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 still slightly visible 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'”, “SM”. The stem has also the slightly visible crossed Barling logo and the marking “Barling Design”. The length is 13.3 cm (5.24″), bowl’s height is 3.4 cm (1.34″). External diameter of the bowl is 3.2 cm (1.26″), internal diameter is 1.9 cm (0.75″). The depth is 2.8 cm (1.1″) and this pipe weights 21 gr. Briar, vulcanite stem (a little bit patched in the button are, you may notice that under a bright light), no filter. There were a few scratches and chips patched on the bowl during the restoration.