Rex Lancefield ACR
I have had a keen interest in history since a very early age and was fortunate to go into a profession which has brought me into contact with material I would never otherwise have seen. Visiting Record Offices around the country has provided a fascinating insight into the varying types of material to be found in the different regions. It is always a source of great pleasure to take away a document which is too fragile for researchers to handle and to return it in a condition where it becomes available for general study.
Similarly when visiting some of the great houses to collect work, seeing rooms not generally available for public viewing has been a pleasure and a "private tour" is often full of fascinating detail.
For more than twenty years this has been a family business with my three sons all joining and learning the various skills I could pass on to them. They also spent time with conservators in local Record Offices and acquired further expertise in areas of particular interest to them.
Having approached many book restorers, we are so pleased to have chosen Lancefield Bookbinders for the conservation of the original minutes book of our Governing Body, which had fallen into disrepair. With brilliant communication, and a consultative, creative approach, we cannot recommend them highly enough; and we are so pleased with the finished product. We now have a precious artefact, central to the story of our school, that will be treasured by future generations.
St Edward’s School, Poole.Headmaster
Since 2004 Lancefields have been carrying out a continuous and ongoing programme of conservation for Hatfield House Library. We have entrusted them with a variety of different types of manuscript and printed material, including important Elizabethan state papers, large estate maps and valuable bookbindings. Over the years I have recommended them to others with confidence.
Robin Harcourt Williams, Hatfield House LibraryArchivist
Thank you so much for the restored Report on the loss of HMS “Atalanta”. It is truly beautiful and I can’t imagine how you rescued the acidic paper. I particularly like the very sympathetic way in which you’ve managed to reassemble the plans, which can’t have been easy seeing as they are all probably completely different in size. The leather and your tooling is quite outstanding. Both this and its predecessor are indeed two books to be treasured! Which all means that I’ll now be able to quietly sit, read and understand a very sad maritime event which has long puzzled me.
Capt. M. LowlePrivate client
Following a fruitless search elsewhere for bookbinders willing to undertake this sympathetic type of work, Lancefields happily gave me a “ballpark figure”, which enabled me to decide whether to have some beautiful Victorian volumes re-bound and conserved. They are a very friendly, approachable family-run business for whom an enduring love of books drives consummately skilled craftmanship. They sent me a very comprehensive and perceptive assessment of what needed to be done (within a realistic timeframe), all delivered with none of the condescension, which I had experienced elsewhere. Their straightforward estimate containing practical technical advice “ did what it said on the tin.” Much of the original was retained with very sympathetic binding and restoration of endplates and boards.
I was very pleased with their superb craftsmanship and excellent and empathetic restoration of my much-loved books, including my great-grandmother’s decidedly frail photograph album. These books have significant sentimental value and I am reassured that I can now pass them on to my son for his “ further stewardship”. I have no hesitation in highly recommending them and am hoping to return towards the end of this year to arrange rebinding and conservation of more books. None of these books are particularly valuable but they have grown up with me and are an important part of my life.
Dr. Martin SweatmanPrivate client
We first worked with Lancefields after suffering a catastrophic flood. Looking at the damage, we thought we would never be able to rescue much of it, especially an extensive set of negatives which were soaked and had to be kept frozen until they could be dealt with. Not only did Lancefields help us with our insurance claim, they set up a special area within their studio to work on our precious negatives and eventually returned them to us almost as good as new. Since then we have benefited from their expertise in both paper and photographic material, more recently taking advantage of their digitisation skills, as there is no better time to scan a bound volume than when it has been taken apart.
Gillian Bardsley - British Motor Industry Heritage TrustArchivist
Lancefield Conservation achieved phenomenal results with three very beautiful chinoiserie screens, which were badly damaged when brought to their workshop for repair. They are a small and highly skilled team who have beautifully, sensitively and appropriately restored a great variety of treasured items for us over the last five years. I find them always an absolute pleasure to deal with, and I would recommend them without the slightest hesitation.
Rebecca FitzGerald - Farringford House - Isle of WightOwner
City and Guilds Course at Southampton Art College in Bookbinding and Advanced Craft Bookbinding - all examinations passed. Tutor was Mr D. Etherington, afterwards Head of Bookbinding at the Library of Congress, Washington, USA. Subjects included leather and vellum work, gold-leaf tooling and edge gilding.
In-house training in conservation at Southampton City Record Office under Mr G. Wilson (formerly of Public Record Office)
Course in Seal Conservation at the Public Record Office, Chancery Lane with Mr P. Bynge, Head of Seal Conservation Dept.
Assistant Conservation Officer at Southampton City Record Office
Senior Conservation Officer at Southampton City Record Office
Part-time lecturer in Bookbinding and Book Conservation at Southampton Art College (now Southampton Solent University).
Freelance conservator of books and archives