Sunday, 7 October 2012

My Long Goodbye.

My Long Goodbye.

"the time has come," the Walrus said, 
   "to talk of many things:
of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
   of cabbages--and kings".
(quote from "The Walrus and the Carpenter" by Lewis Carroll.)

I started this Blog two years ago, primarily as a vehicle to allow me to share my all consuming passion for the Peterson brand of smoking pipes. In doing so I have enjoyed sharing with others, what little knowledge I have amassed of the brand. It has also allowed me to display some of the many photographic images of my dear collection of beautiful Peterson pipes. Particularly for those many other Pete nuts who I know enjoy viewing them.

Coupled to my work for the specialist pipe Wiki site Pipedia, the 'Peterson Pipe Chronicles'. I am proud and very satisfied that I leave a useful legacy of reference knowledge for other Peterson enthusiasts, which previously was unavailable to them.

My poor health has taken a further turn for the worse in recent years with the diagnosis of an illness, which in time will be terminal.
Knowing this, I prepared the way for a long, much postponed pilgrimage which I had always desired. A trip to Dublin, to visit the home of the Peterson pipe, at their premises at Sallynoggin.
Owing to my existing mobility and cardiovascular problems which previously precluded any travel by aeroplane, my family kindly arranged for me to travel overland by car and sea-ferry to Ireland to achieve this much desired trip.

The following are a selection of various photos taken during that memorable visit, which will help sustain me for some time to come. I thought I would share these great memories with you all.

On arrival at Sallynoggin, my two sons and I were warmly met by Tom Palmer,the owner of the Peterson company. Over coffee,Tom updated us on the healthy current progress of the company and outlined his exciting positive plans for the near future.
This included his plans for developing their newly acquired shop premises in the heart of Dublin.Unlike the old shop on Grafton Street, which was all on one level and had limited space to accommodate large amounts of display stock. The new premises is on four levels, plus a tasteful basement lounge area dedicated to large displays of Cigars and walk in humidor.
The first floor is currently the main pipe display area and is breathtaking for Pete nuts such as I.I was like a kid in a candy store when I visited it later in the day.Tom explained his planed development for the other shop levels,which included housing a display area dedicated to the Peterson heritage and history, hopefully transferring thesmall 'museum' historical display items from Sallynoggin and enhancing it considerably at the new premises.
Knowing Tom and his dedication to his company image and promotion, I am sure that all will be completed and up and running for the celebration of the company's 150 year anniversary celebrations in 2015.

Tom also informed us of his plans to create a new modern web site to replace the current one.
I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and the very positive developments which Tom outlined, that are in the pipeline.
We were then invited to a tour of the factory floor premises and an introduction to Tom's dedicated team of skilled professional craftsmen and women.
Escorted by the very knowledgable Manager, Tony Whelan, we were given a very enjoyable systematic tour which outlined the basics of the construction/assembly of the various pipe components.My two sons and I were most impressed by the staff skills which were in evidence.I was particularly looking forward to meeting David Blake,Peterson's well known Silversmith.I was not disappointed, David's skills were amazing to watch.I particularly appreciated his in depth conversations on the silver assay techniques and the Celtic scroll work, for which he has a deserved highly regarded reputation.Sadly David is coming to the end of his working career after over 50years with Peterson's,however he reassured me that his team of skilled apprentices have matured into credible replacements when he does eventually retire and that his remarkable skills legacy will continue.
The amazing skill,knowledge and marvellous Irish humour which we were subject to, all to soon was ended.

However there was to be one last surprise in store, I was given a presentation of an engraved Silver Spigot "Baskerville' pipe with my name on it and some tobacco, by Tom Palmer and the staff at Sallynoggin.
I was informed that this was in recognition of my research of the company's history and the development and promotion of the brand through my collecting activities.

Tom stated that,"Your knowledge and feeling for our pipes, heritage and  history is deep and unique and I would like to personally thank you  for this dedication". 
I was very moved by this surprise event and was more than proud and grateful to accept the gifts given to me.I will treasure these always.

So friends, my journey is almost at an end, I have enjoyed sharing my knowledge and experiences with you all and I hope you will continue to use this Blog for reference purposes. My family will help keep it on line for as long as it is being viewed. Unfortunately for me , I will no longer be posting here as my ability to do so is decreasing with my old enemy, time.
I would like to thank you all for your loyal following and your kindness over the last few years and hope that you continue to enjoy the wonderful experience of owning and using the marvellous Peterson Pipes.

Jim Lilley
'The Pete Meister'

"The Long Goodbye"

Deep within that hollow stare,
of my presence they're unaware.
A life that is fading away,
in spite of things I try to convey.
Memories locked up in my mind,
and there they are kept all confined.

Good times spent long ago,
and all the love they did bestow.
For these moments will live forever,
and my pride in them will endeavour.
Strangers seeing me sitting there will know why,
Alzheimer's is called the long good-bye.

More Dublin Trip Photos.

Discussion with Tony Whelan and David Blake.

 Factory view.
 Some new briar waiting for transformation

 Silver bands covered for staining.

Hive of industry.
Polishing after stain treatment.

Beautiful dark stain.
Before and after natural staining.

Natural stain 305's
 Different sterling silver stamps
 More of Davids box of tricks.
 Celtic scroll stamp.
 Charles Peterson's personal pipe.

 I just had to try it!
Tom Palmer presenting my pipe.