Theoc Books is an online second hand and antiquarian bookshop. Theoc is short for Theocsbury – the Anglo Saxon name for what is now Tewkesbury where we are based.
Although this is a new venture I have been involved with books for most of my adult life. In the early 1970s I was working for Covent Garden Books (an interesting experience!) and then Francis Edwards, when they were in Marylebone High Street, London. I spent most of my time collating and cataloguing the books we had bought at auction, and I learnt a lot.
After a while I decided I would rather make them than sell them and trained to become a bookbinder, firstly at Camberwell School of Art which in those days ran a superb full time course. I then went on to work for James Brockman in Oxford for 17 years before teaching briefly, then setting up my own bindery in 2000.
My design bindings, as a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders are in major collections around the world, including the British Library and Pierpoint Morgan Library, New York. I've actually bound books for a couple of popes.
Most of my work still consists of restoring and conserving early books and manuscripts and I am occasionally found in the mountains of Ethiopia conserving early coptic manuscripts which are kept in rock hewn churches.
Although still binding I am now running this online shop where I hope to have a good variety of texts available. I will always ensure that the antiquarian books are in good condition and will be repaired if necessary, structurally sound and pleasing in appearance.