It was truly an amazing sight: Imagine Piccadilly, London and the crowded market in front of St. James's Church. Imagine two gentlemen - obviously father and son - behind a stall a few steps away from the portal devoted to tourist gimmicks and, almost hidden, briar pipes.
Well, you had found Dennis and John Marshall, both highly skilled former Charatan workers, selling their Millville pipes at St. James's Market.
The prices start at c. 20 £ – hardly the price of a cheapish Stanwell. These were made from pre-turned bowls. The better pipes, entirely hand-made freehands in the old Charatan style, are made from a stock of very old briar, as John stresses. They use several grades like "Unique" or "Executive". A "Bamboo" can make it up to 500 £.
Millvilles have built up a very high reputation ("Best value for money in Britain!") among those smokers who happily gained one. Because elsewhere, Millvilles were rather hard to find, though sometimes stocked in a few British online stores. (Bonds of London)
Millville was created in 1980 by Dennis Marshall, who worked for Barling and Charatan for many years. His son John now makes all Millville pipes and Dennis Marshall has retired. Their pipes still very closely follow the artistic, freeform designs and grading of the old Charatan lines.
Marshall's Unit 9 Meadow Works Great North Road Barnet EN5 1AU UK