Born in Leicester, England, Peter Goodwin was apprenticed as a lad of 14 to 'Boots the Chemist's' bindery in Nottingham where he learned his trade over seven years as an articled apprentice. He repaired books for the famous Boots Library as well as making all the stationery and diaries for the company.
In 1972 Peter Goodwin emigrated to New Zealand where he became Bindery Manager for the Auckland City Public Libraries, a post he held for 14 years.
In retirement Peter worked three hours a day in his tiny bindery in Auckland. Peter invited Janette
Miller, a video producer, to be his apprentice when she was convalescing and she came every morning for three months. She was so impressed with his skill that she decided to bring her video camera to film him for posterity because she realized that with the death of this craft these skills would be lost. Peter was a natural presenter. His many fans voted his a national treasure to his amusement.
Peter Goodwin died in 2011. Possibly the very last of the Journeymen Bookbinders who bound the books of the day from the precious leather bound volumes to the humble paper backs. Although Godwin was a master binder and could tackle anything he said I am just a jobbing craftsman.
This is what makes this series so special. Goodwin binds a book as he always did in real life with no bones about it. He used to look down on arty books and home made glue. PVA is what he used on everything. Well you don't wanting it falling to pieces again in ten days, do you? He used to say in desperation when someone asked him for the recipe.
The world will never see this type of craftsman again and all that is left are these few videos. However Goodwin will live on forever and he deserves to do so.