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The Writing Equipment Society

                                  Tony Harrop your                                   Chairman, now lives in                                   Leicestershire but was

                                  born and bred in Brighton                                   He qualified as a social                                   worker in 1969. He                                   finished his professional                                   career as Director of                                   Social Services and                                   Corporate Management                                   for Leicestershire County                                   Council. He was then                                   appointed as non-                                   executive Chair of a local                                   NHS Trust for a four year term. He was awarded the OBE in 2003 and received an Honorary Doctorate from De Montfort University the following year.


Tony has been a user and accumulator of fountain pens since his school days. He started to take a more serious interest in collecting and researching the history of writing equipment when a collection of pens was passed to him following the death of his Californian brother-in-law. He now has a rather eclectic collection of old and new fountain pens and mechanical pencils, including some nice examples of Fyne Poynts plus a number of desktop items. He tries to use as many of the pens and pencils as he can.


After becoming a member of WES in 2007, he attended our terrific Pen Repair Course and was appointed as your Chairman in 2015.


When not involved with WES Council matters and attending as many Pen Shows as he can, Tony chairs a local charity, Action Homeless Leicester and is deputy chair of Vista which provides services to people with sight loss in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Gerald Harrison, is a native of the North East of England, and comes from coal-mining stock.Now semi-retired, he began his working life in 1970 as a Management Trainee and then a Work Study Officer with Players of Nottingham.He then moved into the service industry, working for the Mars group and then

Sketchley plc  until 1984, when he entered the gambling industry, where he worked for the next 30ish years.

When not compiling Action Lists and Minutes of Meetings for other Council members to ignore. he enjoys Victorian and contemporary fiction, modern military history, music, DIY and self-indulgence. He is a reluctant member of a local gym in an attempt to combat said self-indulgence, and is involved in local village affairs and the promotion and running of a biennial village Arts Festival.

He is also an enthusiastic user and occasional collector of fountain pens and other articles of writing equipment.


Ian P. Williamson your Marketing Officer. He started work at the age of 15 as an engineering apprentice – he was the worst engineering apprentice the company had ever had, but as they had never ever fired an apprentice before he was moved into the publicity department and he remained in marketing and

design for his entire working life, now retired he's still in marketing this time as the WES Marketing Officer

Becoming a council member in 2007 not long after joining the organisation. his first role was in Trade taking over from Alan Hobbs, around this time he also joined the original team that ran the London Writing Equipment Show. Following his stint in Trade he became Membership Secretary (nobody else wanted the job!) and eventually moved on to his current role as Marketing Officer. avid fountain pen user and collector specialising mainly in Wytwrth safety pens and pen/pencil combinations, but thanks to WES he also has an eclectic collection of other writing 'stuff'.

When not messing about with WES things he is a primary school governor and reading mentor and along with good friend and WES colleague Jeremy Collingridge  runs UK Pen Shows.


Finally having read Gerald's bio Ian is beginning to think that he might be a brother that he never knew as like him Ian is originally from the North East (in his  case north of the River Wear so he's the 'real deal'), Ian is also from coal mining stock and has very similar tastes in reading and music. The final twist of fate is that Ian recruited Gerald into WES!

Jeremy Collingridge your Librarian took a degree in mechanical engineering at Southampton University while being a University Apprentice at Rolls Royce in Derby.  In 1973, he went to work on a gas turbine project in Norway which comes in handy when talking with Scandinavian WES members.  

1975 saw him return to Whetstone the spiritual home of the gas turbine – Sir Frank Whittle’s original works, staying there until he retired just before LWES 2007 which was WES’s first Show.

He found a Parker51 ‘just like the one he lost at School’ while on a business visit in the Unites States while on a work placement for three months but returned with sixty pens to be the start of his collection.  Most of these needed overhaul so the manual skills learnt in the Rolls Royce Training School returned to use together with visits to the legendary Arthur Twydle.  He became WES Librarian in 2001, a post he has held since.  WES repair classes started in May 2009, Jeremy sharing these with David Wells. Classes by Webinar have run since around 2011

Jeremy and Ian Williamson joined together to run the pen shows of the UK from 2008 and there are now six shows a year.  These run alongside the Society.

Other than pen collecting, Jeremy has a Police Support Volunteer  since 2002 in the process leading his lead of volunteers to four national team awards, an achievement that has yet to be repeated anywhere else.  He also continues his connection with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers helping young engineers and playing his part on professional review panels

Your Council continued