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Newsletters 2007 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 8 Number 1 Spring 2007
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
Keith's PCN Members' Quiz Literary Quiz
Name these pipe smokers. In which books do they appear and who are the authors?

1. Surveying his island, this man saw tobacco growing, with very strong stalks. Then he found he could make a clay pipe, it was an ugly, clumsy thing but he was "exceedingly comforted with it".

2. A French detective was translating this sleuth's works. One, "Upon the Distinction between the Ashes of Various Tobaccos", described 150 forms of cigar, cigarette and pipe tobacco. "There is as much difference between the black ash of a Trichinopoly and the white fluff of Bird's Eye as there is between a cabbage and a potato".

3. He was a failed bookmaker and the second, henpecked husband of the landlady of Bay View. He recited from his list of her house rules: "I may smoke one pipe of asthma mixture." "In the woodshed, if you please," added his wife.

4. Amid the wreck of Isengard, the Riders found two small characters. Merry invited them to fill their pipes with fine Longbottom Leaf and pretend to be safely back at Bree. But one Rider had no pipe. The second small character offered his wooden pipe with its wide, flattened bowl.

5. This ragged character wore a battered hat sporting a blue jay's feather. As smoke from his pipe curled upwards it formed the shapes of trees, hills and rabbits dancing. "It's dried medder-sweet," he told Hare. "Do you want a puff?" He handed him a pipe of elder wood, with an acorn-cup bowl.

6. In the German trenches a new order came: "Pipes and cigarettes out!" Guns thundered. At dawn Paul recognised this man, sitting quite calmly, old soldier that he was. He was smoking his pipe. A shell came closer. He knocked out his pipe.

7. Large and blue, it sat on a mushroom with arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah. When asked for advice, it spoke in a languid, sleepy voice and asked the young visitor to explain herself.

8. Three young men planned a holiday. One waxed poetic on the joys of camping. "While the moon rose, we would have big pipes filled and lighted and would watch the river flow out to meet its king- the sea – till the pipes go out…. and sleep beneath the stars." "How about when it rains?" asked this member of the trio.


Keith Garrard 18 Florence Road Norwich NR1 4BJ

or via e mail to keith.garrard@ntlworld.com 50grs. Longbottom Leaf to the winner.
35th PCN Annual General Meeting 17 January 2007
Apologies were accepted and minutes of the 2006 Meeting were read. The Chairman thanked the members for their attendance during the year and the Secretary/Treasurer for all his hard work. Balance sheets were accepted and the Auditor gave a favourable report. Officers elected were Chairman, Len Ellis, Vice Chairman- Reg Walker, Secretary/Treasurer – Keith Garrard and Auditor – Frank King Jnr. A discussion was held on what we were going to do after the smoking ban comes in (currently expected from I1 July). It was decided to hold the July, August and September meetings at the Rosary, with the possibility of using the garden for smoking. The October meeting will be at Hilly Plantation, courtesy of John Betts, where we intend to hold the annual clay pipe smoking contest. Normal business was discussed after the AGM, where it was decided that the Secretary organises a tobacco sampling evening in April and Keith Coleman presents the June meeting. The Secretary ran the monthly raffle. There were seven prizes up for grabs and, would you believe it, he won two of them himself. Just how does he do it? (Answers on a book of double-headed raffle tickets to the Betting Levy Board of Great Britain).

The Prince of Denmark Revisited: Alternative Report on the AGM

I must confess that Annual General Meetings are not the stuff to make me worry about my blood pressure, excitement at such gatherings being absent entirely, and the early stages of this year's proved to be no exception to this general rule. The books balanced, and the auditor had been unable to lay a finger on those responsible for them. So it was not long before we passed on to the main business of the evening.

To be, or not to be. That was the difficult question that occupied some of the finest brains in the Rosary tavern- not the prince of Denmark- on Wednesday 17 January. Could we avoid the provisions of the pending anti-smoking legislation? Could we take up arms against a sea of troubles etc. etc.? The general consensus was no, but the generous offer of one member to hold meetings in a grand garage conversion he was about to undertake was eagerly accepted, and we look forward to burning our fingers there at the annual Clay Championship in the autumn.

Interesting as all this was, I must confess that at about this point my mind began to wander and I began to think outside the box. Under what guises could we survive? A dining club? Appealing to some (i.e. me) but not to many, perhaps. A gambling club? The prospect of the House (i.e. Club Secretary) winning more of my money did not enchant. A pole and lap dancing club, then? Well, just what is the attraction in watching a load of immigrant plumbers and part-time reindeer herders gyrating on stage? I must confess I just don't get it. But enough of my problems for now. None of these ideas would allow us to smoke, and as one member pointed out, there is little point in having a pipe club without smoking. Probably right, but not impossible if the example of Norwich City Football Club is anything to go by: they haven't played football for years.

Coming back to reality, I found that there was a proposal to hold a final Norfolk Championship in May, albeit under revised rules.. if the hotel could be booked it would avoid the prospect of an open-air competition with its attendant difficulties of possible windy conditions. The Chairman acknowledged that some of us had experienced such conditions indoors in previous years (see past Newsletters) but the proposal was welcomed. Unfortunately this may clash with a weekend of cricket at Lords that I have already booked and paid for, and if so I shall be unable to attend. But earlier mention of an on-line club made me think that perhaps I could smoke at Lord's and text in my time. About two and a half hours should give me a good chance of getting my name on that trophy. Let's face it, it's the only chance I've got.
PCN Meeting 21 February 2007
A pipe club meeting on Ash Wednesday seemed quite appropriate, and this was the annual briar smoking contest. Three grammes of Ashton Artisan's Blend was smoked in pipes of the contestants choice. John Elvin was the first to depart after only 2'25; Reg Walker, who was smoking a very large Dunhill, disappeared after 19'24.The winner was "in form" Richard Adamek, who kept his briar alight for 67'40. Old warhorse Len Ellis was second (53'55) and John Walker third. The Secretary ran his usual "fiddle" and managed to win himself a bottle of wine.
PCN Meeting 21 March 2007
The high spot of the evening was the welcome return of Ronnie Bobbin with his quiz on famous pipe smokers. There were 28 photos with a question with each one. The winner was Secretary Keith Garrard with 451/2 points. Reg Walker was second with 45, and John Eason third with 41. The winner was presented with 50 grammes of tobacco. The pictures included the likes of Manny Shinwell, Boris Karloff and Harry Enfield. Our thanks to Ronnie for all his hard work. The Secretary ran the normal raffle but in the absence of the Chairman to assist him he failed to win a prize.
Daniel Radcliffe Sensation
Daniel Radcliffe, of Harry Potter fame, is currently appearing as a 17 year old stableboy in Peter Shaffer's play Equus at London's Gielgud Theatre. In the play Daniel appears fully naked and also appears to gouge horses eyes out. But everybody is up in arms, including ASH, because he lights up a cigarette on stage.
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Missing Pipe
Jonathan Pryce stars in the latest BBC1 production "Sherlock Holmes And The Baker Street Irregulars". A pipe does appear on the set but at no time does Holmes produce smoke. This must be the most "PC" Holmes story yet.
Threat to Local Pubs
The introduction of the smoking ban in England and Wales could herald last orders for hundreds of small locals without gardens or car parks, as pub companies draw up hit lists of so-called "landlocked" pubs. Enterprise Inns has already sold 750 pubs in England and all its 137 pubs in Scotland, where the ban came in last March. Greene King is selling more than 150 pubs in the south of England that it deems to be "unworkable" under a smoking ban.
Epitaph: HSS Discovery
Farewell then HSS Discovery, pride of the Stena fleet
Though we only used you once a year, we shall miss you.
You got us to Holland to meet our chums.
And we weren't sick once.
Ciggies Will Disappear In A Puff Of Smoke
That was the headline for an article by Matt Keating in The Guardian dated Saturday 10 March 2007. It went on:

'Smokers, your time is up. Not literally, we hope, but it at work. As you know, from 1 July it will be illegal to spark up in the workplace (with a few exceptions) as well as in enclosed or 'substantially enclosed' public spaces. And don't think that you can go outside for a quick puff- employers are increasingly banning smoking breaks altogether. But if that's not enough to reinforce smokers' nicotine-fuelled anxiety without being public enemy number one, there is increasing evidence that smoking can damage your employability. Exhibit A: a recent internal recruitment advert posted by North Wales police for its road-policing unit stipulated that smokers need not apply. Exhibit B: an Irish call centre company recently advertised in the press for non-smokers.

Before smokers start choking with anger, it was confirmed last year that they are not covered under any of the anti-discrimination legislation passed by the European Commission since 2000. Similar things have also been said in the UK by the Department of Trade and Industry.

'There is nothing to stop an employer rejecting a candidate because they are a smoker' says Stuart Chamberlain, employment lawyer for online legal adviser Consult GEE. 'However, sacking an existing employee just for being a smoker might be found to be an unfair dismissal.' Like so many final-salary pension schemes these days, it seems the rules don't apply to new applicants.

However, bosses shouldn't smirk either. With the new anti-smoker legislation coming into force this summer they'll need to act now and update their policies on smoking, says Sikin Andela, employment lawyer with Glovers. Employers face pecuniary censure from 1 July if they fail to comply with the ban. There will be fines of up to £1000 if statutory 'No Smoking' signs are not displayed in the workplace, and fines of up to £2500 if employers fail to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place. The annual No Smoking day on Wednesday 14 March is an opportunity for both workers and bosses to get in some practice.'
Mrs.Garrard,who works for "One Railway", was on duty at Norwich Station when an elderly gentleman approached her at the end of platform 1, "Is this the London train"asked the elderly gentleman, "Yes" replied Mrs. Garrard. "How nice to see you smoking your pipe, my husband is secretary of the Pipe Club of Norfolk" , "How lovely" said the elderly gentleman shaking her hand. With that, Mr. Tony Benn wandered off towards the first class carriage.
Forthcoming Events
Wednesday 16 May: the annual 4 grammes pipesmoking contest.
Wednesday 20 June: Keith Coleman will give a talk on Brooklands Race Track.
Sunday 10 June: the British Championship at The Old Silhillians Club, Knowle, W. Midlands
Sunday 1 July: the smoking ban comes into force.
Wednesday 18 July: Meet at the Rosary Tavern as usual, smoking in the garden.
Wednesday 15 August: Auction night in the clubroom, smoking on the lawn.
Wednesday 19 September: to be announced.
Wednesday 17 October: the annual clay pipe smoking contest .
Volume 8 Number 2 Summer 2007
Volume 8 Number 2 Summer 2007 got lost in the post.
Volume 8 Number 3 Autumn 2007
British Championship, Sunday 10 June 2007
We (Walker and Garrard) arrived in Birmingham mid afternoon on Saturday and headed for the nearest hot dog stall for a regular with cheese. After a short rail journey and a bus trip, we found ourselves outside the Wilson Arms in Knowle with a pint in our hands. We were later joined by Larner, and the three of us enjoyed an Indian meal followed by a pint or two in the Vaults. Sunday morning, and a perusal of the papers (Garrard finishing the Sunday Times crossword with the help of walker on most of one clue) was followed by an excellent fish breakfast in the Loch Fyne restaurant.

A taxi was booked and we made our way to the Old Silhillians Club, where we met up with old friends and the rest of the gang from Norfolk. A look round the stalls of wonderful pipes including Northern Briars, Ashton, Invicta, Jan and Impipes was followed by a pint to calm the nerves, just one, got to remember the weak bladders when taking part in a contest.

44 competitors sat down for the contest smoking Optimum in pipes made by Northern Briars. Reg Walker was the top Norfolk man finishing in a very creditable third place (1:10:27), Len Ellis was fifth (1:01:00), Tony Larner ninth, Richard Adamek 13th. , John Walker 15th., Keith Garrard 20th., John Betts 29th., and Keith Coleman 37th.. Everyone received prizes which included a pipe each. A raffle was run in which some people won very valuable prizes. Praise must go to Garry Weston and the members of the Hollingsworth club for the excellent organisation of this the last British Championship.

The evening saw the intrepid four (Garrard, Walker, Larner, Coleman) going out for a Thai meal and a few pints in the Red Lion, where we met our Czech Mates. As always a very good weekend.
PCN Meeting 20 June 2007
Keith Coleman gave a most absorbing talk on the history of Brooklands racetrack, presenting the topic with such style as to interest those of us with no particular knowledge of the subject. Norwich Evening News sent along a reporter and a photographer to what was to be the last evening at which we would be able to smoke in our clubroom. www.eveningnews24.co.uk gives details. A good meeting…………….. but the end of an era.
The Last Smokers' Luncheon 20 June 2007
The Association of Independent Tobacco Specialists held a luncheon at the Landmark, Marylebone Road, London. A champagne reception, sponsored by Henri Wintermans Cigars Ltd., was followed by a three course lunch. Mike Davies gave a welcoming speech and the guest speaker was Boris Johnson MP who slated the "Nanny State". A wonderful event at which Mr. And Mrs. Garrard represented the pipe club. Someone has to do these nasty jobs. Despite the valiant attempts of our Secretary to raffle off the silverware, Boris resisted the opportunity.
A Trip to the Netherlands 3-6 July 2007
Messrs. Garrard and Walker undertook an unpaid fact finding mission on behalf of the pipe club (and they offset their carbon footprints, in case you ask). After a short flight and a two hour train journey we arrived at our hotel in Middleburg where a glass of Belgian beer awaited us. The evening consisted of a mixed grill in a steak house and a few beers in the hotel bar, where we smoked our pipes….. there's a novelty. After breakfast the next morning we visited the local tobacconist, who was having an end of lease sale. It looks as if the gentleman is retiring, so let us hope that someone takes the shop on (good site for a Smokers' Accountancy, Tony?).

We purchased a few tins of tobacco, then headed for the market square at which point the heavens opened. Keith bought an Emergency Poncho (he will spend a Euro like a man with no arms) after which the rain went away never to return. Michael Fish could learn from him. That evening was the monthly meeting and smoking contest of the local club, Keith won the contest keeping 3grs. of Oude Kaas alight for 2 hours 41 minutes and Reg won a Pig's Nose in the raffle. The truth is that once a year they go on an outing and this was the evening they had chosen. Undaunted we went for an authentic Indonesian meal and a few more beers.

Thursday was market day and very busy, finding it tiring walking round the market stalls we had to sit down and drink more beer for a couple of hours to recover. Reg then decided to go shopping and managed to tip a whole box of cigars on the floor, never go shopping with this man (although he managed to pocket a few Senoritas). In the evening we enjoyed lobster soup and prawns in garlic in a very nice canal side restaurant. Middleburg is a most welcoming town- much like Norwich would have been in an updated Norwich of the 1950s. Friday and the long trip home with a delayed flight do to strong winds. The things we are prepared to do for the club!
Smoking Ban Bits
Holy Smoke
A vicar who protested against the smoking ban by lighting his pipe inside a police station has failed to get himself arrested. The Rev Anthony Carr walked into the station in Tonbridge, Kent and told officers: "I want to report a crime." He then took out his pipe lit up. When told he would not be arrested, Carr replied: "What a pity."

The Whiff
Have you noticed that in pubs since the smoking ban that the smell of tobacco smoke has been replaced by the wonderful whiff of stale beer and body odour?

Only in Ireland
The Republic is banning children's sweet cigarettes, as they are thought to encourage the little ones into bad habits. Guinness Lite is probably OK, though.

Art Installation
Nice picture of Churchills Customers taken as part of the Eastern Arts project. By the time you read this Newsletter, the picture may have been raffled off by the Secretary. If not, have a look in the shop. Special prize for those who can name the most people.
PCN Meeting 19 July 2007
Latest score: Thorpe Hamlet Mosquitos 64: PCN Puffers 0

A fine summer's evening saw us hold our first ever outdoor meeting. This took place under an awning in the Rosary Tavern garden. After club business a smoking contest was held, smoking 3grs. of Westmoreland Slices in pipes of the contestants' choice. Even though he picked a sheltered spot far from the breeze John Eason failed miserably, being the first out in 3 minutes. The winner and new outdoor champion was Frank King Jnr. with 51 minutes 10 seconds. Frank was presented with a tin of tobacco and Tony Larner won a special prize for the most mosquito bites.
Bowls Tournament Sunday 29 July 2007
After a gap of two years (since the British Rail bowling green closed) the Gawith Hoggarth Shield was once again contested. Tony Larner had arranged for us to play at the Morley Club at Sheringham. We were joined by some of their club members who had relaxed their dress code for the day. Reg Walker wore the regulation grey trousers and white shirt, which he covered up with a rather gay waistcoat. KJ Coleman looked very distinctive in his blazer and straw hat, Colin Wylie donned a pair of shorts (not a pretty sight) and John Betts resembled a second world war pilot. We were drawn into blocks using a system of drawing bottle tops from a hat. I am sure the Morley bowlers knew exactly what they were doing but none of us had a clue.

The afternoon was sunny and a bit breezy, the bowling green was superb and our hosts were very friendly and helpful. After three games, a total of 21 ends, we retired to the clubhouse where an excellent buffet awaited us. The best scoring PCN member was Keith Garrard who finished on plus 18, so it is his name that will be entered on the shield. A wonderfully entertaining day and we hope we behaved ourselves well enough to be invited back again next year.
Pictures of the above two events can be seen on the club website www.pipeclubofnorfolk.co.uk
PCN Meeting 15 August 2007
The Secretary was very late arriving as he had been called upon to play in an important bowls match. The meeting was an auction evening where members brought along unwanted articles to be sold to the highest bidder. When the Secretary arrived all bedraggled, having played in the middle of a field in the pouring rain, he found club members huddled outside the clubroom under umbrellas having a smoke.

The auction was a great success raising £131.50 for club funds. Over to you Mr. Auctioneer…..yes, in the absence of Arthur English the auction was conducted by Jimmy Wheeler, alias the Vice Chairman. An amazing number of used pipes had been donated, many of which were sold for a song (and John Walker is still singing after his ten-for-a-pound windfall). An excellent, unsmoked, Petersen donated by Tony Larner fell to Frank Gurney-Smith and a 1980 original Taylor-made PCN Club Pipe, once owned by late Secretary Malcolm Palmer, to the Secretary. We wisely held this one back until he turned up, wallet bristling with Bowls winnings.

A Dunhill pouch, pipe racks, videos, books, pictures, a CD player, a radio, bottles of wine and cigars made up the sale, and everyone went home with something (much of it to be recycled next year no doubt).
How about a bit of pipe smirting?
Since the smoking ban came into force in July, a new word has entered the English language: smirting. This is defined as flirting while smoking. People who normally keep themselves to themselves while drinking in the bar are finding they are holding conversations with al sorts of folk whilst outside having a smoke and a lot of smirting is taking place, possibly leading to relationships. So if you are feeling lonely, get out your pipe, light it up and try a bit of pipe smirting.
Keith's Literary Quiz No. 2
Name these characters and the Charles Dickens novels they appear in.

1.Who said "Whatever is, is right, as the young nobleman sweetly remarked when they put him down on the pension list cos' his mother's uncle's wife's grandfather once lit the king's pipe with a portable tinder box."
2.Who said "Judy bring the pipe"
3."Lord bless you," he said, resuming his pipe "a man must take the fat with the lean."
4.On this same day, and about the very hour, he sat smoking his pipe in a chamber at the Black Lion.
5.Who said "Smoke away you dog fill your pipe again and smoke it fast, down to the last whiff."
6.His olfactory sense was by no means delicate, but the stock of wine smelt much stronger than it ever tasted, and so did the stock of rum and brandy and aniseed. He whiffed the compound of scents away, as he put down his smoked out pipe.
7.The old man raked the fire together with an old stair rod, and having trimmed his smoky lamp (for it was night), with the stem of his pipe, put it in his mouth again.
8.It being a cold night, he wore his hat, as, indeed, was often his custom within doors. He also sustained a clay pipe between his teeth……
9.But when Florence, taking down his pipe from the mantel-shelf gave it into his hand, and entreated him to smoke it, he was so bewildered by her attention that he held it as if he had never held a pipe, in all his life.
10.He is careful at dinner to properly use his knife and fork but is more relaxed when he goes outside with Pip to smoke his pipe.

50 grs. of Wackford Squeers Mixture to the winner

The webmaster appends... Humbug! Who thought these questions up? Scrooge?
Keith's Literary Quiz: The Answers
Robinson Crusoe in Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Mr. Pritchard in Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas.
Pippin in The Two Towers; The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.
Hedgehog in Grey Rabbit and the Wandering Hedgehog by Alison Uttley.
Kat (Katczinsky) in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque.
The Caterpillar in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
Harris in Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.

The Winners: Keith Coleman and Reg Walker both scored 18 out of 24 and share the prize, 25grs. each of a mixture blended by the Secretary.
Forthcoming Events
Wednesday 17 October: The annual clay pipe smoking contest at Hilly Plantation.
Wednesday 21 November: To be announced; usually the cheese and pickle night.
Wednesday 19 December: Christmas draw
Wednesday 16 January: AGM
Volume 8 Number 4 Winter 2007
PCN Meeting 19 September 2007
The September meeting happened to fall on National Talk Like a Pirate Day and the Secretary reported that everything was fine until he went home to Mrs Secretary and shouted 'Avast Behind'.

Our hosts at the Rosary had set tables and chairs outside under a large umbrella together with a charcoal burning fire. The weather turned out fine despite the weather girl on BBC warning us of a wiggly front. These can be very dangerous as we all know.

After club business had been dealt with and a smoke break taken, the main event of the evening was part two of Keith Coleman's talk on Brooklands, a welcome addition to his earlier presentation in June. This brought the history of the racetrack bang up to date and was very entertaining and informative. We are setting up a fund to rebuild 'Bluebird' in John Betts' garage.
PCN Meeting 17 October 2007
Our first meeting in John Betts' refurbished garage in Smokey Plantation. John has put a lot of work into insulating his large garage and it turned out to be very comfortable meeting place. Tony Larner had brought a good supply of Timothy Taylor's Landlord Bitter from The Fat Cat and we settled down to hold the annual clay pipe smoking competition.

3grs. of Bulwark Flake was smoked in clays of various shapes and sizes. Keith Coleman was the first out in 15:20 (no mug, Keith: he made off with several flakes of Bulwark as his consolation prize). Only three members went on to record times of 50 minutes plus, and Tony Larner was top dog on the night with a winning time of 57:50. Tony was presented with a Chacom pipe. As a finale, Don 'Totter' Warman arrived as we were about to leave, but Richard was alert enough to resist taking his gift of three tons of scrap iron from the back of his van.

A very good evening…….. and we could smoke!

There was a conversation during the evening about who holds which club record so here they are –

Briar 3 grs. Len Ellis 95.45. Set 10/10/04

Clay James Oxley-Brennan 82.47. Set 20/09/95

Outdoor Frank King Jnr. 51.10. Set 19/07/07

Briar 4grs. Len Ellis 97.01. Set 16/02/83
PCN Darts Tournament Wednesday 7 November 2007
The annual darts tournament took place at the Rosary Tavern. A round-robin system was used, and after he had won all three of his games, Reg Walker announced that he had a hot date and had to leave. He done a runner with the first prize, a tin of top quality tobacco supplied by a well known tobacco emporium.

As the contest progressed Richard 'The Power' Adamek to everyone's surprise won his third game making the contest a draw, a shoot off 'nearest the bull' was held but as he had already left, Walker lost. Where does the blame lie for this farce? With the organiser one K.J. Coleman, the Secretary (who as normal acted with honesty and impartiality) or the Chairman, for failing to turn up thus leaving control of things to his junior? As it happened Richard took the prize for highest score so went home reasonably happy. Sandwiches were enjoyed by all.

The following post-match correspondence was subsequently hacked from the computers of Messrs Adamek and Walker:

Reuters Press Agency reports: Dirty Dealings at the PCN Darts Night

Our anonymous correspondent reports that accusations of match fixing flew at the Rosary Tavern last night, following a closely fought series of rounds played (or more accurately finished) at the speed of chilled treacle. The PCN 2007 annual darts night should have finished with a denture fracturing tie breaker between the two players who had won all three matches each, should have...............

Unfortunately the heaving mob of unruly spectators was denied witnessing this titanic struggle as one of the finalists had gone home for an early bath and therefore lost by default. The scene turned ugly and a Stewards' enquiry was called when it was also discovered that the missing party, PCN Vice Chairman Walker R. - had also left with the prize !!!

It appears that this had been 'pre presented' by the Hon Sec., (famed for his still little-understood system of almost unbroken raffle wins) who despite having himself been beaten in the previous round had apparently decided he was on safe ground with this unilateral decision as the underdog doesn't get lucky twice in a row.

As the underdog had miraculously snaffled the prize for the flukiest score of the evening, he was able to content himself with his first ever win in any competitive sporting event and opined that as Mr Walker was a jolly decent sort, clearly innocent of any improper behaviour, had been on top form all night and stood considerably more than an evens chance of having triumphed anyway, he should enjoy his tin of Ashtonite, regardless of the extremely dubious circumstances under which it was presented.

Next years event is almost certainly going to attract high stakes and long odds.

Walker writes: O the shame. I blame the drink. If I had been on it, I would have stayed until closing time, but there is only so much Idris Ginger I can take. I have of course removed news of my 'victory' from my Blog, HMSOldies and Facebook; spiked the article for Darts Weakly and taken the 'World's Greatest Pipesmoking Dartplaying Grandfather' sign off the granddaughters' bedroom wall.

The abuse I got from certain male staff at Churchills was immense.....KG was so excited that almost gave a student the right change, and JE nearly choked on his smoked salmon and truffle baguette. Luckily, I have not broached the prize. It would now turn to ashes in my mouth. But then, given the time it had spent on Churchills' shelf it would do that anyway. In recompense, I hereby offer you a challenge. Bring your arrers down to The Rosary on 21 November, and we will play a single 501 before the Cheese and Pickles. Winner takes the (unopened) tin.

Reg 'The Poser' Walker

The ever-reasonable Richard responds: No need to go all sackcloth and ashes Reg - you should open, consume and enjoy the Desiccated Ashtonite and I'll hang on to my fortuitous (and highly dubious) brush with sporting achievement until next year.

Bets are currently being taken by 'Honest Ant Larner' for the 2008 Grudge Match.
PCN Meeting 21 November 2007
A Romantic Candlelight Evening Well, perhaps not very romantic. A power cut meant we held our cheese and pickle evening by candlelight, the cheeselady on Norwich market had supplied us with a wonderful selection of cheeses and had gone to great pains to label them all for us, it was just a pity that it was to dark to read any of them. An interesting selection of pickles were available including Indian Gooseberry Pickle (a bit hot).

About ten minutes after everybody had gone I was clearing the room, stuffing the left over cheese down my trousers, when 'glory be' the lights came on.
Xmas Meeting 19 December 2007
Michelle the pub landlady was presented with a Christmas gift from the club. There were 53 prizes in the Christmas draw which was excellently organised by the secretary and chairman, the fact that they won 15 prizes between them proves how well they organised it. A seasonal buffet was enjoyed by all.
Subscriptions are due in January, 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 4BJ
Wednesday 20 February
The annual Briar smoking competition at Hilly Plantation
Wednesday 19 March
Ronnie Bobbin's famous pipe smokers quiz at The Rosary
Wednesday 16 April
A 4gr contest at Hilly Plantation
Wednesday 21 May
Back by public demand, Keith's sixties music quiz at The Rosary. Rock the night away with the BIG K.
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Check out fight the smoking ban buttons etc... here