Two more pipes

In our previous blog entry, we looked at a display of local items connected with tobacco pipe and cigarette smoking. Most of these date from a time when the dangers to health from this habit were less well understood.

Recently two more pipes were donated to the museum after they had failed to sell in a local jumble sale. Our collections policy states that the artefacts in Market Lavington Museum should have a local connection. The label on this old pipe casts doubt on its local provenance.

The East India Dock in London is far away from Market Lavington in central Wiltshire. However, the writing on the reverse of the label suggests a possible local connection later in the pipe’s history.

Market Lavington certainly does have a WI (Women’s Institute), though its connection with an old pipe is a mystery. The name Welch also points to some local links. Our museum founder, Peggy Gye – 1921 – 2010, was a Miss Welch before her marriage. We have ascertained that her father, Jack Welch, was a pipe smoker as was her brother. Might one of the family have collected old pipes? There is also a connection between the Welch family and the local Women’s Institute. Peggy’s mother, Floss Welch, was their secretary as we see in the Institute’s item, A tribute to Florence Welch, following her early death. Her husband, Jack, audited their accounts too, but we still do not understand why the WI is on the pipe label.

Another pipe was donated to the museum along with this old clay pipe. It has no accompanying information although we understand that both pipes were given to the jumble sale by the same person. We might therefore assume that this newer pipe also has a local connection.

Internet research suggests that such corncob Meerschaum pipes are still available to buy new and are inexpensive.

Despite the flimsy evidence, we will accession these two pipes into our collection but, if any local readers can provide us with more information about them, we would be delighted to hear from you.


Can you add anything to this or do you want to know more?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: