Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Belated Season's Greetings

Hope that you were all on the "good list" and got, (at least) some of, the pipes and/or tobacco that you'd asked Santa for?

I'll beat the rush by wishing you all the best for 2011. I've had a few more enquiries about the club, so hopefully the numbers will grow as word spreads.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


It might seem a bit early, but I thought I'd give some advance notice of "International Pipe Smoking Day".

The next one (the 4th annual IPSD) is on Sunday 20th February 2011. This is 9 days after our scheduled February meeting so I thought we could take advantage and have an extra weekend meeting to tie in, if we schedule it for the afternoon that would probably be easiest as we'd avoid the main Sunday Lunch crowd at The Cuddie Brae. Hopefully, this might help if anyone can't make the regular Thursday evening meetings.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Spare pipe?

If you've got a spare pipe, feel free to bring it along to a meeting...I usually carry a fair amount of whichever blend I'm smoking at any particular time (just in case I want a refill), plus I'll bring a couple of others so if you're curious about different tobaccos you're welcome to try a sample if they're ones you're not familiar with.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

No prejudices.

All are welcome!

Gentlemen or ladies (yes, there are some who smoke a pipe), briar or meerschaum, calabash or even the humble cob are all welcome to join our merry band...even to just sit in quiet contemplation of a damn good smoke!

P.S. We'll even tolerate the occasional cigar!

Any rules?

The first rule of Pipe Club is...there are no rules*!

My intention is to keep EPC relaxed and informal, my take on pipe-smoking is that it should be fun. As a result, there isn't any formal structure (although if we do start growing quickly, we might need to sort something out).

Additionally, especially in the current economic climate, I'd rather not set any kind of membership fee or subscription. To avoid this I hope that we'll be able to make the club "self-funding" through raffles. I got the idea from Steve Fallon (Pipestud at SF) of the Waco Pipe Club. Initially, with a tin or two of tobacco (you could get £10 of baccy from a £1 ticket) and then as we grow, moving up to a pipe.

Furthermore, I hope that people will feel that they can come to as many (or as few) meetings as they want, without any obligations or pressure.

* Actually, there are a few:
As, by their very nature, pipe-smokers are a relaxed and tolerant bunch, these "rules" shouldn't be difficult to follow.

1/. Any discussions of politics, religion, football, etc. are to be kept civilised and gentlemanly...non-smokers already think we're anti-social enough!

2/. Please keep the smoking area free of litter...we've not got any cigarette butts to drop, but even matches aren't THAT biodegradable!

3/. All members are expected to buy a round! Doesn't have to be a full one (especially if/when we get busy) but it's the thought that counts.

4/. In winter, be prepared to move around so that everyone can get the benefit of the heaters.

5/. No smoking indoors.

6/. All members/smokers to be 18 years old, or over.

7/. Only tobacco may be smoked.

The last three aren't optional, they're real laws!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

You don't have to live here...

Despite the name, we are not limiting membership to residents of Edinburgh, or even just the Lothians.

Due to the limited number of pipe clubs anywhere in the UK, which is one of the reasons I started this one, we will happily welcome pipe smokers from throughout Scotland, or anywhere else if you happen to be passing through.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Feel free to comment.

I've only recently realised that the "comment" section was limited to the default setting of only bloggers, or people with a gmail account, being able to comment.

This has now been changed to allow comments from anyone (even anonymous ones) please, feel free to comment as I'd appreciate any feedback or suggestions you might have.

Two Cousins Pipe Packs

Need somewhere to store your pipes?

Then have a look at these lovely cabinets and racks. They would make a fine addition to any home (and wouldn't need to be relegated to the "man cave" unless that's where you want them).


Friday, 10 December 2010

First meeting of EPC

The first meeting was a very quiet occasion...but it's a start and hopefully, by the next meeting, the weather will have improved a bit.

Apologies were received from Colin and Michael, who were unable to attend due to the continuing snow and ice (from Tranent and Penicuik respectively).
John managed to make it through the snow from Leith but unfortunately couldn't stay long...thanks for making the effort!

The smoking area at The Cuddie Brae is nicely sheltered, and the heaters are very efficient, so we were both able to shed hats and gloves whilst we had a pint and a pleasant, companionable smoke...Peterson's Sunset Breeze in a 307 Standard System for myself, St Bruno Flake in a no-name Billiard for John.

We might have planted a few seeds of interest, as we had a few friendly enquiries from the cigarette smokers coming outside...along with some very complimentary comments on the aromas!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Weather update!

You might have noticed that there's been a bit of snow recently!

Despite this, the first meeting of EPC will be going ahead as planned. One advantage of smoking a pipe is that you can keep your gloves on, or your hands in your pockets, and still enjoy a bowl.

The Cuddie Brae have done a grand job of clearing their car park and (apart from Monday's exception) LRT have been doing a sterling job of keeping the buses running.

However, as a precaution, please dress warmly.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Favourite quotes

"Pipe smoking is the most protracted of all forms of tobacco consumption. it may explain why pipe smokers are generally regarded as patient men--and philosophers."
Jerome E. Brooks, from The Mighty Leaf, Tobacco Through the Centuries

"I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs."
Albert Einstein, 1950

"Oh, I like smoking, I do. I smoke for my health, my mental health. Tobacco gives you little pauses, a rest from life. I don't suppose anyone smoking a pipe would have road rage, would they?"
David Hockney, Daily Telegraph, July 1999

These are some of my favourite pipe related quotes, you can find more here.

Friday, 3 December 2010

The Pipe Shop on Twitter

A big thanks to The Pipe Shop, Leith Walk for putting a link to this blog on their Twitter feed alanthepipeman.

If I can get through the snow, I'm going shopping there tomorrow!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Edinburgh - Home of (probably) the world's most famous pipe smoker.

Photograph copyright of Kevin Rae and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
(Please see Geograph for further details)
221b Baker Street, in London, might have been his official address but Sherlock Holmes actually started life here in Edinburgh.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle studied medecine at the University of Edinburgh between 1876 and 1881. One of his professors (and for whom he worked as a clerk at the ERI) was Dr Joseph Bell, who emphasized to his students the importance of observation in making a diagnosis. In later years Conan Doyle wrote to Dr Bell and credited him with being the inspiration for Holmes, "It is most certainly to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes. ... [R]ound the centre of deduction and inference and observation which I have heard you inculcate I have tried to build up a man."

Further inspiration came from Sir Henry Little-John, Lecturer on Forensic Medecine and Public Health at The Royal College of Surgeons, here in Edinburgh.

Conan Doyle was born in Picardy Place, which is why you'll find a statue of Sherlock Holmes there, holding a very nice Calabash pipe!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Do your tastes change with the seasons?

I've not been smoking pipes for long, so I haven't experienced a full year of seasons yet...but I am finding that, as the weather changes so do my tastes in tobacco.

Summer seemed to fit Aromatics and citrusy Virginia blends. Then, as autumn came around, I found myself tending towards the spiciness of VaPers or straight Virginia, with an occasional detour back to the faithful standby of St Bruno (maybe that's the one they mean when they refer to "man's best friend").

Now that it's actually snowy and wintry, I'm tending towards the smoky aromas and tastes of "English" and "Balkan" blends, with an occasional Aromatic at home in the evening.

Alternatively, it might just be that my palate is developing as my experience grows and my tastes change coincidentally...I'll update next year!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Smoking Metal

FALCON Bantam -Classic-Oxford

Whilst I'm rapidly becoming a fan (and collector) of Peterson pipes, I'm also a fan of Falcons...the deceptively simple design and sturdy construction makes them great for work. They bounce if you drop them and they're virtually indestructible*!

*Under normal usage conditions! :-)

Pipe Parts and Shape Names

Pipe Parts and Shape Names

A useful guide to the parts of a pipe, together with some of the most common and popular shapes.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Fingers crossed.

There have already been a couple of enquiries, so hopefully there will be a few of us at the first meeting.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Anything you want to see?

Is there anything you'd like to see added to this blog?

How long to finish a pipe?

Eventually, I'd like to see us having a "slow smoking" competition (current world record is 3hrs 10minutes to smoke 3 grammes of tobacco!).

Here are the official CIPC Regulations. If you want to practice, here's some preparation guidance from UPCA.

Additionally, the UK Federation of Pipe Clubs are bringing back the UK Pipe Smoking Championships...they're currently looking for a venue (which could be difficult with current UK legislation).

Support your local tobacconist.

We're very fortunate to have 3 good, specialist tobacconists here in Edinburgh (I believe there's only one in London).

There's The Cigar Box on the Royal Mile (just across from St Giles). Mainly cigars (the clue is in the name) but there is a decent selection of tinned and loose tobacco. Full range of Samuel Gawith and Dunhill blends, along with Ashton and Davidoff.

We've also got Robert Graham on Rose Street (between Castle Street and Charlotte Square). Nice selection of pipes and some excellent tobacco.

There's also The Pipe Shop on Leith Walk (near the bottom on the left hand side as you head down). Friendly, helpful staff and a massive selection of bulk and tinned tobaccos. They've got a lovely selection of pipes on display, both briar and meeschaum.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

A date for your diaries!

I'd like to announce that the first meeting of the Edinburgh Pipe Club will take place at 7pm on Thursday 9th December at The Cuddie Brae near Fort Kinnaird.

It's handy for Newcraighall station, right next to the A1 and on a main bus route (LRT #30).

They've got a decent sized outside seating area (feel free to smoke to your heart's content) and do a full range of food and drink.

Unless there are any problems, further meetings will be scheduled for the second Thursday of each month thereafter.


Having read back on these posts I must apologise for the slightly schizophrenic nature of them...some are "we" and some are "me".
This has been due to it being just myself (Peter) doing stuff so far. Hopefully, this will change after the first meeting of EPC.


Do you live in or near Edinburgh?
Do you smoke a pipe?
Or are you thinking about taking it up?
Bought a new pipe and worried that no-one else appreciates it as much as you?
Need help or feedback on your technique?
Got a favourite tobacco you'd like to tell someone about?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then maybe we can help!

If you'd like to be added to the mailing list to receive updates and information on the next meeting, just send an email to

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The International Peterson Pipe Club ~ Runboard

The International Peterson Pipe Club ~ Runboard

Found this thanks to Jim's Blog...The Peterson Pipe Collector

Peterson Pipes of Dublin

Peterson Pipes of Dublin

I'm still a new convert to the delights of Peterson pipes and tobacco...but I'm catching up.



A very detailed resource on all things pipe.

Pipes: Logos & Estampilles - Logos & Markings

Pipes: Logos & Estampilles - Logos & Markings

A very useful site for identifying that unknown "estate" pipe.

Who's who?

It seems a bit ambitious to declare myself the founder of EPC, but by necessity that's what I am!

My name's Peter, although some of you may know me already as Pumpkin from Smokers Forums and B&B (among other places).

I don't think I fit many people's image of a pipe smoker; I'm (only) 43 and don't possess a flat cap. I've been smoking for over 25 years but, until recently, it was only cigarettes I smoked, with a very occasional cigar for special occasions.

My original interest in pipe smoking was just to have an alternative to cigarettes, particularly at work, as I thought a pipe would be an alternative to one of those silly plastic Nicorette Inhalators.

You've got to start somewhere.

Welcome to the Blog of the fledgling Edinburgh Pipe Club.

Hopefully, in time, there will be a lot more content here. As it is, I haven't even found a venue to host our meetings yet...although winter in Scotland is probably not ideal as we're restricted to smoking outside in public. So far there's only one member.

I had the idea of starting a Pipe Club here in Edinburgh as, apart from some forums on the internet, being a pipe smoker can seem quite solitary in this day and age. If there is any interest, I'd hope that we can start by enjoying a bowl of our favourite tobacco (or even a new one we've not tried before) whilst having a chat and enjoying a drink (alcoholic or otherwise).