Nobody seems quite sure why, but the old English tradition of reinforcing a stiff upper lip with a pipe stem seems to be undergoing a spectacularly fashionable revival.
Some experts believe that with the advent of the internet, and satellite television, younger people became exposed to the traditional and noble art of pipe smoking and its relevance to British history.
Images depicting pipe smokers going about their daily business had been overlooked and dismissed as irrelevant by media moguls, but footage of clay pipe smoking country folk roasting hedgehogs over an open fire for supper, WWI troops, mud spattered, puffing on pipes as they nervously waited for the whistle that would send them over the top, determined Battle Of Britain pilots puffing on pipes as they prepared to take to the skies, and fictional characters such as Maigret and Sherlock Holmes have succeeded in bringing the humble pipe to the attention of a new generation.
These are exciting times for advocates of the pipe - the last truly noteworthy figure to embrace the noble pipe was Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, back in the 1960's, although Graham Chapman out of Monty Python did try to revive the practice in the 1970's, failing miserably.
But the humble pipe is catching on again. Nowadays it isn't uncommon to see crowds of bankers and journalists gathered in knots around Canary Wharf, puffing on pipes and gesticulating wildly.
Indeed, so popular is the pipe becoming, that the Institute of Human Resources Management is considering a legal initiative aimed at allowing pipe smoking to be reintroduced into the workplace and public areas such as theatres, cinemas, restaurants, pubs and on public transport.
The move has been given widespread support by the British Association of Pipe Smokers (BAPS) who regard pipe smoking as the last bastion of Britishness in a multi-cultural maelstrom.
Such is the upsurge in popularity of pipe smoking, that businessman Eddie Condor of Carlisle, Cumbria, recently announced plans to open a pipe and tobacco shop chain rolled out across the country, in shopping centres and railway stations.
"We'll call the shops 'Pipe Rack,'" Eddie Condor told us. "You'll be able to buy pipes - everything from clay disposables to massive meerschaums - tobacco, twist and shag, rough and smooth, and a wide range of tobacco pouches to pop your pipe and baccy in. It's the civilised way to smoke, and the people are mad for it. It's much better than cigarettes, because people aren't going to be chucking butts everywhere and mucking up the streets. Mind you, it might get a bit messy when they start tapping the ashes out of their pipes against the walls of listed buildings. But it's nowt that won't wash off."
Indeed. More as we get it.