David Robinson, President of SLHA from 2000 to 2005, died in Grimsby Hospital on 25 July, a few weeks short of his ninetieth birthday.
David was a Lincolnshire man through and through. Born and educated in Horncastle, he studied at Nottingham University, where he gained a degree in geography and then a master’s degree for his study of the geomorphology of the Lincolnshire coast. For 12 years he taught in schools in Immingham and Grimsby before moving to Louth in 1965 to work in adult education, first as tutor organiser with the WEA and then as resident tutor of the University of Nottingham.
For more than four decades he organised and led popular field courses and weekend conferences, and his lectures attracted a strong and enthusiastic following. His topics were wide ranging, covering the people, places and culture of Lincolnshire; perhaps most memorable were those dealing with the geology of the county and his unrivalled accounts of local bricks and brickmaking.
David Robinson became a household name in Lincolnshire through his writing and editing. For many years he edited the Lincolnshire Poacher and Lincolnshire Life magazines – both widely read and highly regarded – and he also served on the editorial team of the magazine Natural World. He wrote numerous articles and papers and was the author of over 20 books on various aspects of Lincolnshire. Without exception his writing was well-researched and authoritative while remaining accessible to a wide readership.
His books include The Book of Louth (1979), The Book of the Lincolnshire Seaside (1981), The Book of Horncastle and Woodhall Spa (1983), Fowler of Louth (with David Kaye and Sam Scorer, 1992), The Great Storm Flood of 1953 (1993), The Louth Flood (1995), William Brown and the Louth Panorama (with Christopher Sturman, 2001), Lincolnshire Wolds (2009), Adam Eve and Louth Carpets (2010), Sir Joseph Banks at Revesby (2014). In 2007, to mark his 80th birthday, SLHA published a collection of papers and tributes from friends and fellow historians entitled All Things Lincolnshire; like the man it honoured, this festschrift is impressive in its range and scholarship.
David made a huge contribution to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust as their long-serving Honorary Secretary. He also played a very active role as president of Louth Civic Trust, the Louth Naturalists’, Antiquarian and Literary Society, and the Sir Joseph Banks Society. David was a driving force behind the renaissance of Louth Museum and worked tirelessly on its behalf, making many generous bequests from his own vast collection of historical artefacts and documents. He was a lifelong Methodist, playing a strong role in the administration and worship of the church in Louth and across the county.
In 1997, reflecting his unstinting contribution in all these areas, David was awarded an OBE for services to journalism and the community in Lincolnshire.