About Us  |  Who's Who


PATRON: Bernard Middleton MBE
Bernard trained at the Central School of Arts & Crafts and was apprenticed to The British Museum Bindery. He was a Craftsman – Demonstrator at the Royal College of Art from 1949–51 and Manager at Zaehnsdorf Ltd. from 1951–53. He has been a self-employed book restorer and designer bookbinder since 1953.

An Honourary Fellow of SoB and a Fellow and former President of Designer Bookbinders, Bernard was awarded an MBE for services to bookbinding in 1986. His publications include A History of English Craft Bookbinding Technique (1963, 4th ed. 1996), The Restoration of Leather Bindings (1972, 4th ed. 2004) and Recollections: a life in bookbinding (2000).

He has lectured and demonstrated worldwide and is internationally recognised and respected for his contribution to the craft of bookbinding.

PRESIDENT: Dominic Riley
Dominic is a self-employed restorer, designer binder, teacher, writer, lecturer and occasional film-maker. He has worked in London, New York and San Francisco, and is a past president of the Hand Bookbinders of California.

He won both first prizes and the Mansfield Medal in the Designer Bookbinders 2007 competition, and was elected Fellow of DB in 2008. He spends part of the year teaching in the USA with Michael Burke, and has his bindery in the Lake District.

Honorary Officers

CHAIRMAN: Sarah Burns
After many years working for Private Eye, Sarah travelled much of the world as the wife of a British diplomat and so started bookbinding with Tom Arbro at the Library of Congress in the 1980s. Many years later she was taught by Betsy Palmer Eldridge at CBBAG in Toronto. Since coming back to the UK she has attended as many workshops as possible around the country.

Sarah has been Chairman of Western Region for some years and has a workshop at home in the middle of Exmoor National Park.

TREASURER: Mike Summers
Mike graduated as a Chemical Engineer in 1974 and had a career in engineering and project management of international oil and gas projects, mostly with BP and Shell. He is retired and lives in Surrey.

A love of literature and browsing secondhand book shops fostered his interest in bookbinding. He was taught initially by Nick Cowlishaw at Guildford College, and subsequently at the late John Mitchell’s bindery in Woking. He joined the London & South Region in 2002.

SECRETARY: Chris Coggins
Chris started binding in 2008, stimulated by his collection of 18th century British road books, most of which needed repair or restoration. He joined the Society in the North East Region soon after and is now the NE Region Newsletter Editor as well as Regional Representative on Council. Chris has his own consultancy business as an expert in wood preservation after a career in that industry.

Regional Representatives

Each UK Region elects a representative annually at the Region's AGM who serves on the Council of the Society for the following year. The current representative for a particular Region may be contacted through the Regional Secretary - contact details in the information for that Region.


Event and Department Organisers

The Society's activities could not be sustained without a dedicated group of members who take responsibility for various aspects of Society life. These members may attend Council meetings and they advise the Council on progress in the areas for which they are responsible. These include:

Education and Training (including the biennial Seminar)
Conference (alternating with the Seminar)
International Competition
Editor of the National Newsletter
Public Relations and Social Media