John Mellerio
3 months ago
Society of Bookbinders > Conference

The Conference is a great opportunity for bookbinders of all levels to see demonstrations by knowledgeable experts in a wide range of fields. Amateurs and those with less experience will find inspiration and encouragement; professionals will gain new ideas. If you have not been to a Conference before you will find it easy to make new friends and to talk to the speakers and other top-level binders. You will find them approachable and always willing to discuss bookbinding matters with you.

If you are not a member of the Society you may attend the Conference for a slightly higher fee. If you wish to become a member you may pay the difference between this charge and the appropriate subscription while you are at the Conference – or you can join beforehand.

Conference 2019 brings an exciting change of venue for us, giving a chance for you to visit the ancient Roman City of Bath. This venue is also a new construction with up to-date lecture theatres and accommodation.

The conference will be hosting lectures and the Suppliers Fair in a new format; more integrated into the conference function. The restaurant and evening venues are alongside the main conference halls, as are the accommodation blocks. All are on the same level and there are four lifts within the conference centre for ease of access.

There is ample car parking space at the campus and there are three ATM machines in close proximity.

The Society’s Annual General Meeting will take place on the Thursday evening before dinner.


  • Cor Aerssens (Netherlands)
    Boxes – one thought leads to another
  • Cristina Balbiano D’Aramengo (Italy)
    When printmaking, typography and bookbinding meet.
    The backstage of limited art editions
  • Glenn Bartley (UK)
    Lining a box with velvet
  • Edward Cheese (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK)
    Books, Libraries and Museums: Problems and Possibilities for Book Conservation
  • Nesta Davies (UK)
    Tacketed Bindings / Endpapers
  • Sün Evrard (France)
    Conservation binding in stone veneer
  • Derek Hood (UK)
    Leather inlays & onlays
  • Midori Kunikata-Cockram (UK)
    Sunago: the Japanese art of decorating paper with gold leaf
  • Glenn Malkin (UK)
    Airbrushing for the Artistically Challenged
  • Tine Noreille (Belgium)
    Perfect Measuring, Cutting and Folding’
  • Sol Rebora (Argentina)
    The Reversible Stub Binding for Fine Binding
  • Pascale Therond (France)
    Gold Tooling from Feuille D’Or in Paris

The Suppliers’ Fair will be open on the Friday and Saturday, on the large 1st floor, balcony area, which is between the lecture halls. Mid-morning and afternoon refreshments will be served nearby. The major suppliers of bookbinding and related crafts will attend, and there will be ample time for shopping and browsing. A list of the suppliers attending the Conference will be sent out with the joining instructions.

Entries for the SoB International Bookbinding Competition 2019 will be on display for the duration of the Conference. Further details of the competition will be published here at a later date.

There is an option for early arrivals on the Thursday Afternoon to visit the Bindery of George Bayntun in Bath or to explore the City with a guide.

Throughout the Conference there will be a ‘silent auction’ running, where bidders for small items can write their bids on a bidding form. Larger items will be sold at the Live Auction after the Conference Dinner on Saturday evening. Please bring tools, materials, books and any other items that you may wish to donate to the Society for this sale which raises money to support the Society’s educational activities.

By car:
Bath is located 10 miles from Junction18 of the M4 motorway which connects directly with London and its Airports. There are also excellent links to and from the West and North via the M5 Motorway, whilst Wales is just a short drive West on the M4.

By air:
Just 19 miles from Bath, Bristol Airport offers direct scheduled flights from 117 locations across 30 countries, including 17 capital cities. The Bath Bus Company operates a service to/from Bath from the airport every half an hour. For more information visit

By rail:
There are regular train services direct from London Paddington to Bath Spa, with an average journey time of around 90 minutes. Bristol Temple Meads, just 15 minutes away by train, is also a major hub for travel to all other parts of the country. For information on timetables visit:
Direct from the train station is a University Bus running approximately every 8 Minutes.

By bus & coach:
The main bus terminal is alongside the train station with a link to University (see above). National Express provides good-value coach travel linking all major towns and cities in the UK. Frequent services to Bath run from London Victoria Coach Station, London Heathrow and London Gatwick. For information on timetables visit or

More detailed travel information will be provided with the joining instructions.

Full Delegate:

  • Members: £380
  • Non-members: £400

This price includes 3 nights’ accommodation and all meals (including the Conference Dinner), tea and coffee from dinner on the Thursday evening until breakfast on the Sunday morning.

Day Delegates:

  • Members: £120 per day
  • Non-members: £130 per day

This includes lunch and tea/coffee but not dinner. The Conference Dinner on the Saturday evening is £45 extra (for day delegates, suppliers, spouses and other guests). Please note there will be no other catering for Conference delegates on campus that evening.

Accommodation only prior to the conference has been arranged at the Campus for delegates wishing to arrive earlier in order to be able to take advantage of visiting the City of Bath. This would be booked direct with the University, details of which will be sent to you on application. This can also apply if you also wish to stop at the end of the Conference. Non-attending spouses, partners and friends may book bed and breakfast for £45 per night plus £14 for dinner. If you would like to book extra nights please contact the Conference treasurer directly, (details below).

The residential blocks are on campus just 100 metres from the conference building and alongside the ‘Lime Tree’ Café. All rooms are single, have ensuite bathrooms and an adjoining lounge coffee area between adjacent rooms. All rooms will have toiletries, towels and wi-fi access.

Mobility scooters will be available upon request prior to Conference. Please indicate on the application form if you would like one of these.

If you have further enquiries please email:

The following bursaries are available to help Bookbinders who would benefit from attending the conference but who feel that the fees are beyond their means. Applicants should apply for one bursary only. If the organisers feel that an applicant is better suited to a different bursary, they will transfer that application.

Gordon Hartley

• The Gordon Hartley Memorial Fund
A full bursary with a preference for a a more mature person wishing to change career to full time bookbinding.

Gordon Hartley, Chairman of the Society of Bookbinders for several years until his death in November 2007, had been a teacher for most of his working life. When he died he had recently retired from teaching but was intending to make bookbinding his second career. With this in mind, the Society has decided that if there are two or more equally qualified applicants for the bursary more mature people making a similar career change to Gordon should have preference. However, this should not deter younger applicants, as the award will be made on merit. When applicants are considered some preference will also be given to Society members, but again merit will be the main criterion.

There is no means test, as the purpose of this award is to encourage newcomers to bookbinding. The award does not cover the cost of travel to the Conference.

Applicants should be students of bookbinding (not necessarily on a formal course) who are seriously thinking about taking up bookbinding as a career, even if they are not yet very experienced.

Students who are on a course, or have been recently, should obtain a reference from their tutor.

Applications will be considered in the first instance by the committee of the West Midlands Region and a short list will be forwarded to the national Council of the Society for a final decision.

Applicants will be expected to produce a short report on the Conference and their activities there.

• Full Conference Bursary for a younger binder from the UK.

• Full Conference Bursary for a binder from overseas (but not including travel expenses).

• Various regional bursaries: please ask the chairman of your regional branch for information.

• Some external organisations are able to help students with training.


If you prefer not to register online (see below) bookings may be made by post, using the form which can be downloaded here, with payment by bank transfer, cheque or credit card.

If booking by post, Full Delegates may pay a deposit of £100 and the balance in May if booking before 31st January 2019.

A late booking fee of £20 will apply to bookings made after 15th June 2019.

If you have any further enquiries, please contact the Conference Treasurer, Lester Bath:
You can register for the Conference and pay by clicking on the appropriate aquamarine blue buttons below. Payment is via PayPal but you do not need a PayPal account as all major credit cards are accepted.

Please ensure that you have read and understand all the information in the Pricing section (see tab above) before starting the registration process. SoB members will need to know their Membership Number.

When registration is complete, you will receive confirmation of your payment from PayPal. We will then contact you to get further information regarding your personal preferences and requirements.

If you have any questions about your registration, please email the Conference Treasurer.

Full Delegate

With Conference Dinner

Member £380

Non Member £400


No Conference Dinner

Member: £120

Non-Member: £130


With Conference Dinner

Member: £165

Non-Member: £175

No Conference Dinner

Member: £120

Non-Member: £130

Friday & Saturday

With Conference Dinner

Member: £285

Non-Member: £305

No Conference Dinner

Member: £240

Non-Member: £260