Northern Briars Hand Made by Ian Walker
Ian Walker's grandfather, George Walker, founded Northern Briar Pipes. George Walker started working for Duncan Briars ( makers of ) in England in 1922. In 1958, he left Duncan's after 36 years and having been head forman in charge of production, and started Northern Briar Pipe Repair Service, with his son Peter. They repaired pipes for most of the quality pipe shops in the United Kingdom.
In 1983 Ian Walker’s parents bought a local tobacconist shop in Heaton Moor Stockport. Ian was doing all the repairs by then, and was the foremost repairman in the U. K. He thought that he might give it a go at making pipes himself for the shop. This went well. Ian then decided to start making pipes for the local shops. Soon after he met Bill Taylor of Ashton fame. Bill encouraged and helped him.
An interesting aside is that Ian lives with his wife Katrina on a canal boat. His work shop is on the boat. Under British law he can only be moored at one spot for two weeks. So every fortnight Ian moves his house and workshop to a new location on a canal or river in the England.