West Midlands

West Midlands
2 years ago
Society of Bookbinders > Regions > West Midlands

In the Middle of England

Our region started life in Birmingham but has now spread out over several counties so our members come from Shropshire and Herefordshire to the west, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire to the south, and  Warwickshire and Northamptonshire in the east, as well as a few to the centre and north of Birmingham itself.

We run about four day-long workshops a year on a bookbinding-related subject and try to spread them round the region; our usual meeting places are Shottery (near Stratford-upon-Avon), Malvern (Worcestershire), Marden (Herefordshire) or the Birmingham and Midland Institute in central Birmingham.  The tutors are either local members with the relevant expertise or nationally known leaders in their fields. We are always happy to consider requests for workshops in a particular subject.

We hold an Annual General Meeting in January when we have a talk followed by a ‘bring and buy’ sale of items over tea and cake, which is a pleasant social occasion.  We also organise a visit to a library or other place of interest in the summer.

In 2019 we were able to offer a regional bursary for a student to attend the Conference, thanks to generous donations from the families of deceased members. We are happy to consider applicants resident in the region for similar bursaries in the future.



Clive Owen


William Moodie

Frank Hippman Library

Pippa Smith

Acting Events Organiser

Mary Carns

Acting Treasurer



Please note:

  • The workshop fee is currently £20 for SoB members (£30 for non-members).
  • Students and under-25s pay £10.
  • Materials costs are payable to the tutor on the day.
  • Participants must contact the Meetings Secretary beforehand as places are limited.
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Past Events › West Midlands

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November 2018

Spring Back Binding – workshop

10th November 2018

WEST MIDLAND Spring Back Binding  The spring back binding was originally patented in Great Britain in 1799 by John and Joseph Williams and is described in Bernard Middleton's History of English Craft Bookbinding, but it does not detail the steps required to complete a binding. This workshop will show you how to make a spring back binding. Tutor: Christopher Holmes Start Time: 10.30 hrs Venue: Welland Village Hall, Malvern, Worcs. Members Fee: £20,  £30 for non-members. Materials charges will be payable to the speaker.

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January 2019

Annual General Meeting and Talk

19th January 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

WEST MIDLAND Annual General Meeting & Talk Ian Andrews will talk to us about Treasure Bindings. Tea, silent auction Start Time: 14.00 hrs Venue: tbc Fee: No fee payable.  

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March 2019

Japanese Boxes (workshop)

16th March 2019 - 17th March 2019

Midori is a brilliant tutor, and we enjoyed her workshop on Japanese books last year so much that we have asked her to come this year and tell us how to make the box. There are still one or two places left.

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May 2019

Edge Decoration (workshop)

Tom McEwan is well-known for his creative gold and patterned book edges. Come and learn how to finish your fine binding.

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January 2020

West Midlands: AGM and Talk

January 18 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Christ Church Hall, Avenue Road
Malvern, WR14 3AY
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The AGM will be followed by a presentation by Heather Norville Day, print, drawing and watercolour conservator, who will talk to us about approaches to repair and preservation of documents.  Previously senior conservator at the Tate Gallery and Head of Pictorial Art at the British Museum Heather Norville-Day now runs her own conservation company. There will be a silent auction of bookbinding tools and related items.  There will be tea and cake.

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February 2020

West Midlands: Clip on Cover Binding – Kathy Abbott

February 22 @ 10:30 am - 5:00 pm
Birmingham & Midland Institute, 9 Margaret Street
Birmingham, B3 3BS United Kingdom
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A one-day workshop with Kathy Abbott, bookbinder, author of 'Bookbinding A Step-by-Step Guide' and a founder member of the Tomorrow's Past Group.   Kathy teaches Fine Binding at the City Lit in London. The Clip-on Cover binding is a structure for fairly small books and was originally devised for the Tomorrow's Past exhibition of contemporary conservation bindings.  Clip-on Cover Binding Fee: £20 (members), £30 (non-members) plus £10 materials cost. There will be a maximum of 12 spaces.

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