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History


Malcolm Kew was apprenticed at the British Museum for 5 years from 1970-75, during which time he worked on all kinds of binding and restoration, eventually becoming an expert in gold tooling. He worked at the Museum for 9 years, until 1979, and was a specialist Bookbinder, training apprentices.

From late 1979 he worked at the prestigious London binding company Morrells & Sons in Covent Garden as a gold finisher, tooling fine bindings & occasionally binding books to help out in the workshop.

Morrells closed in 1983 and Malcolm then became the Assistant Manager, and later Manager, at Chalfont Bookbinders at the National Society for Epilepsy, in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire until its closure in 2006. While there he trained people with epilepsy in bookbinding, and a few of the workshop’s employees became very good craftsmen under his tuition. During his 23 years at the Society he bound special books for Royal visits, including a copy of “Wind in the Willows” for Princess Diana and “Roget’s Thesaurus” for Her Majesty the Queen. He also rebound and gold tooled the 1776 “Cook’s Admiralty Logs” for Southampton Yacht Club amongst many others.

In 2003 Malcolm and his wife Michele moved to Thame in Oxfordshire and in 2006, when the National Society for Epilepsy closed the workshop, they opened Kew Bookbinding.

See Malcolm being interviewed by Jules in the BBC's Escape to the Country programme that aired in 2016.