Life takes many twists and turns when circumstances suddenly force change. I have worked with many editors of Woodworking magazines but none comes to mind so much as Nick Gibbs who eventually got to publish his own woodworking magazines.
Sadly Nick suffered a brain injury in 2014 having been knocked off his bike and this changed his life dramatically. I knew Nick as far back as the 1980's when he was the youngest editor of The Woodworker, Britain's top woodworking magazine. Unusually bright, Eton educated but very much a man of the people, he was very good at thinking outside the box and I joined him in the early 90's when he set up Good Woodworking magazine at Future Publishing in Bath. I was an associate editor and wrote many articles for him and tested tools and there was a sense of fun in the editorial office.
Nick was promoted to senior management at Future and then took the bold move to set up his own publishing company (Freshwood) and he launched British Woodworking and another magazine called Living Woods. Again he asked me to write for him and I know he enjoyed pushing the boundaries and involving me in mildly controversial articles such as questioning the Holy Grail of the Dovetail used by cabinetmakers.
After Nick's brain injury and long period in a coma he lost his job, his career which I believe was his passion. Many of us who have gone through brain traumas to a degree understand that even the smallest brain malfunction and that sudden loss of faculties taken for granted can cause major life changes. The brain is so finely wired, we still know little about it although we can fly rockets to Mars.
Nick was an exceptionally bright spark in the world of magazine editorial and a key figure at Britain's fastest growing publisher - Future Publishing in Bath. Good woodworking was Future Publishing's flagship magazine in the 1990's, groundbreaking in its highly visual format and jargon busting text boxes, de-mystifying woodworking to mortal men and women.
The last time I heard of Nick was that he was sitting outside Bath Abbey carving wooden spoons with a penknife, curiously as outside that same Abbey I would busk on my guitar but not on that day.
I understand Nick has an active blog and quite philosophical in some of his postings about his life after being an editor for so long. I wish him well