Info & Events
Details of the August and Septembers Meetings
2009 Club Pipe Reviews....... by Greg Spanier
Not too much to report from the August meeting, pretty much just
business as usual. Besides, it was so long ago now I can hardly
remember that far back. September was a different story. For the
past four or five months Neil and I have been stopping in to C.B
Perkins Tobacco at Cobb's Corner for a smoke before dinner. Neil
smokes his pipe and I'll have a cigar. Rick started joining us as
well and in September practically the entire group of active members
showed up. Ok, so I'm exaggerating a little but we did have about
eight members huddled around the center seating area. It was great!
Now if we could only get them to carry some quality pipes and tobacco.
Prebaka, the owner is a great host and always makes us feel welcome.
Stop in an join us.
I am the lucky recipient of one of the early club pipes. I mailed
the check a week ago, or maybe less, and it arrived today. It is absolutely
beautiful. The blast is knobbly but not too much so, and the color
is an awesome kind of burnished reddish brown. The mouthpiece is the
kind that resists digging in of teeth but still feels comfortable
and smooth. I'm not sure of the name of the material, but it's the
good kind! The fit is perfect... the slit is horizontal when the pipe
is vertical, and the stem comes back at you centrally (not so easy
to achieve all this in a bent, I feel.) The stem inserts smoothly
but positively, and the join is nice and even. The bore is straight,
and you can see the bowl from the place where the mouthpiece inserts.
It passes a pipe cleaner easily first time every time, with the stem
fitted, of course. The hole is circular and smooth, and right at the
base of the bowl so I could smoke virtually to the last shred (like
they say you should when breaking in, I believe.)
When smoking, the pipe feels very comfortable in the mouth, nicely
balanced, and the bowl feels good in the hand. I used Mangy Dog,
the bowl half filled, and the smoke was delicious; no trace of harshness
or wetness. It was a perfect way to spend some time late afternoon
with a cup of tea outside sitting at the picnic table reading the
paper after work.
Oh yes, and it came with a lovely soft leather bag.
I hope you all enjoy yours as much when it arrives!
Best, Greg (aka Sterling)
William Ashton Taylor
Below is a letter from Bill Taylor's daughter and son announcing the
passing of their father.
I found this letter on an online message board. and could have easily
posted the link for and sent people to directly however, some of the
conversations that took place after this letter was posted were totally
disrespectful to the memory of this legendary pipemaker. Nothing was
said against Bill Taylor, just more of that incessant bickering between
board members that seems to happen all too often. Can't we all just
put our feelings and opinions aside for a few minutes to honor this
great man's memory.
I believe the letter was meant to be read by anyone
who knew Bill or owned one of his pipes. I feel everyone should
have the opportunity to read it without being subject to the ridiculous
board banter that detracted from it's importance.
Following the communications of this week, it is with deep regret
that we must inform you of the sad news that Bill Ashton-Taylor passed
away at approximately 11:40am GMT on Wednesday 16th September 2009,
shortly after a visit from Nicola in hospital. He’s condition
had been heavily controlled and the medical team assured us he was
in no pain.
We understand that this may be upsetting news to many of you who knew
our father throughout his lifetime of hand crafting high quality and
unique smoking pipes. We believe he brought pleasure and joy to many
people through his craftsmanship, his enthusiasm for keeping the art
of pipe smoking alive and mostly his infectious charm.
& Tobacco News & Info
We Bid Farewell to Pipesmoking's
was saddened to hear of the recent death of legendary pipemaker
William "Bill" Ashton Taylor. From everything I've
heard or read Bill had been sick for some time and had been
involved in an auto accident.
I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to meet
Bill on a few occasions, twice at his annual Thanksgiving
time trunk show at Peretti's of Boston and once at the 2004
Richmond Show. Bill always wore a smile and seemed genuinely
happy to meet and talk with you. After chatting with him a
for a few minutes you felt as if you'd known him for years.
The last time I saw him at Peretti's we got to talking about
England and my hopes to get across the pond in the next year
or two. He told me that if I ever made it over to be sure
and stop by Thatcher's in Essex for a pint. He was there ever
day from 4-6. I'm just sorry I never was able to take him
up on his offer.
He began his pipemaking at Dunhill's then moved out on his
own. Bill's pipes have always been held with the highest regard
and I'm proud to own both an Ashton and a Taylor Made that
I personally watched Bill press his his name into. He was
indeed the Consummate Gentleman and his absence will be felt
by pipesmokers across the world.
the Ashton Story by R.C. Hamlin
Websites Worth a Look
In an effort to facilitate communication among clubs
that are members, we have started a UPCA blog. If you care
to brag about your club and tell other clubs what you are
doing, you can post it to the blog. We also invite you to
write for the blog either on a regular basis, if you care
to, or whenever the mood strikes. Check out our
blog to see what we have already.
Pipes from Michael Parks
There are new pipes available in the Catalogue,
and the Pipe Galleries have been updated with recent completions.
In honor of Bill Ashton Taylor we'll raffle off two tins of
Ashton tobacco. An English and Aromatic blend.
Ashton Tin - Consummate Gentleman (50g)
A proper English mixture composed of only the finest Virginia,
Maryland, and Burley tobaccos with a pinch of Latakia. The
result is a remarkable blend that is medium-bodied and traditionally
English in character
Ashton Tin - Guilty Pleasure (50g)
Glorious mixture of Cavendish, Virginia and Carolina Burley
carries an irresistible aroma of vanilla, mango and exotic
like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has passed on
concern and kind words over the last few months and most of all
to the many dedicated Ashton pipe smokers who have supported our
father and shown their appreciation for his work. We know it meant
a great deal to him to receive your praise and it was always his
honour to provide his products to such an appreciative community.
Particularly those enthusiasts that hold large Ashton collections
and those who took the pilgrimage to Essex, UK to visit our father
in his natural habitat, the factory in Romford and the barns at
the bottom of our garden. We know that he had as much pleasure from
your visits as we can only imagine you had from seeing the birth
of Ashton pipes from Briar to a treasured Ashton.
From our father’s time at Dunhill and making the worlds smallest
pipe to the conception of the Ashton Magnum (quite the opposite),
our father has made many memorable and momentous contributions to
history of pipe smoking. He has built up the name from a hobby in
our garden shed in the early 1980s to a global name of quality and
we are very proud of this.
You are probably already aware that our father’s love of “tapping
the admiral” over his lifetime had led to his terminal disease
of cirrhosis of the liver. The recent car accident was as a result
of this declining condition rather than an unfortunate accident,
which contributed to his recent rapid deterioration. We would ask
that you consider any information you receive in light of what you
already knew of our father and your memories of him. We would appreciate
if you could remember him for the pleasant times you shared, the
excellent work he produced and the quality name he represented rather
than any contention you may have or are likely to experience.
As mentioned before Jimmy Craig is the only person we are aware
of that carries on our fathers traditions in crafting pipes the
“Ashton” way and this can only be verified by you, the
pipe community as you experience his work. We hope that Jimmy will
continue our fathers legacy, as the art of crafting smoking pipes
is now a very rare skill indeed. We hope that you agree that the
quality of Jimmy’s work is indeed that of our fathers, we
certainly know our father was very proud of the work that Jimmy
was producing for him over the last year or so.
For those who still own the pipes our father produced with his own
hands, we hope your treasured pipes are even more precious too you
now and we trust you will enjoy them for many years to come. We
our father would be honoured by your thoughts when smoking them.
Our warmest regards and thanks to you all
Nicola and Spencer Ashton-Taylor