Who can keep their pipe lit long enough to be crowned the pipe smoking champion of County Down?

The town of Rathfriland in County Down is the venue of a pipe smoking contest and everyone from elderly ladies to young students are taking part.

Representatives from Erinmore Mixture pipe tobacco manufacturers provide each participant with a churchwarden pipe, three ounces of tobacco and two matches.

Each contestant rolls their own tobacco, fills their pipe and has just one chance to light their pipe. The winner of the smoking contest is is the person who keeps their pipe full and alight the longest

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 May 1963. The footage shown here is mute.

pipe smoking contest