Middlesbrough (Middlesbrough or Middlesbro) is a town in the north-east of England. It is known as a seaport, an industrial centre and the homeland of the musician Chris Rhee. In 1907 Lady Florence Bell, the wife of the local industrialist Hugh Bell, wondered why people spend so much time in pubs? As it was found that the frequent reason was not in thirst for alcohol but just in the desire to warm up somewhere in the crude and cold northern evenings. As an alternative Sir Hugh and Lady Bell based a winter garden. It was not just a collection of plants, but as would say today, the place of socialising and recreation – here people could come to get warm, have a rest, to play games such as cards or billiard, food and drinks were offered too.
Alcohol was forbidden. But there seemed to be a good tobacconist, a very decent one. So decent that, for example, in 1950s (the stamp “Barling Design” on the stem points namely to this period) it was possible to buy a Barling pipe of the highest grade made for the order of the Winter Garden. This one, for example.
The pipe markings are “Barling’s \ GUINEA GRAIN REG”, “WINTER GARDEN \ MIDDLESBRO’ \ EL””. The stem has slightly rubbed the crossed Barling logo and the marking “Barling Design”. The length is 13.8 cm (5.43″), bowl’s height is 3.7 cm (1.46″). External diameter of the bowl is 3.6 cm (1.42″), internal diameter is 1.8 cm (0.71″). The depth is 3.1 cm (1.22″) and this pipe weights 28 gr. Briar, vulcanite stem, no filter. The former owner had the habit to knock out ashes therefore the top of the bowl may look not ideally plain. There was a small chip patched on the shank, you may identify the track under a bright light. The chamber has been protected with a break-in coat.