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Eckhard Stöhr - Briar Tour II 2009

Eckhard Stöhr
Goes to Stanwell - Briar Tour II 2009

On the 9th of July 2009, our Denmark Briar Tour 2009 led us to Stanwell in Borup.

Punctually at 8 o’clock, Eckhard and Manuel arrived at my place to start the long day with a cup of coffee… Appraising the latest collection of pipes Hermann Hennen had just sent me we almost lost track of time.

A slight feeling of panic came to us when we noticed that it had almost turned 9 o’clock. We definitely had to hit the road now if we wanted to arrive in time.

After an unhurried three-hour drive through Denmark’s splendid landscape we eventually reached the Stanwell factory, one hour late.

After a hearty welcome I was surprised by the presence of Jørgen Grundtvig, whom I was happy to meet again. Then we sat down in the conference room, were served coffee and smoked our pipes.

Of course, a doleful mood set in. Not only because we were sitting in one of the world’s famous pipe factories which will have been closed down by the end of this year,

but also because it was Poul Stanwell’s desk we were sitting at. What a feeling! Is there a tear coming to my eye?

Søren Lundh Aagaard started the tour by showing us Stanwell’s novelties and even the first samples of pipes made in Italy, where the production will be moved to.

Heading out into the corridor you can see Stanwell’s “Stairway to Heaven” – it leads to the legendary attic of the factory.

We took our time to rummage and dwell on yesteryear’s treasures. Probably for the last time ever… again with a little tear in the eye.

Boxes and bags filled with rough-turned bowls from long bygone times…

Your eyes can’t stop wandering, confronted with all those wonderful pipe shapes in their sleeping beauty!

To calm down a bit, we returned to the conference room for a pipe and a cup of coffee… but frankly, sitting a Poul Stanwell’s old desk was not particularly helpful.

Before buying briar and accessories, a task which had clearly shifted to the background this time, we took a factory tour. Probably for the last time… little tears couldn’t be choked back…

On our way to the factory we payed a quick visit to Lasse Skovgaard, whose shop is situated near the delivery point for the wood.

The tour of the company’s premises always starts with the delivery point for the raw briar. After walking through several store houses you reach the actual storage room.

On our way we stopped at the room where pipes are prepared for the sandblasting.

This is the place to talk shop: which materials are used and why?

Boxes filled with Nanna Ivarsson pipes were waiting for further processing.

Next-door, the copying machines awaited us, and a drawer with old masters for the bowls, which were still made out of metal back then.

The new copying machines are computer-operated of course.

At the time of our visit W.Ø. Larsen pipes were being produced.

Nearby, the tobacco chambers are drilled into the briar and mouthpieces are made. A black bamboo application for a new series of pipes had just arrived.

Eckhard Stöhr is taking a look at the mouthpieces, all sorted by shape number.

This place has everything your heart desires, Eckhard!

Bamboo by bundles for example!

Peeking into the many boxes sitting on numerous shelves is surely worthwhile as well…

The master of applications equips the pipes with rings, olives, tops etc.

Can you guess who will soon be greeted by this load of pipes?

A prototype revealed! This new Revival pipe shape will hit the markets shortly, its production having already reached full swing.

Of course, you have to mention the Anne Julie paintings hanging on almost every wall…

These are the only Danish Crowns which are accepted as currency at Esterval’s Pipe House.

Things got really interesting in the sandblasting room.

Søren was still speaking, but Eckhard had let his mind wander: how long would be able to hold the bag? Actually, bags filled with metal splinters for the sandblasting process are ruddy heavy and not really suited for carrying them around.

But the bag’s weight is nothing compared to all the information you get at Stanwell’s.

No, that’s not Anne Julie! But this nice Danish lady who is occupied with finishing a pipe is an artist in her own respect.

Come on, Eckhard! Now let’s buy some briar!

We’re not here for fun, are we?

OK, although everything is diligently sorted, locating the desired parts is not that easy. Or is the excitement bigger than expected?

But Søren is at your side to assist you with all his know-how.

Good boy, Eckhard! You need to register every part you take to keep the inventory updated. Otherwise the Danes wouldn’t know what’s left in the boxes!

Too bad, each box has its own inventory list.

Now buying briar feels like bookkeeping for Eckhard. This somehow detracts from the process itself.

Right, Eckhard, here the buyer himself wraps up his goods. Søren was clearly impressed by your packing skills.

Let’s take a look at more pleasant things while Eckhard is busy with the packing and the delivery note. This is the prototype of the Pipe Of The Year 2010, the famous Dunhill shape 3110 (easy-loader style). It’s also known as the Bing Crosby shape. If you ask me, this 4mm jewel will become an instant classic…

Because you can never get enough of peeking at prototypes, take a look at the pipe for X-Mas 2009.

After a hard day’s work in the factory Eckhard has surely earned himself a break to rest and smoke his pipe.

What a day! The impressions are plenty: will we ever sit here again? It is safe to say that things will have changed considerably by then. What a strange feeling! Was this our last time in Borup? I can’t deny the tear in my eye…

Copyright © 2009 by TECON GmbH

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