[Post updated 6 February, 2022, following the rebranding of the J4MB Pipe Smokers Club as the J4MB Smoking Club.]
The J4MB Smoking Club exists for men who enjoy smoking pipes and/or cigars, membership is free for those who are party members, details here. Our video playlist is here, it currently consists of three videos in which I’m joined by Elizabeth Hobson, former party leader (2020-21), at James J Fox in St James’s Street, London, around the corner from the Ritz hotel. It’s the oldest cigar merchant in the world, established in 1787.
The store includes a small museum dedicated to Sir Winston Churchill, a regular customer, as well as a sampling lounge, one of the few places in a commercial establishment in the UK in which the smoking of pipes and cigars is allowed. An interview with Robert Fox, the Managing Director, is here (video, 3:00), it includes footage taken in the sampling lounge.
My personal favourite cigar is the mild-flavoured Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No.2, a review by CigarVixen here (8:08).
Onto pipes. From the website of the Pipe Club of London:
In the autumn of 1969, one in seven was a pipesmoker [J4MB: one in seven men, hopefully] – slogans such as “men of action smoke pipes” and “the successful man smokes a pipe” abounded in smoking literature and the second issue of Pipe Line magazine, winter 69/70, contained an article by Mr Alfred Dunhill entitled “The Making of a Perfect Pipe.”
I don’t know the proportion of British men who smoke a pipe today, but it’s far lower than 50 years ago.
Recent research by cultural historians at the University of Swindon established a clear causal link between the decline in pipe smoking in the UK, and the rise of feminism. The findings have yet to be published online, but we’ll publish the report as soon as it’s made available.
Given the causal link, it’s clearly important to reverse the decline in pipe smoking in the UK, to reverse the influence of feminism. Pipe smoking needs to become fashionable again, for men of all ages to discover (or re-discover) the pleasures of the habit.
The club will only admit male members – perhaps I could have phrased that better – but anti-feminist ladies will be permitted at events as guests of club members, so long as they’re smoking. Elizabeth Hobson, who much appreciates the occasional Havana, is looking forward to joining us.
Finally, I thought readers of this piece might be amused by my experience of ordering a pipe stand from Amazon today. It’s difficult to imagine how a pipe stand per se could be injurious to health, but people ordering the item have to be at least 18 years of age, and show proof of age when the item is delivered – details here. Being 61, I look forward to the delivery driver demanding, with a straight face, that I show him proof of my age.
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