All posts by Alan Bamber

Still Got Gas in the Tank

About 10 years ago Dad (Steve and I call him RB) needed a heart bypass. RB being RB, it ended up being a quadruple bypass – he never does anything in half measures. A bit like his telephone conversations really, which as some of you will know can last a day.

After his 79th birthday in February (2010) he was a bit low and took to his bed, telling my brother Steve and I that he was only fit for the knackers yard and was seriously thinking of retiring. (Mind you, he’s been telling us this same bloody (sorry) story for the last 10 years!!!). However, a trip to the vet confirmed that he needed some more work on the old ticker.

A thick fug of depression descended and all was gloom and doom. We noted he’d not been this fed up since Carol Vorderman had left Countdown.

A stent was required, to help the blood flow through his arteries, along with the Southern Comfort, Bells and the Antiquary, to name but a few. Fair enough, he’d given up on the 80+ fags a day and his pipe (I still remember the smell of St Bruno) a long time ago but these things do catch up with you in the end.

Come the morning of the procedure and RB was not his usual robust self, he only took the mickey out of me two or three times – a sure sign that he wasn’t quite himself. I got him to Wythenshawe Hospital for 7.15am, he was still rather quiet and subdued. I booked him in, walked him up to ward F2 and left him in the capable hands of the Doctors and Nurses for his angioplasty procedure. They told me to call back for an update at 1:30pm, so I spent the next few hours doing several laps of the hospital, inside and out, with the odd pit stop for coffee or tea etc. and my usual feeble attempt at the Telegraph crossword puzzle. “The trawlerman’s after deducting expenses (3, 6). Net profit”

Anyway, come 12:30 I phoned the ward and was told RB had had his procedure and all was well and I should pick him up at 3:00. Long hours passed until 3:00 and I entered his room with some trepidation, I expected to find RB conked out from the anesthetic and several tubes plugged into him. Instead, he was sat in a chair with a smile on his face. Hooray!

Turns out all had gone well and he was feeling fine. (Phew!) A Nurse came into the room to tell RB what he should and shouldn’t do over the next few days. Of course he ignored all that and started to chat her up! “Go home, rest and take it easy for a week”, she said. He thanked all the Doctors and Nurses and I took him home.

Driving him to his house, he started to tell me where both Steve and I were going wrong with the business and how we were generally a pair of turkeys (one of his favourite expressions). Being the number one Bernina dealer in Europe, phones that never stop ringing and websites bringing in sales from around the world cuts no ice with RB.

I phoned him the next morning to check if he was ok, of course he should have been in bed resting. “Bloody (sorry) Doctors receptionists” he said. “I’ve just cycled up to the surgery so they can remove the thing from me arm where they inserted the wire for my procedure”. Of course RB expected everyone to drop everything and sort him out straight away. He was back to his cantakerous best – and long may it continue!

Alan Bamber
(number one son)

Lorna Knight’s Chanel Style Jacket Workshop

Chanel style jacket workshop
Everyone looks very busy!

Lorna Knight was with us again this weekend, she’s such a talented woman.

This time she was holding a sewing workshop on how to create a Chanel Style Jacket. All who attended enjoyed themselves and no doubt learned a lot.

All My Own Work

Couture Jacket made in our workshop
Charlotte proudly shows her Couture Jacket

Charlotte Ferrier reports.

“We learned how to make up half a jacket with easy to use techniques which can be applied to any jacket.

The teaching was excellent, with everything provided including
a delicious lunch.”

View all sewing courses with Lorna Knight.

Bernina 830 Launch Day

Bernina 830 launch daySteady traffic for our Bernina 830 launch day today and everyone who saw the new Bernina was impressed.

We were glad to see some familiar faces and old friends, Vernon, Celia Banks, Mrs Grannell and Mrs Stringer to name but a few.

Thanks for the ‘Good Luck’ card from our friends Jenny, Jane & Pete from the North East, we’ll see you all soon.

Thanks also to Jane Thorne from Bogod (Bernina UK) for such a
great job!

I’ve got to go, there are more people coming through the door to see the new Bernina but I’ll leave you with a picture of the star of the show:

Just click the image to view more information and buy your Bernina 830 sewing machine
Beautiful embroidery!

Bernina 830 Training in Switzerland

Steve and I travel to the Bernina factory in Steckborn to receive technical training on the new Bernina 830. We’ve been looking forward to this trip for some time and can’t wait to get to grips with the new top of the range Bernina.

We take an early morning flight from Manchester Airport to Heathrow to meet up with the Bogod brothers (Bernina UK) and other Bernina dealers. The flight takes all of 40 minutes which makes a welcome change from the usual trek down the M6.

Flight to Bernina in Switzerland

Heathrow, and all the problems reported at the opening of terminal 5 appear to have been ironed out, they must have known we were coming. All is clean and efficient. With a bit of time to kill, breakfast springs to mind.

A hearty breakfast is just the ticket for the intrepid early morning traveller. £7.99 seems a little steep, but then again we are in London.

This shop is called Kurt Geiger and it sells shoes and handbags, some of you may have heard of it?? All I can say is I’m glad my other half wasn’t with me when I saw it!

Zurich airport. Small, but perfectly formed and very clean.

We leave Zurich airport and travel by coach to the Bernina HQ in Steckborn. As we approach Steckborn we can see the famous Bernina logo in the distance. (Not the best photo, I know) It sits by the shores of a beautiful lake. It’s a bit different from working in Manchester, but let’s not forget we do have the Manchester Ship Canal!

After arriving at the hotel and unpacking it’s time to take a look at the view from the room and I must say it’s not bad, what do you think. It’s Lake Constance by the way.

So, next day, bright eyed and bushy tailed I’m ready to start a technical course on the new Bernina 830. Our teacher is called Jurg, a nice chap who certainly knows his onions, and his Bernina 830’s too for that matter.

Alan Bamber outside the Bernina Creative Centre Switzerland

Phew! A full day of in depth training. We’ve dismantled the Bernina 830 and started to test and check all the settings and timings. This new 830 really has been very well made.

Stripped Bernina 830

Rather than look at the undressed Bernina on my bench, take a look at the fabulous Bernina 830 in all it’s glory. I took this shot in the reception area of Bernina HQ.

Bernina 830 sewing machine on show

I also took a few shots of the Bernina ‘museum’. Bernina are a long established family business, they’ve been around since the 1890’s (Almost as old as Dad, only joking RB!) Anyway, we’ve always been proud to be a Bernina dealer, they are such a good quality machine.

Old Bernina Sewing machines at the Bernina Museum

More shots of older Berninas.

Bernina Sewing Machines at the Bernina Museum

Back to the workshop and technical training on the Bernina 830 continues. Jurg shows us how to make precise adjustments and then he checks them. If you don’t get it right you do it again until it is correct.

Bernina technical training room

Back to the hotel for a quick freshen up and then to dinner. This shot shows the Hotel restaurant. All very lovely and the food was, as Michael Winner might say, historic!

I am learning the technical side of the 830, and Steve is with another group learning all about the many functions and features. Between the two Bamber brothers we will be able to offer all 830 customers a great service.

Steve Bamber outside the Bernina Creative Centre Switzerland

All too soon the party’s over. We climb aboard a coach and head off to the airport.

Homeward bound…

A great trip, thank you Bernina and Bogod.

Don’t forget our own Bernina 830 launch at Bambers on Thursday 23rd April 2009.

Heidi Lawton from Janome UK

Janome Special Edition Sewing Machine demonstrationWe were happy to see Heidi Lawton from Janome Sewing Machines UK when she paid us a visit today. First she gave us all an update on the new Janome Memorycraft 11,000 Special Edition, it’s got some great new features and no doubt Maggie will soon be very busy making some fresh samples!

We particularly liked the ‘Stipple Stitch’ feature, so easy to use and perfect at producing professional Stipple Stitching or Vermicelli Stitching.

Quilting Features

Janome 11000 special quilting features demoHeidi showed us some of the special quilting features on the Janome 11,000.

You can download information from the machine to your computer, and then print out a grid to use on your quilt.

All this technology! Of course when Roy was a boy all the machines ran on steam!

Janome Software Packages

Janome memorycraft software demoHeidi also gave us a bit of a run through on the new Janome Software packages, some great features linked with Janomes customary easy to use interfaces means the new packages should be a hit.

Janome Sewing Products Advice

If you would like help and advice about any of the Janome sewing products please do not hesitate to drop by our manchester sewing shop, send us a message or give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.

Embroidered Bound Table Runner Project with the Brother Innovis I

Maggie with the Brother Innovis 1 sewing machineMaggie got to grips with the Brother Innovis I on New Years Eve and gave herself a project to create an ‘Embroidered Bound Table Runner’.

Maggie says:

“Using the ‘Snowman’ to position embroidery means you don’t have to have the fabric exactly square in the frame, the machine will compensate if you’re a degree or two out.”

Maggie and Brother Innovis I Sewing Machine

The embroidery work is amazing!

The Finished Project

The finished table runner looks very smart on one of our Horn Cabinets.

Embroidered table runner

Embroidered table runner

It’s thirsty work all this embroidery so a nice cup of tea is just the ticket!

The Brother Innovis I

Brother Innovis I Sewing Machine
Brother Innovis I

The fabulous Brother Innovis I is now on show at Bambers, why not call in for a demonstration and try it out for yourself? We can also offer you a great 2 year, interest free credit deal!

View more Brother Sewing Machines.