we had all been waiting for: THE BIG K SHOW- Keith's 60's music quiz. The Secretary had brought along a selection of 7 inch 45 rpm records, Tony Larner had brought along two "ringers" from Sheringham to help him win. We were also joined by our old friend and music expert Ronnie Bobbin. 25 records were played which included well known artists such as Del Shannon, Chris Barber, The Hollies, Rambling Syd Rumpo, Screaming Lord Sutch and Paddy Roberts. Ronnie Bobbin was the highest scorer and Tony Larner's friends were of little help to him. The highest scoring pipe club member and therefore the winner of first prize was James Oxley Brennan. He must have had a misspent youth.
PCN Meeting 16 August 2006
The Secretary read a letter from a gay pipe smoker in Sydney, Australia who was willing to share his apartment with any likeminded visiting pipe smoker from England. The main event of the evening was an auction; old pipes and other unwanted items were brought along by the members and were sold to the highest bidder. A brand new Dunhill pipe-carrying case made the most closely followed by a silver banded Peterson pipe. The total raised on the evening was £77.20; not bad for a load of old junk.
Annual Dinner 8 September 2006
Twelve members gathered in the clubroom for the annual dinner. Starters were served which included soup, prawn cocktails and king prawns with a sweet chilli dip. Most people opted for fillet steak for their main course and this was followed by raspberry and apple crumble and cheese and biscuits. The wine flowed (a very fine South African Pinotage) and tales were told. As is our tradition the guest speaker is put on the spot on the night, this year webmaster John Walker was the unlucky chap. He told us a tale of his youth and the reason he never married. A free raffle was held with the Chairman kindly donating a fine pipe as first prize, the Secretary issued everyone with a numbered card he then shuffled a pack of identical cards and put them into his hat, to everybody's amazement the first number drawn from the hat was the Secretary's (has he been taking lessons from Paul Daniels?). The assembled members were all very pleased for the Secretary and many made comments. A very good evening was had by all, the food was good the service wonderful (thanks to waitresses Michele and Clare) and Chris our landlord, chef and wine waiter organised the whole event very well.

Retuur naar Kanaal Vijf en Twintig: an alternative report on the trip to Dordrecht.

‘Rising early in the morning
We proceed to light the fire'

Cheerfully humming this refrain from Iolanthe, Keith Garrard hopped joyfully from his bed at his usual hour of 0530, made Coral a quick breakfast of eggs, bacon etc. etc. then showered, packed the last of his multifarious wardrobe into his crocodile hide valise and headed quickly for Thorpe Station in order to be there well in advance of his two travelling companions, Reg Walker and John Eason.

Well, perhaps not the most truthful words ever to be penned, but at least all three of us were at the station in time for the departure of the 0830 train, and at least we managed to change trains at Manningtree without losing either a hat or a member of the party. This is a record, as far as I can recall, and boded well for the success of the mission, which had the clearly stated aims of making contact with the Pyproockersgilde of Dordrecht- an ancient tribe, unseen by any Englishman since as long ago as 2004- and of generally exploring the bars and cafes of this ancient South Holland town.

The crossing from Harwich was made on the fast ferry, which was full of bikers heading for the Superbike Championship at Assen, and a more peaceful, well-behaved crowd you won't find anywhere- certainly not at the Rosary tavern on the third Wednesday of the month. To pass the time a few drinks were drunk, a few cigars were smoked (in the tiny smoking area), and a substantial all-day breakfast was eaten in the restaurant, which was something to haunt us later.

The interchange from Ferry to Rail and the journey to Dordrecht were accompanied smoothly enough; a word of praise here for the Secretary, who managed to produce all the right tickets at all the right times. Having arrived at Dordrecht a quick look at a map convinced the said Secretary that our hotel (the imaginatively named Hotel Dordrecht) was centrally located and only a few minutes walk away. A slight note of criticism might creep in here from those of the party who had brought more than a spare hankie with them, and who had tentatively suggested the word taxi, but let us not carp on about things that don't go quite right; as you know, that's not my style.

Once we reached the hotel we were welcomed (?) by the owner who allocated us our rooms- a ground-floor room with a stunning vista for walker; a huge room with a four-poster bed and balcony for Eason; a garret for Garrard. We then made for our rooms to change (2 out of 3 isn't bad) and meet up for a drink in the hotel garden. The bar lady was cheerful and friendly and was to become well-acquainted (in a purely platonic way) with two of the party over the next three days. I cannot keep up on the drinks front, due to taking Warfarin (not enough in my opinion- Secretary's note) but she made a delicious orange juice. Anyway, fortified in various degrees we headed off for the bright light of Dordrecht. We ended up in a Chinese-Indonesian restaurant and ordered a large rijstafel, but sad to say we did it scant justice (see reference to all-day breakfast above) and returned to our hotel scarcely able to face up to a few more drinks.

Much to everyone's surprise we met up again as promised at 0900 the next morning for breakfast (some of the party having difficulty in tearing themselves away from the red-hot news channels numbers 1 and 2 (not 25 as experienced in Middelburg last year) and then we walked the length of Holland's longest shopping street in search of a tobacconist. But alas- there was not a good one to be found; nor was there one in the whole of Dordrecht. Passing for refreshment in a tapas bar, Walker and the Hon. Sec. so complicated their order that poor me did not get the cheese sandwich I ordered at all. Still, as I say, I am not one to go on about little setbacks like that, and I was able to repair the damage at the next pit stop, after another short walk in which we found a passable purveyor of cigars (Hon. Sec.) the local tourist office (Eason) and the station loo (Walker).

That evening at 1915 hours, after a few drinks, we set out to meet the Dordrecht Pipesmokers at a restaurant (t'Bevertje) which we had recced that afternoon. Needless to say we were greeted with warmth and a most pleasant evening was spent eating, drinking, meeting up with old friends and making new ones. We were each presented with a neck-band lettered with the Guild's insignia and a Gouda-made clay Churchwarden-style pipe (all three of which survived the journey home) with a packet of typical Dutch tobacco.

Sunday morning in a wet Dordrecht was reminiscent of a Hancock's Half Hour of long ago, but we managed to get a coffee (and Dutch sausage roll for Eason) at the station bar, and then we holed up for much of the rest of the day in a bar-restaurant full of teddy bears. They didn't seem to be drinking much, but we managed a few plus a lunchtime snack and a nice meal in the eventide. Returning to the hotel, two members of the squad managed a nightcap or two, and received a personal thank you and farewell from the bar lady. Alas further details are unknown as your roving reporter was by then tucked up with an Italian detective.

A leisurely return to the ferry terminal included a few hours in a bar at the Hook, and presented a chance for us to buy our nearest and dearest some local delicacies before we had a few drinks and a nice meal on the ferry back. At Harwich the lengthy wait at Passport Control was enlivened by a Cambridge Academic type, who looked like Professor Zharkov from the old Flash Gordon films, whistling Keep Your Sunny Side Up at Force 9, but as I made my way to the baggage carousel, a group of Essex lads overcame this by an even louder rendition of The March of the Cuckoos (Laurel and Hardy theme music). All being well on ‘One' Railways we arrived in Norwich on time to make our way home to Eaton, St. Philips Road and the Rosary Tavern respectively.

Another arduous journey completed solely for the honour and prestige of our noble club. I only hope that the rest of you appreciate the efforts we are prepared to make on your behalf. Thanks to Keith for making the booking. Let's hope the fast ferry is still running next year- there are still a few Dutch and Belgian pipe clubs to be visited.

Not for those with weak stomachs: KJ Coleman remembers 1974. For my little story this time I would like you to cast your minds back to 1974, when the World was young, beer was two bob a pint and Norwich were playing in the Third Division (South). On 28 February that year, something momentous happened: The First Pipesmoking Contest in Norfolk.

The venue was a plush hotel (the Maid's Head) and a goodly number of contestants turned up, some from the newly-formed PCN, others unknown to us, all anxious to find fame and fortune (for there was a prize on offer)in this new sport. Now the competition was under the aegis of the Pipe Club of Great Britain and their rules stipulated St. Bruno in its raw form in a new Clay. We were seated at a long table with the invigilators at the far end. After a few preliminary speeches we kicked off and a deathly hush descended, broken only by the occasional click of false teeth and a quiet bubbling from some of the glowing bowls. Every now and then someone went out and slipped quietly from the area and after an hour, so did I. Needing to relieve myself I sought out the place of easement but upon throwing open the door I was confronted by a foetid, festering green swamp which had once been the contents of somebody's stomach. Clearly one of our number had evacuated his dinner, and by the look of it, most of the previous week's food intake, onto the khazi floor, effectively blocking access to the firestep.

What a conundrum. Should I risk sullying the soles of my crocodile-skin winkle-pickers or exercise self-control? In the event, neither option was appropriate as voices outside the door suggested I would soon have an audience, and fearing I would be blamed for the occurrence, slithered into one of the cubicles yet to be inundated by the green tide; in the nick of time too as the voices belonged to hotel management plus a cleaner. They were, shall we say, unsympathetic concerning Pipesmokers and aspersions were cast- so I stayed put until the coast and floor were clear. Well, to use a catchphrase from some long-forgotten wireless programme ‘what would you do chums?' Incidentally, the culprit's identity later became known to us but his secret is safe with me- others of course may not be reticent. (A sub-editor who also remembers the event writes: the person concerned is no longer a member of the Pipe Club of Norfolk, so don't look at me).

Eventually I made my way back to the hall where several were still puffing merrily away and building up quite a decent time, quite unaware that anything untoward had happened.

Now, I mention this episode for two reasons. Firstly, to show our younger members that successful competitors in those far-off days were real men. Not for them poncy fuels in wooden pipes- Bruno and Clay ruled. And it is worth remembering that R Morrison Faulds, World Champion at the time, achieved something over two hours with this lethal combination, all smoked, as this was well before synthetic techniques had been thought of.

Secondly, to show that we should try to retain our clay contest, though it may be unpopular, in the same way that we celebrate the Battle of Britain and November the Fifth- it is part of our heritage.

Note from the Secretary- Norwich City were relegated from the old first division in 1974, the third division (south) finished some 16 years earlier. Note from the Vice Chairman-what's 16 years to a Tottenham supporter?
A Trip to Dordrecht- the Secretary's report
I arrived on the Friday morning at Thorpe station, wide awake and full of vigour to be met by a very sleepy looking Walker and Eason. We travelled to Harwich where we boarded the ferry, I settled for a cup of coffee in the casino bar but the other two got stuck straight into the beer. After a very filling all-day breakfast the 3 hour 40 minute journey went very quickly, during this time I had successfully completed dozens of cryptic crosswords. After a short rail journey via Rotterdam we arrived in Dordrecht and took the short walk to our hotel- well it would have been a short walk if the other two had listened to me. We booked in and Walker was given a luxury ground floor room, Eason, the honeymoon suite (complete with pet mosquito) on the first floor and I was lumbered with the attic. After a much needed drink in the hotel garden we headed for the town centre where we dined in an Indo-Chinese restaurant. The Saturday morning was spent exploring Dordrecht's shops and market, alas not one tobacco shop could be found. We stopped for lunch in the town square where Walker and I each ordered a rather large plate of cheese, meat, salad and bread, Eason decided this was time to start a diet and partook of nothing but the fresh air.

In the evening we headed for the Café Little Beaver and met up with the members of Dordrecht Pipesmokers Guild, we were greeted by their Secretary Hans who had helped me make the arrangements for this trip. I also received a big cuddle from my old friend Jannie who I had met on several occasions before. We had a very nice three course meal, my pork fillet in mushroom sauce was excellent, our drinks were paid for from their club funds and we were each given a present to take home with us. A very enjoyable evening. The Sunday morning we awoke to grey skies and a little bit of rain, Walker and Eason hid in their rooms waiting for the weather to clear while I went for a walk down by the river. We eventually ventured out to find a mid morning cup of coffee, and one member of our party had abandoned his diet and was now gorging himself on giant Dutch sausage rolls.

The weather had by now cleared and members of the party who had carried umbrellas and raincoats all the way to The Netherlands now began to regret it. We drank and dined in a bar called the Bear where we were to return for our evening meal. Walker and I had a fairly late session in the hotel bar chatting to the very nice barmaid who had gone to the trouble to remember our names. Monday and the trip home which included a few hours in The Hook for a few lunchtime drinks and a bit of last minute shopping. We arrived back in Norwich in good time and I headed straight for the Rosary Tavern just to check that English beer still tasted good.

The Vice Chairman writes: Anyone reading the two articles above who wants to know what really happened in Dordrecht is invited to buy me a pint in the bar…………
Although several local heats of the National Championship, club contests and inter club contests had taken place prior to 1992 this was the year that "the open" started.

1992 A Female Winner
After some club members travelled to Hungary to take part in a pipe smoking contest John Betts suggested that we hold our own championship, with the aid of the late Darren Jenner of Crossways Tobacconist in Cromer the first Norfolk Open was held at the Lansdowne Hotel. The guest speaker on this occasion was Mike Butler, secretary of The Pipesmokers Council. The pipes were made by Invicta Briars and the tobacco smoked was Glengarry Flake. 31 contestants took part mainly from Norfolk, first one out was Len Ellis (oh, happy days), but the winner was Miss Jo Lewis in a time of 56:07, the runner up was Reg Walker.

1993 A Champion Is Born
This years guest speaker was Laurence Marks the writer of such things as Birds of a Feather and Goodnight Sweetheart. Bosun Cut Plug was smoked in Falcon Bantams. 29 took part and Alan Holmes only lasted 30 seconds, the winner was Len Ellis (62:12) with Ken Paterson of Merton & Falcon the runner up.

1994 The London Invasion
For the first time 6 members of the Pipe Club of London swelled our numbers, also taking part was Mike Pollitt a journalist for the Eastern Daily Press. The guest speaker was Peter Knight of Rayknight Enterprises; Radford's Mixture was smoked in Wilmer briars. For the second time Len Ellis was first out, the winner was Keith Garrard (68:45) with Darren Jenner the runner up.

1995 Secretary's Success
John Gawith of Gawith Hoggarth was our guest on this occasion; Ennerdale Mixture was smoked in Barling pipes. Previous winner Jo Lewis was first to bite the dust and club secretary Shaun Struthers was the winner (66:59) with PCOL secretary Peter Wiseman finishing second.

1996 The Briggs Year
Bill Taylor was this years guest speaker, 36 contestants took part smoking Scotch Mixture in Invicta Briars. Robert Rockliffe from PCOL, probably our youngest ever contestant was first out, Andrew Briggs won (108:08) with his father finishing second.

1997 John Elvin Gets the Wooden Matchstick
John Elvin scooped the Wooden Matchstick as Alan Rockcliffe is the first PCOL winner (81:31) with John Betts finishing second. 40 contestants took part smoking Sundowner Mixture in BBB pipes. Roger Merton was our guest speaker.

1998 Briggsy Does It Again
In a field of 37 Andrew Briggs won for the second time (80:48) with Len Ellis finishing a close second. Sir Malcolm Bradbury was an excellent guest speaker. Ennerdale Mixture was smoked on this occasion in pipes supplied by Wilsons of Sharrow. The wooden matchstick went to Richard Neville.

1999 Len Is Back
Charles Rattray's Hal o' the Wind was smoked in BBB pipes as Len Ellis won for the second time (80:50) with James Oxley- Brennan in second place. Norman Tucker was first out and the team trophy was played for, for the first time. PCN were the winning team on this occasion. The guest speaker was Howard Smith of Alfred Dunhill Pipes.

2000 Len Does It Again
Len Ellis won for the second year running (70:00) with Peter Wiseman in second place, Rob Knight was the first out. Robert McConnell's Glen Piper was smoked in Hardcastle Shell Briars and the team trophy went to PCN. The guest speaker was Douglas Hewat, chairman of the Pipesmokers Council and MD of Hewat & Booth, the only British pipe cleaner makers.

2001 Len Does It Again Again
Wind up radio man and 1999 Pipeman of the Year Trevor Baylis OBE was this year's guest speaker. Len Ellis made it three years in a row (69:36) with Chris Griminsky in second place, PCN again won the team event and Balraj Singh finished last. Dunhill de Luxe Navy Rolls was the tobacco and Hardcastle the pipes.

2002 The Brummie Invasion
For the first time a large contingent from Birmingham swelled our numbers. Len Ellis made it four years running (75:15) with Dave Polhill runner up, the dreaded matchstick went to Adrian Baker and the team trophy to PCN. Fiona Adler MD of Cadogan was our guest speaker; her speech took the form of a quiz. Perfection Mixture was smoked in Big Ben pipes. There were 35 contestants.

2003 Guess Who
Len Ellis wins for the fifth year running (75:35) with Reg Stevens finishing second, Balraj Singh once again wins the matchstick and PCN the team event. The guest speaker was Bob Gregory of Samuel Gawith Ltd. and their Kendal Cream Flake was used in the contest. The pipes were made by Murray, Frame & Love and 40 people took part.

2004 Beaten At Last
In a grandstand finish Reg Stevens (96:59) beat reining champion Len Ellis, the John Hollingsworth club took the team trophy and George Krislik from the Czech Republic finished last of the 43 competitors. Dunhill My Mixture 965 was smoked in Peterson Donegal Rockies. The guest speaker was Simon Clark, Director of FOREST.

2005 He's back!
Len Ellis gets back to winning form (84:10) with Balraj Singh in second place and George Krislik taking the matchstick again and JHB won the team event. Robert McConnell's Scottish Cake was smoked in pipes made by Murray, Frame & Love. Our guest speaker was Ian Walker of Northern Briars.

2006 Keith Garrard Breaks the World Record
Oh! No that was last night's dream.
PCN Meeting Wednesday 20 September Annual Clay Pipe Smoking Contest
3 grammes of Erin Plug Ready Rubbed smoked in clay pipes of the members' choice. Full result-
1. Reg Walker... 64:15
2. Frank King Snr.... 62:22
3. Keith Garrard... 56:20
4. John Betts... 47:46
5. John Walker... 43:10
6. Richard Adamek... 41:49
7. Tony Larner... 37:45
8. Len Ellis... 32:45
9. John Eason... 31:25
10. Frank King Jnr.... 14:15
11. Walter Thompson... 12.23
The winner (who smoked a Churchwarden kindly donated by the Pipe Club of Dordrecht during the recent visit- see above) was presented with a Parker pipe and the runner-up with 50grs. of Scottish Flake.
Forthcoming Events
Wednesday 1 November: Annual Darts Tournament; 8pm Rosary Tavern
Wednesday 15 November; Cheese and Pickle Evening
Wednesday 20 December; Christmas Draw and Seasonal buffet.
Wednesday 17 January 2007: the 35th. PCN Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 21 February; Annual Briar Smoking Contest.
Wednesday 21 March: Ronnie Bobbin is back with us with a completely new set of famous pipe smokers. How many will you recognise?
Newsletter Volume 7 Number 4 Winter 2006
15th Norfolk Open Pipesmoking Championship
This year’s event was held on Sunday 8 October at the Lansdowne Hotel. As we clashed with the AITS show at Trent Bridge, the normal trade stands were unavailable. Churchills had a stand for the first time, ably manned by Kelvin and Roz, selling pipes and loose tobacco. George Kristlik had a display of Pavel Happ and Jan pipes from the Czech Republic and Mustafa Akkas some very good quality Meerschaums. We were called to lunch at one and enjoyed a very good three course meal, after which the toastmaster Dave Bullock introduced the guest speaker, famous band leader Jack Parnell. He gave an excellent and witty speech, and even entertained the competitors with jokes during the contest. The usual giant raffle was held (thanks again to Sheila for her excellent sales technique) with some people doing very well (it may well stop a certain Mr. Elvin from moaning for a while).

41 competitors took part in the championship smoking Mick McQuaid Ready Rubbed in pipes made by Ian Walker of Northern Briars. Five British champions were in the field and it was one of these, Mark Dyer, who was the first out and therefore winner of the matchstick. In a nail-biting finish Len Ellis won the championship for the eighth time with Reg Stevens the runner up. Len was presented with a Pavell Happ pipe and Reg received a Morelli which was specially made for us by Marco Biagini. As the smoking ban comes in next year this could be our last contest, but we do have a few ideas, watch this space. Full results below.
Sidney Greenstreet Rides Again On (Thin) Ice The alternative report on the 2006 Norfolk Pipesmoking Championship
Whilst some clubs insist on their members wearing elaborate uniforms, getting dressed for a pipesmoking competition doesn’t present much of a headache for me, since in the absence of a club regalia, and, since unlike some Dandies I could mention, I do not wear fancy waistcoats or headgear, I am free to wear what I will. So scruffy casual is the order of the day as far as I am concerned, though I must say that I did give some consideration to my Arctic kagoule, lest conditions should again prove to be as cold and windy as last year. But comfortably attired in my second-best Middlesex Cricket shirt (and let’s face it Middlesex have been second-best for most of 2006) I arrived at the Lansdowne Hotel in good time, but still found most of the adequate parking already taken by vehicles from as far away as St. Leonard’s Road.

Mindful of the fact that I had to drive home, and of some insinuations from the editorial staff that my poor showing last year was due in some part to a plentiful alcoholic intake I was determined to prove to one and all that I could do just as badly when stone cold sober. At least past performances had ensured that I would not be a member of any team, and I could relax in the knowledge that my failure to endure for any time would affect nobody but myself.

This year’s competition coincided with a major Trade Fair, and I can only say that this was just as well, as I still managed to buy two nice pipes from the stands that had opted to come to Norwich, and in so doing to spend a lot more than I had brought out with me.

As luck would have it I elected to sit on a table in the well-known windy corner for my lunch, and with the double-doors from the room and the outside door all open the expected Force 8 was soon in full blast. So gusty was it that my neighbour Frank King Junior’s soup actually had white horses rolling across the plate, Still, the lunch was enjoyable, and so too was the after-dinner speech from Jack Parnell. A definite breath of fresh air!

Next on the agenda was the raffle, and it has to be said that while I have no complaints that Messrs Elvin and Leach seemed to get more than the average number of prizes, I was later told by an informed source that a mystery surrounded two valuable prizes that nobody seemed to have seen, except for the someone who pocketed them both. The prizes in question were Falcon pipes, and as we all know these are highly esteemed in our club, because by some quirk of the rules they count as briars in club competitions. Memories of my favourite film, The Maltese Falcon, came to mind. Would Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) have been able to foil the machinations of Gutman (Sidney Greenstreet) and track down these missing Falcons? Well probably, because the culprit was soon fingered (no names, no pack drill, but his name almost rhymes with Harrods) and the mystery destination of these magnificent gems established as a home for Raptors in Florence Road. {Leave gap for Editorial comment}.

Well be that as it may, the competition was notable for two things. Firstly, that Keith Garrard sat in windy corner. Second that all doors were locked and bolted and patrolled by armed guards to ensure that all air movement was stifled. In any case, once again the competition was won by our Chairman, Len Ellis, and memories of Roger Bannister after he had run the first sub-four minute mile were stirred when we saw just how much his superb performance had taken out of him. Just as well he didn’t have to walk home then! Congratulations to him and to all prize winners.

What a pity if this should prove to be the last Norfolk Championship. Can Parliament really have intended to stamp out such delightful occasions? Well, knowing that lot, probably.

The Secretary writes – I didn’t realise we had so many devious members. I would love to know who they are.
ADVERT Falcon pipes now available at greatly reduced prices at Churchills.
Nanny Watch
Westminster council wants to ban smokers from the streets (The Guardian 17/10/06). So the smackheads, pimps and muggers are alright then!

Employees of local authorities will refuse to enter the homes of people who are smoking (The Daily Telegraph 31/10/06). So you know what to do when the council tax evaluator calls to inspect your house.

The October edition of The Oldie carried the news that ‘Last year, Heinemann published The Life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a book for children which featured the iconic photograph of the great man on the cover- from which they removed his cigar because they thought teachers wouldn’t like it.’

On the other hand, David Hockney wrote a strident defence of smoking in the same edition: ‘It has been claimed that smoking has killed 100 million people in the 20th century. Rubbish! Politicians like Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot have killed 100 million people. Smokers, by and large, die in their beds. Let’s hope the anti-smoking legislation will be repealed- after all, that’s what happened with Prohibition in America. Conflict and tension will always be with us, so will the need for smoking. Anyway, pubs aren’t health clubs, are they?’

Alexander Chancellor used his Guardian column on 17 November to mention that ‘The departure lounge of Terminal 3 at Heathrow has been smartly refitted and can now even boast a certain degree of glamour- except in the area reserved for smokers. This is horrible. It is a small, bare, windowless room, with hard seats lining the walls and a few high, round tables for standing at in the middle. Nobody entering it for a cigarette can doubt that he is being deliberately humiliated. If it is true that ‘smoking kills’ it is hard to see why smoking is legal at all. But so long as it is and smokers are officially beckoned to their own segregated area at an airport, they have the right to expect conditions as good as those enjoyed by everyone else. It is one thing to attack smoking: quite another to treat smokers as a contemptible underclass. I wonder if the European Court of Human Rights might have to say about this.’
PCN Meeting 18 October 2006
The entertainment at our October meeting was a slideshow presented by Richard Adamek, the new table layout and provision of nibbles being a purely coincidental action of 'mine host'.

Commencing with some unusual views of Norwich taken in the late '70s and early 80's, mainly from the roofs or towers of churches on which Richard worked during the period. The area around St Lawrence’s viewed from a high vantage point caused much 'orientation' against landmarks and discussion, not least how much the skyline had changed, what had vanished or appeared since and how low the city was compared with the surrounding area. Followed by some views both within and from the spire of the Anglican Cathedral (vertigo levels increased with height of the vantage point) although it was not possible to determine who the customer at Churchill's was, due to too much camera shake and it being a misty day!

The second half of the session concerned Richard's main interest or obsession and pictured a variety of large stationary steam engines, including some either being dismantled for relocation to, or as rebuilt at the Industrial Steam Museum at Forncett St Mary, where they are operated on the first Sunday of the Month during the summer. Large amounts of Victorian cast and wrought iron were pictured in waterworks and other places, including a significant number of breweries, which may not be entirely co incidental, although Richard insisted this was purely because they tended to have a longer life as steam is used extensively in brewing and more had survived, some members did not appear entirely convinced.

The evening closed with some pictures of the only stationary steam engine still working commercially in the UK (as opposed to working in the heritage industry) at Hook Norton Brewery in Oxfordshire. Those members who had remained awake throughout or had not managed to escape under cover of darkness expressed their appreciation in the usual manner and were threatened with offers of more of the same at some point in the future, should all other means of entertainment provision fail.
PCN Annual Darts Tournament 1 November 2006
A very good turnout for this year’s event, with some very close games. After everyone had played four games there was a four way tie for first place- a shoot out between Don Warman, Len Ellis, Tony Larner and Keith Coleman ensued, this resulted in a win for Len. The Secretary presented tins of tobacco to the winner and to Keith Coleman for the highest score (140). An excellent selection of sandwiches was enjoyed afterwards.
PCN Meeting 15 November 2006
Following our November tradition, we staged our Cheese and Pickle evening- a wonderful selection of cheese was enjoyed, including the now famous Stinking Bishop. There were also several local cheeses and our thanks go to the cheese lady on Norwich market. The pickles get stranger every year and this time included pickled garlic, mango and bamboo shoots from Thailand. A member brought along some Pickled Mudfish, as far as I know three people tried this and all three are still alive (despite the fact that a ‘serving’ provided 160% of a day’s recommended salt intake). The prize for the best pickles of the night must go to Frank Gurney-Smith’s homemade pickled onions. A wonderful evening and I had some lovely dreams that night, but you don’t want to know about them.
PCN Meeting 20 December 2006
Christmas draw and party night rolls around again. There were 43 prizes up for grabs this year; the Secretary was armed with all the paperwork and the Chairman with his magic hat as the draw got under way. Oh! How all the members cheered when the Secretary’s name was the first out of the hat and Oh! how they all cheered again when he won the star prize. Tony Larner was this year’s biggest winner with 10 prizes including 6 pipes. Larner’s Pipe Shop opens in Sheringham High Street in the New Year. A wonderful spread of cold meats, cheese, pickles and cake was enjoyed by everyone.
Pipe Smoking Sportsmen
Jeremiah Dawkins
Goalkeeper Jeremiah Dawkins played for Middlesborough during their days at Linthorpe Road; he used to smoke a pipe during the game when play was at the other end and knock it out on the goalpost when it looked like action was coming his way.

Jimmy Muraco
Jimmy Muraco was born in the state of New Jersey in 1966 and took up pipe smoking at the age of 15 “just to annoy the other guys who smoked Marlboros in the high school courtyard”. He started off smoking Captain Black in a corn cob, until a local tobacconist put him right. (What would we do without the advice of our local tobacconist?) Muraco works as a professional wrestler on the American East Coast scene. I think they are the ones who fight in cages.

Fred Perry
The Fred Perry wreath is one of the best known logos in British fashion, but the original logo was to be a pipe. Fred Perry was a pipe smoker of note and his idea was for the smoking pipe to be the logo on his garments.

Selby Jeffrey
Selby Jeffrey, a railway fettler, was captain of the Wingello stalwarts; he was made captain because he was a certified hero as he had faced the Turk at Gallipoli in 1915. He wore a white shirt, white duck trousers, a large black moustache, and a black waistcoat that held a huge bent stem Peterson pipe, Conqueror plug tobacco, a knife for cutting it, and rain proof vesta matches. Selby always placed himself at slip, running about might cause his smoking apparatus to fall out. Bill (The Tiger) O’Reilly was bowling to a young man called Bradman and twice in the first over Bradman edged the ball straight to slip, the first occasion found Selby lighting his pipe and the second he deployed his hands but seemed to lose the ball in a cloud of smoke. “Sorry Bill” he said placidly.
Captain Tobias Hume on Tobacco
Christopher Smith writes……….
Born in Elizabeth I’s reign, Tobias Hume was a professional soldier who commanded fighting men in Russia and Sweden. A keen viol player, he also wrote the words for his songs. This one was printed in 1605. The Captain was, it appears, more troubled about the price of tobacco than over rhyming ‘love’ with ‘prove.’

Tobacco, tobacco, sing sweetly for tobacco!
Tobacco is like love, O love it,
For you see I will prove it.
Love maketh lean the fat men’s tumour,
So doth tobacco.
Love still dries up the wanton humour.
So doth tobacco.
Love makes men sail from shore to shore,
So doth tobacco.
‘Tis fond love often makes men poor,
So doth tobacco…..
Tobacco, tobacco, Sing sweetly for tobacco.
Tobacco is like love, O love it.
For you see I have proved it.
Forthcoming Events
Wednesday 21 February: The annual briar smoking competition.
Wednesday 21 March: Ronnie Bobbin’s famous quiz on famous pipe smokers.
Friday 13 April: The annual dinner in our clubhouse.
Wednesday 18 April: Club night, event to be arranged.
Wednesday 16 May: A competition smoking 4grs. of tobacco.
Sunday 10 June: British Pipesmoking Championship in Knowle, W.Midlands.
Wednesday 20 June: Club night; event to be arranged.
Sunday 1 July: Day of infamy. The ban on smoking in all public places comes into force.
The power of suggestion. ( The alternative report on the grand xmas prize draw 2006).
While a good collection of club members gathered in the bar of the Rosary tavern in the upstairs room the secretary was giving last minute instructions to the chairman. “ Look into my eyes, look into my eyes. The first ticket you will draw will be pink ticket number 273, and the corresponding prize number you will draw will be number 24, the star prize. There is no fiddle involved. When I click my fingers you will be back in the room and will start the draw. 3-2-1 click.” And Lo the Chairman drew forth the first ticket from his hat and it was pink ticket 273, and the next ticket drawn was the star prize of a pipe worth many thousands of pounds, which went straight into the secretary’s carrier bag only to re-appear the next day in the cabinet of a well known Norwich tobacconist on offer at an exorbitant price.

The main business of the evening having been completed, the chairman continued in the time honoured fashion and the draw continued. Seldom can so many prizes have been distributed among so few club members. As a well known statistician was heard to remark the distribution bore no resemblance to the expected normal distribution curve ( i.e. fair shares for all ) but seemed skewed in some mysterious ways by extraneous circumstances. For instance one member who is an accountant and who had been heard to mutter about the unsatisfactory accounts submitted by one of his customers ended up wining every pipe on offer. Other members who had spent their life savings on tickets got not one prize.

Still, apart from a few rumbles of discontent, the proceedings went without a hitch until the Chairman, drew a ticket from the wrong hat and announced that John Walker had won John Eason. Blimey! Fancy having to feed that over the 12 days of Christmas! Walker J. immediately demanded a re-count and was awarded a lifetime supply of aromatic Danish tobacco, which only goes to show that things can always get worse. The draw completed the club members partook of a cold collation, a fine spread again proving that the secretary does arrange some things for the benefit of the members. And his final words of 2006 to yours truly were “ look into my eyes, look into my eyes. You will wake up tomorrow with a sore throat and a nasty cough, which will last all over yuletide and until the last day of the year…” And Lo it came to pass.
Subscriptions for 2007 are now due. Please send a cheque for 6 guineas ( £6-30 ) made payable to the Pipe Club of Norfolk to Keith Garrard, 18, Florence Road, Norwich. NR1 4 B
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