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1. The Calabash Project
703TM -NFS
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Pipe 10: NOV06 -SOLD-
Pipe 11: DEC06 -NFS
Pipe 12: DEC06
Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-
Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-
Pipe 6: NOV06 -NFS
Pipe 7: NOV06 -SOLD-
Pipe 8: NOV06 -NFS
Pipe 9: NOV06 -SOLD-
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TM Pipes, The Shop
Thos. Martin
Shaping The Stummels
Sunday, 5 November 2006
Pipe 5: The inspiration
Topic: Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-

The famous White Cliffs of Dover stand guard at the Gateway to England where millions pass each year on their journey to or from the continent. In some places over 300 feet high, the White Cliffs are a symbol of the nation's strength against enemies and a reassuring sight to returning travellers, they have been immortalised in song, in literature and in art.

The history of Britain is intricately linked with the White Cliffs from the Roman invasion to the assault made by Germany in both World Wars. The first recorded description of Dover describes the scene that Julius Caesar saw in 55 BC when, with two legions of soldiers, he arrived off Dover looking for a suitable landing place and ' saw the enemy's forces, armed, in position on all the hills there. At that point steep cliffs came down close to the sea in such a way that it is possible to hurl weapons from them right down to the shore. It seemed to me that the place was altogether unsuitable for landing.' (Caesar's Commentaries, Book IV.)

But they did land just along the coast in Deal and a year later a full scale invasion followed. As an aid to navigation for the Roman ships, two lighthouses(Pharos) were built on top of the cliffs. One is on the east cliff and stands adjacent to the church of St. Mary, in Dover Castle and is today in an excellent state of preservation. A second Pharos was built on the Western Heights, its remains were called in the 17th century the Bredenstone and by some, the Devil's Drop of Mortar. During excavation work for further fortifications of the site in 1861 the foundations of the tower were discovered and left exposed in the wall of the Officers' Quarters.

The east cliff with its commanding view over the channel is a position of natural strength and has been the site of fortification since the Iron Age. The Castle dates back to the 11th century but additions and alterations have been made up to and including the twentieth century. Looking up at the cliffs from Townwall Street, on the approach to the Eastern Docks, you can see signs of massive tunnelling works at various levels in the cliff below the Castle. The upper level of excavation took place in Napoleonic times to provide cannon ports and were used during World War I as an hospital. In World War II this level was used to billet troops during the excavation of Dunkirk. The lower levels housed the operations room for Channel Command during the Battle of Britain and the rooms that Winston Churchill used as his personal war-time headquarters.

It was at Churchill's insistence that superior artillery positions were maintained along the White Cliffs, leading perhaps inevitably, to the first gun installed being called ' Winnie' . There were gun batteries along the cliffs at St. Margaret's Bay, Langdon Bay, St. Martin's Battery and the Citadel (the Western Heights) and at Capel near Folkestone. The counterbombardment and anti-aircraft gun fire was directed from a control room in the cliff complex.

On the west cliff, known as the Western heights, are two Napoleonic forts linked by miles of ditches. Construction of these began in 1804 and was not completed until the 1860s. The Drop Redoubt, the smaller detached fort, housed a team of Commandos in World War II. Their task would have been to sabotage the port in the event of Dover falling to German forces.

It was after the was that Castello (Castle) Pipes was born. It was 1947 and Carlo Scotti created the Castello pipe in a little artisan workshop in the village of Cantu, Italy which overlookled a castle. Certainly I do not share the same inspiration as my workshop overlooks but a fence. My inspiration comes actually from my dislike of Pipe 2 believing it looks too anotomical. My idea was to make it more architectural. As it has a tall bowl, I had the idea to make it look like a castle.

I looked at all my chess sets for inspiration and found no rook suitable. So, I searched the net and stumble upon what will most influence Pipe 5. the briar and stem materials are on order as of this morning, and i am currently "chomping at the bit," excited to make this dream a reality. . .

Posted by thos.martin at 1:20 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006 7:15 PM EST

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