Alfred J Fairbank (1896-1982)Served as Chairman: 1951-1963
Civil servant, CBE (1955), distinguished calligrapher and pioneer of handwriting reform. In 1920 he studied lettering and illuminating under Graily Hewitt: under the patronage of St John Hornby he wrote the superb manuscripts of Ecclesiasticus, Horace and Virgil. He was a founder member of the SSI, serving variously as President, Hon Sec and Treasurer. At the instance of Stanley Morison, he designed in 1928 the elegant compact typeface known as Narrow Bembo, a title he detested. He was closely associated with Edward Johnston and worked on a phonetic alphabet with Robert Bridges. During this time he anticpated the crisis in handwriting that was to hit classrooms after the war. Starting from a study of 16th-century writing masters (Tagliente and Lucas), he evolved a simple modern Italic, which was adopted in numerous schools. His Dryad Writing Cards, Handwriting Cards and Beacon Writing Books are now classics. In cooperation with manufacturer George Hughes, he devised the first italic pen nib. He founded the SIH in 1952. In 1976 his 70th birthday was celebrated with a festschrift Calligraphy and Paleography. (from Obituary The Scribe 25, A. S. Osley)
Heather Child (1911-1997)Served as Chairman: 1963-1966
First Chairman of the SSI in 1963. As well as the formal period as Hon Sec, 1950-53, in 1958 Heather Child took a year's additional responsibility as Hon Sec.Editor of some major works, including Formal Penmanship and Other Papers, written by Edward Johnston, The Calligrapher's Handbook, Lessons in Formal Writing and two editions of Calligraphy Today. She was a major contributor to More than Fine Writing, an examination of the work of Irene Wellington, along with Heather Collins, Ann Hechle and Donald Jackson. Received an MBE in 1974, for services to calligraphy and the crafts. Until 1997 she was a trustee of the Crafts Study Centre in Bath (later re-established in Farnham, Surrey), notable for its growing collection of twentieth-century lettering and calligraphy. She was a freelance calligrapher, book illustrator and writer. (contrib. S. Gunn)
John ShyversServed as Chairman: 1971-1972
Chaired the AGM in November 1968 and 1969.
Donald Jackson (1938-)Served as Chairman: 1972-1974
Exhibition Painting with Words, New York 1989.
David GrahamServed as Chairman: 1974-1977
Ieuan Rees (1941-)Served as Chairman: 1977-1979
Stanley Richard Knight (1937-)Served as Chairman: 1979-1982
Studied at Leeds College of Art (Lettering and Calligraphy, and Bookbinding), gaining NND in Fine Art 1958. Post-graduate study in Art Education at University of Leeds, ATD 1959. Teaching at college level for 30 years. External examiner for Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses in Calligraphy and Bookbinding, Roehampton 1981-1988. Taught (as Faculty Member) at College of Art and Design, Solihull Polytechnic, Warwickshire, 1974 to 1985. Drawing, Composition, Visual Language, Lettering, Typography and Printmaking. Taught (as Faculty Member) at School of Graphic Design, Kingston on Thames University, Surrey 1985 to 1989 Calligraphy and Hand-drawn Lettering. Taught (as Visiting Faculty member) at City and Guilds School of Art, London, 1985 to 1989 Calligraphy, Lettering, Printmaking. Taught (Part-time Faculty) Department of Fine Arts, Western Washington University: Lettering, Calligraphy, Graphic Design, Typography, Illustration. Professor, Design Department, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle. Lettering, Calligraphy and Typography. Taught Illustration and Letterform, Graphic Design Department, North Idaho College. Has tutored many workshops internationally and at Calligraphy conventions throughout the USA. Guest lecturer at the J. Paul Getty Museum (1994), at the London Paleographical Seminar (1999), and the 47th Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo (2012). Author: Historical Scripts, A & C Black/Taplinger 1984, Oak Knoll 1998, 2003; Advanced Calligraphy Techniques, ed. Diana Hoare (Article 'Calligraphy and Imagery') 1986; (with John Woodcock) A Book of Formal Scripts, A & C Black 1993; The World's Writing Systems (article 'History and development of Roman Scripts') OUP 1996. Historical Types, Oak Knoll 2012.Also numerous articles on the history and practice of calligraphy. Editor of Teaching Teenagers (Scripture Union) 1971 to 1974. Editor of The Scribe (SSI) 1980 to 1989. Editor of Alphabet (Friends of Calligraphy, San Francisco) 2001 to 2003. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts 1981. Awarded Honorary Membership of the Gloria Club, Japan 1996. Assisted in the restoration of calligraphic works at the British Museum and Westminster Abbey. Examples of calligraphy and watercolours in the permanent collections of the V & A London, Akademie der Kunste Berlin, the Rijksmuseum The Hague, Mitaka City Arts Centre Tokyo, Harrison Collections San Francisco et al. Work reproduced in many books about calligraphy and the lettering arts.
Peter Halliday (1939-)Served as Chairman: 1982-1985
Founder member of Letter Exchange in 1988. Founder member and first Chairman of CLAS in 1994.He studied at the Medway College of Art from 1956 to 1960, taking writing illuminating and lettering with Maisie Sherley. Became part-time lecturer in calligraphy at Burton-onTrent Technical College, and taught various workshops in the UK, USA and continental Europe. He became External Examiner for the Certificate, Dilpoma and Advanced Diploma in Calligraphy and Bookbinding at Roehampton. Examples of his work appear in his own edition of Calligraphy Masterclass, Modern Scribes and Lettering Artists II, The Calligraphers Handbook (ed. Heather Child), Contemporary British Lettering, 60 Alphabets by Gunnlauger S. E. Briem, The Calligraphers Project Book by Suzanne Haines, Advanced Calligraphy Techniques by Diana Hoare, Calligraphy in Print, Calligraphy '84, The Art of The Scribe, and Fine Words Fine Books - all SSI exhibition catalogues.(details S. Gunn)
Derek W S Benney ARCA (1924-2010)Served as Chairman: 1985-1988
Derek Ward Sallis Benney was born on 31 May 1924 into an artistic family. Derek's father was Ernest Alfred Sallis Benney who became head of Hull Art School at the surprisingly youthful age of 18, and later Principal of Brighton School of Art. He entered the RCA in 1947 and studied under Dorothy Mahoney and Irene Wellington, with Sheila Waters and John Woodcock. He was elected to Craft Membership of the SSI in 1953, and served as Chairman from 1985 to 1988. Among his more significant early commissioned works was a volume of the RAF Book of Remembrance, St Clement Danes Church, London. Derek specialised in Honorary Freedom scrolls. There is readily accessible memorial work by him in Sainsbury's, Streatham Common, London (for the Caterpillar Club, an association for wartime personnel rescued from the sea in inflatable dinghies) and at the museum of the Royal Surrey Regiment in Clandon Park, Guildford. In 1961 he moved to Prestatyn as head of the Flintshire School of Art, and later to Suffolk where for 18 years he was the Prinicipal of Ipswich School of Art. His calligraphy was perhaps overlooked in the light of his superb draughtshmanship, and for 40 years he exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer exhibition. He died on 5 February 2010. (Further details are published in The Scribe, volume 90, in an obituary written by Richard Middleton).
Pat Russell (1919-2011)Served as Chairman: 1988-1991
Embroiderer and fabric artist.
John R NashServed as Chairman: 1991-1994
Resigned as Chairman 6 May 1994.
Wendy Selby (nee Gould) (1943-)Served as Chairman: 1994-1996
Acted as Assistant Secretary to John Cackett when he took the post of Hon Sec for the second time, 1971 to 1975. Then known as Wendy Gould.Became Acting Chairman 6 May 1994 (at a time of crisis) until the AGM on 1st October 1994, when she was formally elected Chairman. Re-elected 30 September 1995 and stayed in the post until 28 September 1996.
Nancy Winters (1930-2017)Served as Chairman: 1996-1999
Nancy Winters, who died on December 31 2017, had lived in Chingford for almost 70 years and taught at many schools in the area. Born in Filey, Yorkshire in 1930, Nancy showed much academic promise as a young woman and moved to London to study teacher training at Goldsmiths College. It was there she met her husband, Leslie, and after getting married in 1950, they moved to his hometown Chingford. Alongside bringing up sons Ross, Gareth and Simon, she also pursued careers as a teacher and calligrapher, becoming well-respected throughout England for her work. In her early years she worked as a supply teacher at Chingford Church of England Junior School, then as art teacher at St Paul's School for Girls in Woodford and the Dominican Convent School in Forest View, Chingford. While teaching, she continued to develop her love for calligraphy and began to lead adult education classes in the subject at Friday Hill House and at Chingford County High School. Nancy became a leading member of the Society for Italic Handwriting, for whom she wrote the book “A Simple Guide to Italic Handwriting”, which is still available. She was elected as a Craft Member / Fellow of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators in 1972, and became Chairman in 1996. She was also a member of The Art Workers Guild. She undertook calligraphy commissions for many clients including The Daily Telegraph, Christ Church Spitalfields, Penguin Books, The Saudi Royal Family, and the The Fellowship of Engineering. As funding was being withdrawn for the adult education classes to which she dedicated much of her time, Nancy then founded and promoted The Chingford Calligraphy Circle. She is survived by her three sons and sister, Margaret. Paying tribute, son Gareth, said: “Nancy will be fondlyremembered by family and friends alike as a kind and gracious woman. At home, she was a caring, gentle and patient wife and mother, and a welcoming hostess. In her teaching she was always calm and endlessly encouraging and her skill as a calligrapher speaks for itself. We will all miss her quiet, constant and above all loving loyalty and support.” Courtesy of The Guardian
Richard Middleton (1957-)Served as Chairman: 1999-2002
Studied at Digby Stuart College 1984 - 1988 under Ann Camp, Tom Perkins, Gerald Fleuss, Gaynor Goffe. Former ATS tutor and Roehampton Correspondence tutor. SSI Exhibition Chairman 1993 - 1998. Chairman 1999 - 2002.
Tony Curtis (1956-)Served as Chairman: 2002-2005
Mainly self-taught between 1982 and 1992, drawing on a love of letters which itself was fuelled by time spent at the drawing board as an engineering apprentice after leaving school. Studies greatly encouraged and assisted by Richard Middleton and Susan Hufton between 1992 and 1996. Teaches regular private classes locally and occasional workshops around the country. Member of Exhibition Committee for the SSI's exhibition 'Words as Images' held in 2000. Exhibited work in 'Celebration of Calligraphy' (1996), 'Calligraphy '97' (1997) and 'Words as Images' (2000) Editorial Board member 1999-2002 and in 2008. Chairman 2002-2005.
David GrahamServed as Chairman: 2005- 2009
Has produced many formal documents and illuminated scrolls in the name of the City of Portsmouth. Chairman 1974-1977, Acting Chairman 2005, Chairman 2006-2009
Sylvie Gokulsing (1948-)Served as Chairman: 2009-2012
Trained at Roehampton and on the ATS (1996-1999). Works in both English and Hebrew scripts and has been teaching calligraphy for various London Boroughs since 1995.
Veiko Kespersaks (1968-)Served as Chairman: 2012-2013
Veiko Kespersaks is a leading Scandinavian calligraphy specialist and lettering designer based in London. He has both BA and MA calligraphy qualifications from Roehampton University in London where he studied between 2000 and 2006, and specialises in historical scripts and the art of expressive calligraphy mixed with graphic design. He was taught by Villu Toots in Estonia and he has an Art degree in print making from the Art Institute of Kankaanpää, Finland, Veiko Kespersaks runs a successful calligraphy studio in Central London. He is program Leader for the Calligraphy Degree course at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Finland, and has published a book ‘Calligraphy in 24 one-hour lessons’ (April 2011) Exhibitions: 2010 Calligraphy Society of Finland, 10th Anniversary Exhibition Helsinki, Tampere, Finland 2003 Ancient Letterforms, Satakunnan Museum, Pori, Finland 2002 – 2005 University of Surrey Roehampton, Calligraphy Studio, London, UK 2002 International Grote Prijs Kalligrafie Westerlo, Holland 2002 Tempus Fugit Verba Scripta Manent "Luigi Sturzo" INCIPIT, Italy
Angela Dalleywater (1959-)Served as Chairman: 2013-2016
Editor of The Scribe Journal 2008-12. Chair of the Editorial Board 2008-12. Served on the Executive Committee 2006-9 and 2009-12. Exhibition Committee member 2010. Exhibited work in Celebrate Calligraphy 2011. Ran the Divine Inspiration exhibition in 2016. Undertakes public and private commissions, and teaches workshops around the country.
Alun BriggsServed as Chairman: 2016-2017
Julie ChaneyServed as Chairman: 2017