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The Writing Equipment Society

but it was some time later before my collecting bug took hold, thank-you eBay!! I now have a large collection of ‘stuff’ that includes pretty much everything that has ever had anything to do with writing and when asked what in particular I collect, all I can say is anything that makes me smile! It was 2008 before I came across the Writing Equipment Society and I immediately had to join. There was so much information there that I just had no idea existed and all relevant to my collecting passion. I enrolled on the Pen Repair Course which was simply brilliant, thanks to the technical wizardry of Jeremy Collingridge and Ian Williamson, followed by a trip to The London Writing Equipment Show where I met the team on Council and that was it – my seat on Council was secured.

At that time I was running a commercial flooring business but with the new-found skills gained on the repair course, I was considering trading my collection to establish a less physically exerting career to take me up to retirement….but when push came to shove, I just couldn’t bring myself to let go of my beloved collection so set up The Hamilton Pen Co, selling new pens and related items. As well as selling online through my website, I now attend all of the UK Pen Show events where I can often combine WES Council duties with my own trading activity.


Nigel Simpson-Stern Membership Secretary

Born in the Midlands, I have always remained close to my roots training as an accountant in the engineering sector that prevailed in the area before progressing into tourism and then the construction sectors.An unexpected gift of a sterling silver Parker Duofold in 1991 started it all off

to Engineering Design, but, within months realised that he wasn't cut out to work in such a disciplined 9 to 5 job and longing for more adventure and moved into Sales. After various sales jobs he went back to Engineering in 1989 and took up a post as UK Sales Manager in the field of  industrial Cryogenic Pumps and Turbo Machinery for a BOC Group company that was based in Switzerland.  He moved from Sales Management to Business Management, responsible for North Europe, Scandinavia and India.  He changed companies in 2004, but remained within the same cryogenic field.  Earlier this year (2016) he retired from his position as LNG Marine Applications Manager for a Californian based company.

Steve has lived in various parts of the country both during his Royal Air Force career and his private sector career and has travelled a good proportion of the world on business.  Steve has always had an interest in fountain pens and mechanical pencils.  His interest was re-invigorated when in 2010 he was looking to choose a "good" quality fountain pen for his daughter. He now has a reasonable collection of both modern and vintage fountain pens and mechanical pencils.

Apart from fountain pens, He still enjoys flying aircraft and riding and tinkering with his various motorbikes, reading non fiction and like Gerald Harrison, he has an interest in Military History....both modern and slightly older!

Steve Hinchliffe grew up in South Yorkshire.  After leaving school in 1969 at the age of 18 he studied Mechanical Engineering.  He worked for a short while in an Engineering Design office before joining the Royal Air Force in 1973.  On leaving the Royal Air Force, he returned

Carol Cullen Smith Secretary

Carol comes to WES by way of the USA. She received a degree in Theatre Performance in her native Rhode Island and has kept her hand in occasionally since moving to the UK in 2002. She is a Project Manager on the Corporate Services Team of a hospice in northwest England.

Her interest in fountain pens started in 2005 when she felt bad no one was bidding on a lot of pens at a charity auction. She won the lot, which included a Parker 51 and a Parker 61 and she

 hasn't looked back. She started out concentrating on vintage pens, but has lately learned to appreciate the amazing pens being made today. (She blames this largely on a particular pen maker who always makes sure he has a pen at each pen show that matches her hair colour on that day.)

She loves to use her pens when writing fiction. "I find if I'm typing - I write what I expect. When I use my fountain pens, I am often surprised by what appears on the paper. It's more exciting!"

Outside of pens and writing, she is an active member of her local Soroptimist club. She is an avid reader who, dangerously, lives across the street from her favourite independent bookshop who continually feed her habit.

She loves pen shows for the people as much as the pens and is very, very happy to be on the WES Council.

Born in Hertfordshire, I finally, and briefly, escaped the Home Counties when I attended The University of Aston in Birmingham. I spent 20 years working in the Aerospace industry before moving to Kent and working in local government.

My introduction to writing instruments came about whilst watching a TV antiques programme, in which Rick Wakeman talked about his collection of

fountain pens.  A chance remark by my wife, that she would like a nice pen for school, resulted in me searching local antiques shops and fairs for a pen as a present for her. The bug had bitten and I was now hooked on finding antiques writing equipment.

Now I had a new problem, I had lots of non working pens and no skills to repair them. So I signed up to do Arthur Twyddle's pen repair course, and arranged it to tag on to a pen show in York. It was at this show that I first became aware of The Writing Equipment Society and decided to join.

After attending many local WES events, I decided that I would like to join the Council and became the Webmaster. I was also involved in the organisation and running of the London Pen Show when it was run by WES for several years before being taken over by UK Pen Shows. When it was decided by the council that WES should run pen repair courses, I was asked to run the London courses.