A Design Binding Project and exhibition at the SoB E&T Training Seminar 2016

The Western region is once again organising a binding project to culminate in an exhibition at next year's E&T Seminar in Cirencester.

The book chosen for the project is Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee and, as previously, it will not be a competition – there will be no judging, no prizes and no rules!

This project will go ahead in memory of John Jameson.

Full details can be found here (PDF)

updated 07.04.16

It is with great sadness that I announce the untimely death of John Jameson in the early hours of Wednesday 16th March. John was a great supporter of SoB and all it stands for; an enthusiast and an excellent teacher. A dear and loyal friend who will be missed by so many. Our sympathy and condolences go out to Diane at this sad time.

from the Chairman, Sarah Burns.


The Norie Trust is a small charitable trust based in the South West of England. The Trust funds various projects associated with literature and the arts and also assists community based projects which aim to improve the quality of people’s lives.

The Trust have generously offered the Society funds of £2,000.00 a year from 2013 - 2017 to fund the above educational award to assist professionals in the book field. Applications for this award should be sent to claire redfern.

The application should include:

  • CV
  • A brief outline of the nature of study wishing to be undertaken, indicating how this will enhance their work, and their plans for the future
  • Full Breakdown of costs – fees, travel and subsistence
  • Images of work completed in the two years prior to application
  • Two references.
  • The recipient will be required to write an account of their study and experience gained for others in the field.

    This year the closing date for applications will be 30th April 2016 with an announcement of the successful recipient to be made at the Seminar at Cirencester. 

    The announcement will be posted on the Website, in the E Bulletin, and by notification to Regional Secretaries of SoB and the secretaries to Designer Bookbinders, The Society of Archivists, The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and the Society of Scribes and Illuminators.


    ttfCommunicate are looking to employ 1 or 2 skilled bookbinders to case bind, and make bespoke presentation boxes and slip cases. They are based in Farringdon in London.


    Increase in Subscriptions

    In 2015 the Treasurer reported to Council that the expenditure of running the Society was more than the income, and that we needed to increase our income and build up a reserve with which to continue the running of the Society in an efficient manner. To do this it has proved necessary to increase subscriptions.

    At the AGM in Leeds this year the motion to increase the subscriptions was passed and on settling on a figure Council still insisted on one very important point – there still had to be great value for money. Council feels that with a wonderful journal, BOOKBINDER, the organisation of such events as the Conference, the E & T Seminar, the International Competition, the Newsletter, maintaining the website, Facebook and Twitter among other things, that the new rates achieve this requirement. All the above have cost the Society more each year to run for the benefit of members and Council hopes that you will understand and accept these new figures.

    Thank you for your support for the Society of Bookbinders.

    New subscription rates (all GBP)

    Ordinary Membership (UK): £40.00
    Ordinary Membership (Overseas): £45.00
    Joint Membership: £55.00
    Corporate Membership: £80.00
    25 and under: £25.00
    Student: £20.00

    Dermott Creece
    Chairman 2011 - 2015



    4.30pm - 6.00pm on Friday November 6th at the Chelsea Book Fair

    Bernard Middleton will be signing copies of A Bookbinder's Miscellany: Essays on Fine Binding. With an introduction by Sam Ellenport, the book has been described by Bryan Maggs as 'A fascinating collection of writings by one of the best writers and historians of the craft of bookbinding'. It has just been published in a limited edition of only 500 copies, priced at £25 each.

    Bernard is Patron of the Society of Bookbinders and is a world-class bookbinder and the leading specialist in antiquarian book restoration in the UK. He received ABA Honorary Membership in 2010 to mark his exceptional contribution to this critical area of work within the antiquarian book trade.

    Click here to register for your FREE ticket to the Fair.



    The travelling exhibition of this year's prizewinning bindings can now be seen at George Bayntun in Bath until 6th Nov 2015.



    The exhibition of the 2015 Annual UK Bookbinding Competition will take place at St Bride Foundation, Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ from Friday 27 November – Thursday 10 December 2015.

    The opening hours are:
    Monday - Friday 12pm - 6pm
    Saturday 28 December 12pm - 4pm
    late opening: Thursday 3 December 12pm - 8pm.

    Please see for a map.
    Sponsored by Designer Bookbinders and The Folio Society



    Designer Bookbinders Annual UK Bookbinding Competition 2016
    The set book for 2016 is Vita nuova with an introduction by A. N. Wilson.
    The Folio edition is 222 x 144mm, 208 pages. Printed in two colours, the book presents the Italian text alongside a facing-page translation by Dante scholar Mark Musa, including integrated mono- and duotone illustrations by Daniel Egnéus.

    Dante Alighieri called the Vita nuova (New Life) his libello, or ‘little book’. Written between 1292 and 1294, it is the first of Dante’s major writings and the essential precursor to his Divine Comedy. An innovative mix of prose and poetry (prosimetron), Vita nuova broke new ground by appearing in Italian rather than the customary Latin. It is a meditation on poetry, and on the torments and joys of lovefrom Dante’s blessed happiness. But Vita nuova’s powers far transcend the travails of a lovesick youth; Beatrice is gradually revealed as an ethereal rather than an earthly being, while Dante encounters otherworldly figures, including the charming Love himself. Dante describes Beatrice as one who is through all ages blessed; 750 years after the author’s birth, Vita nuova still sings today.

    The competition is sponsored by Designer Bookbinders and The Folio Society and is open to anyone resident in the UK with the exception of Fellows of Designer Bookbinders. To obtain a copy of the 2016 set book and entry details to the competition, send your payment by cheque (made payable to Designer Bookbinders) to:

    Lester Bath
    25 Ffordd Ffrydlas
    LL57 3BL

    Please email Lester Bath for bank transfer instructions if you are unable to pay by cheque. The cost of the set book is £20 to DB Members and £25 for non-members to include packing, postage and entrance fee. Every entrant must bind the set book but open-choice books and artist’s books are welcomed. The expected closing date for entries will be during the last half of October 2016.




    The 2015 Maureen Duke Award has been awarded to Mark Cockram. Mark is well known to very many of us. Besides being a member of the Society he is a fellow of Designer Bookbinders, Brother in the Art Workers Guild and member of the Tokyo Bookbinding Club.

    He studied at the Guildford College of Technology, ‘Studio Livre’ in Tokyo and the London College of Printing before starting his studio in Lincoln and then, in 2003, Studio Five in London.

    He will be using the award to take up the first international internship to be awarded to the Ortigas Foundation Library, Conservation Unit in Manila.



    St Bride Unveiled: Showcasing the Highlights from the St Bride Foundation
    The St Bride Foundation was established in 1891 as the social and educational hub of printing and publishing on Fleet Street. Its unparalleled library of artefacts and books now plays an important role in illustrating the history of print and graphic design, as well as the history of our culture in general.

    This collection has not been on public view in the same room before. St Bride Unveiled therefore offers an exclusive opportunity to see its highlights, ranging from the Book of the Dead to the typography of 20th Century signage.

    The exhibition is on display daily through 25 September 2015 and admission is free.

    St Bride Foundation
    Bride Lane
    Fleet Street
    EC4Y 8EQ

    020 7353 3331



    SoB International Bookbinding Competition 2015
    Images and full details of all this year's prizewinners is now available in the COMPETITION section.


    For the first time, we have also produced a beautiful 64-page, full colour catalogue containing images of all eighty-five entries. The catalogue, which measures 280 x 215mm, is available to purchase from our online shop.



    A vacancy has arisen for a full-time assistant bookbinder in our busy bindery in Ludlow. You will be working on a great variety of antiquarian books, in a friendly but very busy environment. An ability to work under pressure and a sense of humour would be a great asset.

    The position would best suit a newly qualified student who wishes to extend their skills in all areas of bookbinding and book restoration.

    For further details please contact, either by post or email:

    Trevor Lloyd MBE
    12 Old Street
    SY8 1NP




    I am pleased to announce that the Society is supporting the ‘Bound by Veterans’ project by awarding a Conference bursary to one of its students.

    Bound by Veterans, originally 'The Wiltshire Barn Project', supports wounded, injured and sick ex-Service personnel who have had to leave the Services prematurely as a result of their condition. It improves their health, well-being and employment prospects through a varied programme of therapy, training, qualifications and work experience in bookbinding. The charity is now in its second full year of operation, and on average provides support to just over 60 veterans a year.

    The recipient of the bursary is Wendy Lagden, a former Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer who specialised in Aircraft Engineer Mechanics. Wendy was unexpectedly discharged 10 years ago after being diagnosed with the early onset of multiple sclerosis and now lives in Southampton. Wendy took up bookbinding following her discharge after some initial instruction from her aunt and later advice from Maureen Duke. She has just successfully completed the City & Guilds syllabus up to Level 2, which is the highest level so far available, and will be awarded her City & Guilds certificate in bookbinding in the autumn.

    As a “Wounded, Injured or Sick Veteran” (a Service term) who was discharged prematurely from the Services by reason of her illness, Wendy falls squarely within the criteria for support by Bound by Veterans. She had already considered bookbinding as a suitable part-time occupation that she could continue even as her illness worsens, and is already a member of the Society of Bookbinders. She is keen to gain City & Guilds qualifications in bookbinding in order to give her the confidence to take on private work in the future.

    Dermott Creece
    SoB Chairman



    Initiated in 1993 The National Library of Scotland's Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition recognises excellence in the field of craft bookbinding. Such is its appeal that it now attracts binders from all over Europe. Recent winners have hailed from Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands, as well as Scotland, England and Japan. Mrs Elizabeth A Clark (formerly Soutar) of Moray sponsored the award from 1993 until her death in 2008. Thanks to a bequest from her, the competition continues.

    2014 Winners

    Creative and craft binding categories
    This competition aims to encourage the practice and development of both creative and craft binding skills which display individual expression and originality. The judges look for a best creative and a best craft binding. Each category carries two prizes — a main prize of £1,200 and a student prize of £600.

    We define a student as any person receiving full or part-time training or education in bookbinding. We consider all student entries for both the main and student categories, but they are only eligible for one prize.

    Exclusive binding
    We ask entrants to submit a binding that has been bound exclusively for this competition using materials of their own choice. The winning entries join our collection of fine bindings.

    The closing date for the 2015 competition is 9 November.

    Full details, including an Entry Form can be found here.




    Many congratulations to Trevor, an SoB stalwart and past Editor of BOOKBINDER, on the award of an MBE for services to bookbinding and book restoration. Highly deserved!

    Trevor Lloyd




    It is with great sadness that we must inform members of the death of Liz Anderton. Although Liz was known to most in the Society as Liz Anderton, she was in fact Dermott Creece’s wife.

    Sadly Liz has suffered ill health for many years and she passed away peacefully on Friday (24th April). The funeral is at St John the Evanglist Church, Bridgnorth on Wednesday 13th May at 11am.

    Liz was a founding member and Chair of the Birmingham Region and served as a Regional Representative on Council for many years. She was also Joint Editor of Bookbinder for the 1995, 1996 and 1997 editions. Many of us will also remember the 1999 conference in Telford which Liz organized with Dermott.

    Liz, in her lovely gentle way, did much for our Society and will be missed by all who knew her.




    It is with great sadness that we must inform members of the death of David Sellars, one of our foremost designer binders and a longstanding and staunch supporter of the Society. He died yesterday (20th January) after a short illness, aged 65.

    David taught and mentored many bookbinders during his career and was a regular lecturer and demonstrator at both regional and national SoB events. Also a longstanding Fellow and past President of Designer Bookbinders, he was a frequent contributor to the journals of both societies.

    He was an inpirational figure for countless bookbinders and will be sorely missed.