Rökringar (Smoke Rings) no. 83 November 2011
Assens is a small Danish town on the island of Funen and has a long history of tobacco-manufacturing. In 1864 a tobacco factory was founded in the central part of the town, housed in a building that is now a museum. In 1991 a new factory was built, and that factory is not only the biggest but also the most modern factory in the world for pipe tobacco. And today it is a center for pipes too. The new manager of Stanwell, Frank Holst Christoffersen, has his office here and here are the Stanwell pipes stored and get the final inspection on their way from the factory in Italy to retailers around the globe.
We visited Orlik Tobacco Company last October and spent a thrilling day there. First we visited the section of the factory, where the blends in the series My Own Blend are made. All tobacco in this series is blended by hand and the register of customers’ blends has passed 45,000 by now. And the blender Lasse Berg made a new blend for our club, called SP 3.
The department for My Own Blend may be called a tobacco factory in miniature, but the rest of the factory certainly is not. We started our tour in the gigantic store room, where 5,800 tons of tobacco are landed every year. All tobacco here was in bales with one exception, Perique from Louisiana that was fermenting in big barrels. A lot of pictures showing the process are found in this issue.
Then we visited another part of the factory, the room where Stanwell pipes are stored and get a final inspection, before they are delivered to the retailers. We also have the pleasure to show some news, which will be launched by Stanwell in the near future – a new shape called New Shape, designed by Poul Winsløw, Pipe of the Year 2012 designed by Tom Eltang and finally the Christmas Pipe, which is also designed by Poul Winsløw. The last mentioned pipe is also found on the cover.
As you may know this year’s Nobel Prize in literature was awarded the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. By now he is a very old man, but we have the pleasure to show a picture of a young Tranströmer enjoying his pipe.
The World Cup in pipe-smoking was arranged in Eindhoven in the Netherlands last October. 11 members of our club took part in the event and we have a report in this issue. The competition was, not surprisingly, won by Gianfranco Ruscalla from Italy. Mr. Ruscalla did not manage to break his own world record this time, but his time close to three hours was impressing anyway. The winning team came from Hungary.
The pipemaker Tom Eltang was last summer elected to be a member of the exclusive order Confrérie des Maître Pipers de Saint Claude. Only two Scandinavians have earlier been awarded that honor. Our sincere congratulations to Tom to this well-deserved honor, and we feel proud to have a board-member of our club who carries the title Maître Pipiers.
Welcome to this issue of Rökringar. Foreign members are most welcome as members of our club and a more substantial English summary is enclosed with every issue of our magazine. For more information, please send a mail to the secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org