As you will no doubt be aware there are few indoor public spaces in the UK where a chap(ette) may legally smoke his/her pipe. The Scottish bothy, acting as a kind of de-facto last 'speakeasy', offers one of the last, if not the last, public indoor spaces where pipe smoking is legal; if only because it would be impossible to police without a helicopter. So, quite simply, the Kearvaig Pipe Club (KPC) was formed for chaps who like to smoke their pipes in bothies.
The KPC was formed in August 2012 at Kearvaig Bothy situated on Scotland's magical and remote nothern shore close to Cape Wrath. Kearvaig is rather remote, so it seemed suitably absurd to name our club after a bothy that one has to be pretty determined to get to for an AGM.
Since the inaugural meeting, KPC membership has gone from a handful of pipe-puffing oddballs and misfits to a bigger bunch of oddballs and misfits; with UK members in Scotland, England and Wales. In fact the KPC now boasts members in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, the USA and Venezuela. Distance may separate our members, but they are part of a brotherhood of the briar, united in their love of wild places, remote rudimentary shelters and of course, their pipes. For a flavour of what the KPC is all about may I suggest a perusal of our newsletter 'Briar & Bothies'. Our relationship with the world famous tobacco manufacturer Samuel Gawith has also given rise to our very own club blend, namely Bothy Flake whose iconic tin is adorned with a picture of Kearvaig bothy. We think it is well worth a smoke and is now available worldwide.
How does one join the KPC? Well, as there are no membership fees at present, the usual route (exceptions can be made - just get in touch!) is to smoke a bowl in Kearvaig Bothy (with photographic evidence) or smoke a bowl in another bothy with an existing KPC member and you're in; simple. A word of caution though: some bothies are hard to get to and the ethos of the KPC could probably be best summed up as: 'friendly, relaxed, irreverent and anarchic'. So, in the unlikely event (you are a pipe smoker afterall!) that you are of an uptight disposition, or are perhaps a Daily Mail reader, the KPC may not be your cup of tea. Our meetings are arranged ad-hoc in bothies all over Scotland, so please contact us if you want to find out where we are heading to next, or check the listings in Briar & Bothies for events.
Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy our site.
Sergeant Matron, KPC