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 The beginning of the end?

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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

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PostSubject: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyFri Jan 25, 2019 7:23 pm

I finished work a little earlier today so decided to take a walk into town.  It was a real spur of the moment thing.  I didn't even know where I was headed; I just started and began to enjoy the walk.  

My mind started wandering to the weather warming up which for me heralds the opportunity to enjoy a pipe more often (I only smoke outside).  I then started to think about some of the blends that my cellar's a bit low on so set a course for our only BM in town.  As I arrived at the window I caught the proprietor with his head in his hands, elbows on the counter.  He looked properly dejected.  I went through to the back room where the pipe tobacco's kept and asked if he had any Sammy G blends.  'Nope'.  'Any MacBarren?' 'Nope'.  A quick scan of the shelves showed they were generally lacking.  
'We don't keep those sort of blends because no one's ever asked for them'.
'Really?'
'Yes'.
'I think I'll take a look at your cigars'.

I left with a couple of sticks feeling as dejected as the proprietor looked when I first walked in.  The sad thing is, I'd gladly support a local BM but not if I'm met with that each time.  I do hope this particular BM survives partly because its got a long history, opening around the mid 40s.  Me... I'll probably swing by from time to time but I recon I'll be exploring the opportunities that the internet has to offer. I've seen a real decline in this BM and can't help thinking this heralds the beginning of the end.
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GeoffC

GeoffC

Age : 52
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-10-23

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyFri Jan 25, 2019 9:03 pm

Working my local B&M to bring in pipe tobac. Kind of got a few people in the shop hooked. They have been selling on consignment a local carver's pipes. They will like be making their first tobac order for the shop soon. I hope it is well received in the area.
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daveinlax

daveinlax

Location : Wisconsin
Registration date : 2007-12-28

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyFri Jan 25, 2019 10:25 pm

Tins don't move in my shop unless I do them a favor by buying them. His customers want the same old relabeled bulk blends they've been buying for decades. Unfortunately some of his best sellers were McClelland's. He has a bag of my favorite so I have something to buy when I stop in. Shocked
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Zanaspus

Zanaspus

Age : 57
Registration date : 2009-12-27

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptySat Jan 26, 2019 8:13 am

Having worked in retail at small establishments, I can truly say, "Internet killed the B&M star."
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JimInks

JimInks

Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2012-08-31

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptySat Jan 26, 2019 7:12 pm

Zanaspus wrote:
Having worked in retail at small establishments, I can truly say, "Internet killed the B&M star."

I agree with that.
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Brewdude
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Brewdude

Age : 66
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptySat Jan 26, 2019 7:16 pm

Stick wrote:
My mind started wandering to the weather warming up which for me heralds the opportunity to enjoy a pipe more often (I only smoke outside).  I then started to think about some of the blends that my cellar's a bit low on so set a course for our only BM in town.  As I arrived at the window I caught the proprietor with his head in his hands, elbows on the counter.  He looked properly dejected.  I went through to the back room where the pipe tobacco's kept and asked if he had any Sammy G blends.  'Nope'.  'Any MacBarren?' 'Nope'.  A quick scan of the shelves showed they were generally lacking.  
'We don't keep those sort of blends because no one's ever asked for them'.
'Really?'
'Yes'.
'I think I'll take a look at your cigars'.

Mate, I might have responded summat like "Right, but I'm asking for them now and would buy them if you stocked them. Additionally, there are other local pipers that would as well. Shall I give you a list of my choices and see what you can do? It would be a shame to not patronize you seeing as you're my local tobacconist and have to resort to the internet. So how about it? There's a good chap".

On the one hand I can see his point, if up until now most punters came in asking for fags and cigars. However, you might try and persuade him that there is a silent congregation of local pipers that would relish the chance to have tins of the finest blends and educate him on such.

You might also try and recruit other pipe aficionados through social media in your area, or even ask if you could post an advert for a pipe gathering locally. Yes, with the restrictions on smoking in a public place I realize this does create problems. None that can't be sorted, mind.

Just a thought. And of course there's a wealth of suppliers in Blighty that have what you seek. Equally, supporting a B&M that's been around as long as they have deserves some TLC. Don't you agree?


Cheers,

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


The beginning of the end? Purple11x 2The beginning of the end? Bombx10  The beginning of the end? Bombx6The beginning of the end? D6bddf10 The beginning of the end? 44902965465_19121c84ed_s_d
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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptySun Jan 27, 2019 9:56 am

Brewdude wrote:
Stick wrote:
My mind started wandering to the weather warming up which for me heralds the opportunity to enjoy a pipe more often (I only smoke outside).  I then started to think about some of the blends that my cellar's a bit low on so set a course for our only BM in town.  As I arrived at the window I caught the proprietor with his head in his hands, elbows on the counter.  He looked properly dejected.  I went through to the back room where the pipe tobacco's kept and asked if he had any Sammy G blends.  'Nope'.  'Any MacBarren?' 'Nope'.  A quick scan of the shelves showed they were generally lacking.  
'We don't keep those sort of blends because no one's ever asked for them'.
'Really?'
'Yes'.
'I think I'll take a look at your cigars'.

Mate, I might have responded summat like "Right, but I'm asking for them now and would buy them if you stocked them. Additionally, there are other local pipers that would as well. Shall I give you a list of my choices and see what you can do? It would be a shame to not patronize you seeing as you're my local tobacconist and have to resort to the internet. So how about it? There's a good chap".

On the one hand I can see his point, if up until now most punters came in asking for fags and cigars. However, you might try and persuade him that there is a silent congregation of local pipers that would relish the chance to have tins of the finest blends and educate him on such.

You might also try and recruit other pipe aficionados through social media in your area, or even ask if you could post an advert for a pipe gathering locally. Yes, with the restrictions on smoking in a public place I realize this does create problems. None that can't be sorted, mind.

Just a thought. And of course there's a wealth of suppliers in Blighty that have what you seek. Equally, supporting a B&M that's been around as long as they have deserves some TLC. Don't you agree?


Cheers,

RR

Yes, good points Rande, and I'm with you.

It's a difficult situation. Through speaking with him before, there's precious few pipers in our area, and I don't get through enough 'baccy to justify him stocking for my interests. Most of his trade now is, as you identified, through folks popping in for fags, most especially rollies and judging by the humidor room which seems out of proportion with the rest of the shop (it's unusually large) chaps popping in for a cigar.

Your point around social media has struck a chord though. I've been embracing Twitter recently and have seen how effective it can be at connecting folks. So I'm wondering if I can reach out to those hidden pipers in the 'shire and use the BM as a focal point for our pipe smoking. The golden version would be to have a well stocked BM with lots of traffic and a smoking lounge.

If I have a crack at this at least I can say I tried. And if it fails, well, sad as it is there's always the internet.




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Brewdude
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Brewdude

Age : 66
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptySun Jan 27, 2019 10:04 am

Stick wrote:
Brewdude wrote:
Stick wrote:
My mind started wandering to the weather warming up which for me heralds the opportunity to enjoy a pipe more often (I only smoke outside).  I then started to think about some of the blends that my cellar's a bit low on so set a course for our only BM in town.  As I arrived at the window I caught the proprietor with his head in his hands, elbows on the counter.  He looked properly dejected.  I went through to the back room where the pipe tobacco's kept and asked if he had any Sammy G blends.  'Nope'.  'Any MacBarren?' 'Nope'.  A quick scan of the shelves showed they were generally lacking.  
'We don't keep those sort of blends because no one's ever asked for them'.
'Really?'
'Yes'.
'I think I'll take a look at your cigars'.

Mate, I might have responded summat like "Right, but I'm asking for them now and would buy them if you stocked them. Additionally, there are other local pipers that would as well. Shall I give you a list of my choices and see what you can do? It would be a shame to not patronize you seeing as you're my local tobacconist and have to resort to the internet. So how about it? There's a good chap".

On the one hand I can see his point, if up until now most punters came in asking for fags and cigars. However, you might try and persuade him that there is a silent congregation of local pipers that would relish the chance to have tins of the finest blends and educate him on such.

You might also try and recruit other pipe aficionados through social media in your area, or even ask if you could post an advert for a pipe gathering locally. Yes, with the restrictions on smoking in a public place I realize this does create problems. None that can't be sorted, mind.

Just a thought. And of course there's a wealth of suppliers in Blighty that have what you seek. Equally, supporting a B&M that's been around as long as they have deserves some TLC. Don't you agree?


Cheers,

RR

Yes, good points Rande, and I'm with you.

It's a difficult situation.  Through speaking with him before, there's precious few pipers in our area, and I don't get through enough 'baccy to justify him stocking for my interests.  Most of his trade now is, as you identified, through folks popping in for fags, most especially rollies and judging by the humidor room which seems out of proportion with the rest of the shop (it's unusually large) chaps popping in for a cigar.  

Your point around social media has struck a chord though.  I've been embracing Twitter recently and have seen how effective it can be at connecting folks.  So I'm wondering if I can reach out to those hidden pipers in the 'shire and use the BM as a focal point for our pipe smoking.  The golden version would be to have a well stocked BM with lots of traffic and a smoking lounge.  

If I have a crack at this at least I can say I tried.  And if it fails, well, sad as it is there's always the internet.






Right then, that's the spirit. Jolly good on you mate!


Cheers,

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyTue Mar 05, 2019 6:43 pm

A little update.

(Vision: to provide a means for pipe smokers here in the 'Shire to gather in a smoking lounge type of venue.)

I arranged to have a meeting with the manager of the B&M in question last Saturday, where I ran a few ideas past him. Turns out that whilst he's got the real estate in his shop for a smoker's lounge, it's strictly against the law here in the UK for him to do so. Proprietors are only allowed to have customers sample a small amount of baccy on the premises, but that's all. Rather cheekily I asked if we could sample the same blend over and over again but he didn't really see the funny side of my quip. So, I bought a bag of tapered pipe cleaners and bade him farewell.

Driving home this evening I continued to mull things over and, prompted by the comments in another thread recently concerning the chat room, I think an answer would be to utilise tech to connect pipe smokers in an online smoking lounge like, e.g., using Skype. (A 'Skoke' Suspect )

More thought needed!
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Ozark Wizard

Ozark Wizard

Age : 55
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyTue Mar 05, 2019 8:04 pm

It may be a two pipe problem....
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Penguin

Penguin

Age : 34
Location : Colorado Springs, CO
Registration date : 2019-02-11

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyTue Mar 05, 2019 8:13 pm

Stick wrote:
Turns out that whilst he's got the real estate in his shop for a smoker's lounge, it's strictly against the law here in the UK for him to do so.

What's the view on public smoking where you are? Smoking is prohibited in certain areas where I live, but if toby smokers were so inclined, they could get together at certain bars and restaurants that have separate "smoking rooms." Of course, doing that isn't going to necessarily save the toby shop.
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GeoffC

GeoffC

Age : 52
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-10-23

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyTue Mar 05, 2019 8:18 pm

Well I have had success with my local B&M. We got in Rattray's bulk for Marlin Flake, Hal O' Wynd, Old Gowlie, P.S. Navy Flake and Bullseye. In the tin dept we got F&T Virginia Cut Plug, Capstan Blue and Yellow tins, Astley's 109 and 44, Esoterica Margate and Pembroke and few others. Smoking in NC inside is illegal now unless you are grandfathered in or have a stand alone building. My B&M is standalone 100 year old farmhouse. Nice lounge a lot of really good boutique cigars. 1st month with pipe tobacco went well and he is working on a list for reorder.

I suggested it earlier in another thread of setting up Discord group for BoB. Discord is a chat app primarily used by gamers but I have had good success with it of folks of all ages for the one I setup for the B&M. The nice thing is it has a good app for phones and desktops. You can catch up on history easily and have it open and get notified when folks are talking so you can join in. There is even a section for group voice chat as well. I often join online chats while enjoying an evening bowl.
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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyWed Mar 06, 2019 6:01 pm

GeoffC wrote:
Well I have had success with my local B&M.  We got in Rattray's bulk for Marlin Flake, Hal O' Wynd, Old Gowlie, P.S. Navy Flake and Bullseye.  In the tin dept we got F&T Virginia Cut Plug, Capstan Blue and Yellow tins,  Astley's 109 and 44, Esoterica Margate and Pembroke and few others.   Smoking in NC inside is illegal now unless you are grandfathered in or have a stand alone building.  My B&M is standalone 100 year old farmhouse.  Nice lounge a lot of really good boutique cigars.   1st month with pipe tobacco went well and he is working on a list for reorder.

I suggested it earlier in another thread of setting up Discord group for BoB.  Discord is a chat app primarily used by gamers but I have had good success with it of folks of all ages for the one I setup for the B&M.  The nice thing is it has a good app for phones and desktops.  You can catch up on history easily and have it open and get notified when folks are talking so you can join in.   There is even a section for group voice chat as well.  I often join online chats while enjoying an evening bowl.

That sounds like you've had a great success there, Geoff, well done Sir. Sounds like some great tobacco choices too!

How many pipers do you have frequenting your BandM now? Whilst you have a different economy, it might be a useful starting point to identify a viable threshold for the shop.

Discord sounds like an excellent alternative to meeting in the flesh. I see real advantages here as it makes for an unlimited audience base. Mmmmm.....
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GeoffC

GeoffC

Age : 52
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-10-23

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyFri Mar 08, 2019 10:52 am

Stick wrote:
GeoffC wrote:
Well I have had success with my local B&M.  We got in Rattray's bulk for Marlin Flake, Hal O' Wynd, Old Gowlie, P.S. Navy Flake and Bullseye.  In the tin dept we got F&T Virginia Cut Plug, Capstan Blue and Yellow tins,  Astley's 109 and 44, Esoterica Margate and Pembroke and few others.   Smoking in NC inside is illegal now unless you are grandfathered in or have a stand alone building.  My B&M is standalone 100 year old farmhouse.  Nice lounge a lot of really good boutique cigars.   1st month with pipe tobacco went well and he is working on a list for reorder.

I suggested it earlier in another thread of setting up Discord group for BoB.  Discord is a chat app primarily used by gamers but I have had good success with it of folks of all ages for the one I setup for the B&M.  The nice thing is it has a good app for phones and desktops.  You can catch up on history easily and have it open and get notified when folks are talking so you can join in.   There is even a section for group voice chat as well.  I often join online chats while enjoying an evening bowl.

That sounds like you've had a great success there, Geoff, well done Sir.  Sounds like some great tobacco choices too!

How many pipers do you have frequenting your BandM now?  Whilst you have a different economy, it might be a useful starting point to identify a viable threshold for the shop.  

Discord sounds like an excellent alternative to meeting in the flesh.  I see real advantages here as it makes for an unlimited audience base.  Mmmmm.....

So we have a few converted existing cigar smokers. They smoke cigar and pipes. That was me and one other guy's fault. That is what prompted the owner to bring in pipe tobac. Once introduced I posted on Instagram and several others in the area started to come that are new to the shop. I suspect once the word is out it will continue. Any given day we probably have 4 people in the lounge smoking a pipe. Next month is Triangle Area Pipe show so plenty to opportunity to plug the shop to the community.

I'll setup Discord tonight after work and post how to sign up and see if the brotherhood is interested.
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GeoffC

GeoffC

Age : 52
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-10-23

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyMon Mar 11, 2019 7:53 pm

So working with my local B&M has been a success. Helped place the 2nd order today for the shop.

Capstan Blue and Yellow was sold out. I think they had 1 tin left which we will get.
Rattray's Marlin Flake bulk restock
Esoterica tins and bags of Margate and Pembroke. We are allocated to get Stonehaven and Penzance but not sure how much they will ship in bags
G&H Best Brown #2 in bulk
Astley's #44 is sold out but restocking #109
G&H 500g of Rum Twist (for me Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy ). I'll share if others in the shop want some.

Not bad after the first month. Still have Old Growlie, Hal O' Wynd in bulk, 2 tins left of Astley's #109. #44 sold out. Margate/Pembroke tins sold out. Capstan Blue/Yellow sold out. Still have tins of F&T Virginia Cut Plug, Cult BRM and Escudo. Of course bulk of 1Q and a house blend still stocked. Also P.S. Bullseye and Navy flake still stocked.

Not bad . . . feel like this is a big win for me and other pipe smokers in the area. New customers that a primarily pipe smokers have been coming in. This weekend one guy drove an hour to the shop to stock up.
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Brewdude
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Brewdude

Age : 66
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyMon Mar 11, 2019 8:51 pm

Well done Geoff!

Cool


Cheers,

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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Rail Man

Rail Man

Age : 35
Location : North Dakota
Registration date : 2007-12-23

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyTue Mar 12, 2019 1:01 am

That’s great! Gives some hope to getting elusive blends while supporting local business.
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Ozark Wizard

Ozark Wizard

Age : 55
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyTue Mar 12, 2019 1:11 am

Nicely done! Nice to bring new life into a shop.
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smoker13



Age : 65
Location : Western Mass
Registration date : 2016-01-12

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptySat Mar 23, 2019 10:42 pm

Even on the Internet Samuel & Gawith have been mostly "currently not in stock", along with much of Rattray's, "key" Dan blends, even Peterson ones for pete's sake. Many more that escape me at the moment, but it's getting very frustrating shopping for tobacco these past months.
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GeoffC

GeoffC

Age : 52
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-10-23

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 10:59 am

My B&M still has Hal O'Wynd, Marlin Flake and Old Gowlie in bulk. No online store which I suspect is the key.
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smoker13



Age : 65
Location : Western Mass
Registration date : 2016-01-12

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 2:04 pm

You are indeed fortunate to have a local tobacconist, Geoff. Our last one cleared out at least 10 years ago.
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Idlefellow

Idlefellow

Location : The Kansas Prairie
Registration date : 2009-02-24

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyMon Mar 25, 2019 9:55 am

What's a BM? I only know about one and it doesn't have anything to do with pipe smoking!
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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

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PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   The beginning of the end? EmptyMon Mar 25, 2019 10:17 am

Idlefellow wrote:
What's a BM?  I only know about one and it doesn't have anything to do with pipe smoking!

BM / B&M = Bricks and Mortar = local tobacconist Smile
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