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When 'David & Jay's Touring Toolshed' visited Neon Creations - BBC2

January 26, 2024 3 min read

Illuminating Craftsmanship: Sir David Jason and Jay Blades MBE Explore the Art of Neon Glass Bending on "David & Jay’s Touring Toolshed"

In a captivating episode of the new BBC2 series, " David & Jay’s Touring Toolshed," two iconic figures, Sir David Jason and Jay Blades MBE, embarked on a journey to discover the art of neon glass bending. Their destination was the Neon Creations workshop in Bolton, where they were set to meet Tony and Sam, the skilled artisans dedicated to preserving the endangered craft of neon glass bending. 

The Resurgence of Craftsmanship:

As society progresses, traditional crafts often find themselves at the risk of fading into obscurity. Neon glass bending, a meticulous art form that once illuminated the streets and signs of yesteryears, has faced the threat of extinction. However, " David & Jay’s Touring Toolshed" aims to shed light on these endangered crafts and the passionate individuals who are determined to keep them alive.

The Neon Creations Workshop:

The backdrop for part of this particular episode was the Neon Creations workshop, a haven for the preservation of neon glass bending. Sir David and Jay were welcomed by Tony and Sam, two artisans whose dedication to their craft shines as brightly as the neon signs that adorn their workspace.

Exploring the Art of Neon Glass Bending:

Viewers were taken on a mesmerizing journey as the hosts delved into the intricate process of neon glass bending. The workshop buzzed with energy as Tony and Sam demonstrated the delicate dance between heat and craftsmanship required to shape and mould neon tubes into dazzling works of art.

Sir David Jason and Jay Blades MBE, both renowned for their appreciation of craftsmanship, immersed themselves in the world of neon glass bending. They showed a genuine curiosity and enthusiasm for discovering the magic of this endangered craft, with neon glass bending listed on The Heritage Crafts Association Red List.

Preserving a Legacy:

Behind the scenes, they were introduced to the technical aspects of neon glass bending and chatted about the importance of preserving cultural legacies. As the hosts engaged in conversation with Tony and Sam, it became evident that these artisans were not merely crafting neon signs but weaving a narrative of history and tradition through their work.

A Beacon of Inspiration:

"David & Jay’s Touring Toolshed " episode featuring Tony and Sam form Neon Creations, serves as a beacon of inspiration for those who value the beauty and significance of traditional craftsmanship, in a world where neon is now used more for artwork as opposed to signage. The episode encourages a reconnection with the past and emphasizes the importance of supporting artisans like Tony and Sam in their efforts to keep these ancient arts alive, but more importantly, giving them a modern twist by combining neon with other more contemporary materials.


In a world where technology often overshadows the craftsmanship of the past, "David & Jay’s Touring Toolshed " brings attention to the unsung heroes of traditional trades. The Neon Creations episode with Sir David Jason and Jay Blades MBE not only sheds light on the endangered craft of neon glass bending but also serves as a tribute to the artisans who continue to illuminate our world with the glow of their timeless creations.

If you didn't see the show, then catch up on iPlayer, BBC2, Episode 2.