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.


  1. Sir,

    As a fellow Peterson fanatic (but only starting the collection) I thank you for all the time put into this blog. I have enjoyed every post, been envious with almost every picture, and absorbed the knowledge contained within the posts.

    Thank you again, and best of wishes to you and your family.

  2. So sorry to hear that you won't be posting any more, Jim, but I will say how much I value your contribution to the knowledge of all things Peterson.

    Wishing you all the very best.

    - Tony

  3. Thank you for the time and dedication, Jim.

    This website has been a joy to visit, and I have learned wonderful things about Peterson pipes thanks to you. Your postings will be sorely missed.

    Wishing you all the best,

    The Pipe Club of Lebanon

  4. Mr. Lilly, I am saddened to hear of the progression of your illness. As a fellow Pete lover, I certainly enjoyed reading your blog, and viewing the pics of your visit to Peterson of Dublin. I especially enjoyed the pic of the very special pipe you were presented with.

    Wishing you the best,


  5. Dear Jim,

    Never commented before, but have enjoyed your blog every since I found it. I am sorry to hear about your illness but still think it is obvious that you are living a life which you enjoy very much.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to make this blog, I've learned so much.


  6. Jim,

    Thank you for all your hard work here, with IPPC and on Pipedia. Additionally, thank you for your advice and encouragement to me personally...I'm proud to be a Pete Nut!
    Congratulations on making it to Sallynoggin, you have been one of Peterson's greatest ambassadors over the years. Enjoy your new Baskerville on your bench overlooking the Pete Bog, hopefully with a dram (or two) of Highland Park.

    All the best to you and your family.

    Peter Jones,
    Edinburgh Pipe Club.

  7. Goodness me! what kindness.I am moved by your kind comments guys.It means a lot to me to know that my work has been appreciated by other Pete enthusiasts.
    Thank you all.


  8. they say in Holland, 'be strong'. I always have a great connection with men who have a passion for something other than their work or career. It shows real character and you have always displayed it in abundance dear Jim....In our hearts and prayers....Dub

  9. Fr. Tim Doubblestein8 October 2012 at 16:56

    Jim, you have greatly enriched my life and enjoyment of our shared passion. Though we have never met I wish to convey my sadness at hearing of your illness. May God guide you though the coming difficult times and may He greet you at the gates of Heaven with a warm welcome to His hall and an invitation to share a smoke together.

  10. Jim, I'm saddened to learn of your health issues and retirement from the blog. Prayers said for you and yours. Sincere thanks for your service to this community and Peterson devotees everywhere. You will be missed. Lang may your lum reek.


  11. Mr. Lilley,

    I'm sorry to read that you are no longer going to post as your blog is one of my favorites to visit. Thank you for the information and the photos of you marvelous collection over the past two years and your contributions to the lore of the briar. I hate to hear of your health issues, my thoughts are with you and your family.

    -Rob S.

  12. Hi, Jim,
    I'm saddened to learn of this turn of events, as I have enjoyed your Web site immensely. Your passion for the wondrous world of Peterson of Dublin has been intriguing, informative and inspirational. Like a good professor, you have awakened and stimulated your readers' senses of wonder and inquiry, so as to facilitate their discovering much which is good and beautiful. I shall treasure the camaraderie we've shared over the past few years—albeit from a great distance—and the high honor you bestowed upon me in sharing the story of my poem's inclusion in the venerable Peterson Museum. I shall also treasure the forthcoming _Peterson Chronicles,_ attributable in great measure to your dedication and ingenuity. I shall miss you, my friend. I pray for you and yours in this time of transition, and wish you well. God bless you!

  13. P.S.: Yes, that was a near reiteration of my comments on your photos from the Peterson factory. (I feared I had deleted them.) Sorry about the duplication!

  14. Guys,Your kind comments and good wishes mean a great deal to me.

    Thank you so much.

  15. Jim, I only recently found this site, and as a Peterson's fan I have enjoyed it very much, I am saddened to hear of your illness and send my best wishes to you and your family. God bless...

  16. Goodbye old and dear friend. May God keep you in the palm of his hand.

    1. Thank you Chuck old friend,your good wishes and support over the last few years has meant a lot to me.You are a true friend and Gentleman.

  17. God bless. I have enjoyed and benefited from your writings.

  18. Thank you for everything and best of luck to you!

    Regards from Slovenia

  19. Thank you everyone,I am overwhelmed by your kindness.

  20. Bonjour Jim
    la tristesse m'envahit en lisant votre article.
    Je ne suis pas un "Peterson-fan" (même si j'en fume), mais j'ai toujours été impressionné par la précision et l'exhaustivité de votre travail sur la marque irlandaise.
    Votre notoriété a largement dépassé toutes les frontières et vous resterez longtemps celui qui a éclairé la communauté des fumeurs de pipe.
    Je vous dois beaucoup : merci !

    1. Translation(French-English).Hello Jim
      sadness came over me while reading your article.
      I am not a "fan-Peterson" (even if I smoke), but I've always been impressed by the accuracy and completeness of your work on the Irish brand.
      Your reputation has exceeded all boundaries and you will be informed that the long community of pipe smokers.
      I owe you much: thank you!

      Much obliged for your kind words Phil.Thank you.

  21. Although I'm relatively new to these pages and the IPPC, I feel like I'm losing a good friend. Jim, your vast knowledge of the Peterson brand, the style, class, wit, and passion that you brought to us through this blog will be very greatly missed. Through you I've discovered so much about the myriad varieties of Peterson pipes, which has kindled a passion of my own. Thank you!

    May you find peace, strength, and courage for the road ahead. Godspeed my friend.

    Dennis Dreyer, "RockvillePete"

  22. You are most generous Dennis,your kind words are very much appreciated.

  23. Bonsoir Jim,
    Cette mauvaise nouvelle m'attriste et me touche sincèrement.
    Je vous lis depuis si longtemps, le soir, en fumant une bonne Peterson et toujours avec un immense plaisir. Comme vous, je suis un collectionneur et un fumeur de Peterson. Ce sont les plus belles, les meilleures et celles qui me font réver. Mille mercis pour votre savoir. Grace à vous j'ai découvert beaucoup de choses sur la belle histoire des pipes Peterson. Je vous souhaite une douce continuation et encore beaucoup de joies en compagnie de vos proches et de vos pipes Peterson.
    Amicalement et sincèrement.

  24. Mr. Lilley I am a relatively new pipe smoker though nearing mid 50's in age. Your enthusiasm, knowledge and willingness to share is as impressive as your eloquence. May you continue to enjoy your Peterson obsession for many years to come. Grace to you in your "Long Good-bye".

  25. Thank you Brian for your kind comments and good wishes.

  26. A fellow Petersonian3 July 2013 at 00:05

    Awesome blog and beautiful Pete collection.

    Best wishes from Spain.

  27. This article has great reference value, thank you very much for sharing, I would like to reproduced your article, so that more people would see it.Bowl Pipes

  28. Mr Lilley, may Allah bless you for all the goods info you had post. My prayer for your health and live longer with 'love and care'. Im a newbie with this Peterson stuff and its help me a lot. Thanks :-)

  29. Greetings from Chicago- I've only today, Jan.2015, found this great site- It's the best Peterson resource I've seen in years of web searching- That includes even the official Pete sites!, thanks so much-
    I thank also your family, for allowing this to continue while you're not able- I hope to revisit here often, "til I read everything you've so graciously offered us-
    Best wishes then to you and yours- Thank you Greatly- Tom

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  32. Mr. Lilly, Jim,

    My first 'expensive' pipe, bought in the beginning of the'70s, from my trusted tobacconist and something of a mentor, Richard Clarke, of RJ Clarke, Tobacconist and Gastown Tobacco, in Vancouver, was a beautiful Peterson Kildare 260, a cross grain, oval shank, straight Billiard, that I was smoking last night. The second was a small, 'system' full bent Billiard, I believe a 112, (or 114, I need to do some research), that was tragically lost at sea in a freak sailing accident. My love affair with Peterson Pipes had well and truly begun.
    I greatly appreciate the depth of your knowledge of the company and their wonderful pipes, your passion as a fellow collector, and, as a writer, and a PhD, your clear and entertaining writing.
    I enjoyed and envied your account of the Peterson visit. With pain and mobility problems of my own, dating back to my early 30s in the early 1980s, my extensive travelling was prematurely ended before my plans for an extended stay in Britain, time at Oxford and in my grandfather's home of Glasgow and all of Scotland, and hopes of visiting as many of the great British and Irish pipemakers and tobacco blenders could be fulfilled. Your trip and it's account has made up for some of that loss.
    Great thanks for that, and for all your fine work for the pipe collecting community. Enjoy your time off, and remain strong, friend.
    Slàinte mhath,
    Dr. H. Bruce Burns

    1. Sorry, Mr. Lilley,
      I thought I'd caught all the 'auto-incorrect' errors. It seems that I missed the most important one.
      Again, I apologise.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Dear Mr. Lilley,

    I have no idea, if you ever read this. But, I want to say thank you for all information abd photographs of historic Peterson Pipes. I have to confess that your articles and blog gave me a Peterson Virus, so that I recently bought a Patent Peterson. Thanks for all an be strong!

    kind regards

    Harald B.

  35. Thanks for all your time and passion to pass good information to us.