The Book Surgeon
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February 2017: Another enjoyable evening presenting "Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover". This time to 20 members of the Bucklesham Village Womens Institute.


January 2017:  The "Book Sculptor" is created to produce folded books - take alook at my facebook page!

September 2016:
Celebratiing 40 years this month! 

June 2016: 
Enjoyed showcasing my presentation "Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover" to 70+ members of the East Suffolk Womens Institute.

June 2016: 
Last weekend exhibiting a selection of samples from my book creation range.

February 2014:  New hot blocking foil machine commissioned.

June 2013: Bindery refurbishment complete.   

February 2012: Presentation and workshop to an audience of 60 at Rushmere St. Andrews, Ipswich Suffolk.

July 2011: Bound our largest ever book. It was 4 feet by 3 feet! A solictior needed to present some city plans to a presentation. Due to its size and weight;f we had to make a work bench to put the book on! The pages were bound together using string and nail; instead of needle and thread.

April 2011: Presentation and workshop to an audience of 35 at Capel St. Mary, Ipswich Suffolk.

December 2009: Business re-branded "The BookSurgeon". 

October 2009: Bernard’s son Michael joins the family business.

May 2008: No job too small is our phrase but we never anticipated this! A request from the church to refurbish a Holy Bible which only measured 1 & 3/4 inches long by 1 & 1/2 inches wide!


2000: Bindery extended. 

 Bernard retired from "Multi Colour" and founded "B.G.H. Book Binders & Repairs" to continue restorations and create new (bespoke) books.

1976: Bernard sets up a small bindery to continue book binding in his spare time as a hobby. By this time most book binding companies had either gone out of business or reverted to modern day methods that used cheap materials. Therefore Bernard was soon being contacted by companies, institutions and shops that needed books to be restored using traditional equipment, work methods and materials to maintain that authentic look and feel. 

1976: Bernard joined "Matherson Selig" as an automatic guillotine operator to make paint charts and cards for ICI before becoming a section supervisor.  The company changed names to "Harrison Colour", then "Colour Marketing" and finally "Multi Colour".

1958: Bernard re-joined the "Ancient House" to continue booking binding. Specialized in ruling; (printing ledgers). Promoted to supervisor before leaving in 1976.

1955: Bernard joins "William Clowes Caxton Press" in Beccles to broaden his skills and experience working as a tradesman to case-in books, operate the Seybold 3 knife trimmer and gluing.

1954: Bernard completes his apprenticeship to become a fully qualified "journeyman"

1947: Bernard George Holton leaves school at the age of 14 and joins the Ancient House Press (located in Ipswich) as a booking binding apprentice.

Useful links:


William Clowes

Colour Marketing

Our Heritage:

Bookbinding originated in India, where religious sutra was copied on to palm leaves. They were then dried and rubbed with ink, which would form a stain in the wound. 

The finished leaves were given numbers, and two long twines were threaded through each end through wooden boards. When closed, the excess twine was wrapped around the boards to protect the leaves of the book. Buddhist monks took the idea through Persia, Afghanistan, and Iran, to China in the first century BC. 

Western writers at this time wrote longer texts as scrolls. These were stored in shelving similar to a modern  wine rack. The word volume, from the Latin word  volvere ("to roll"), comes from these scrolls. Court records and notes were written on tree bark and leaves. 

The modern English word book comes from the Proto-Germanic bokiz, referring to the beechwood on which early written works were recordedIt is believed scrolls and unbound manuscripts first became books in the 4th century.



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