Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway Historic Vehicles Trust

caring for historically important railway vehicles at the LCLR - (Charity Registration Number 514443).

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Jim Smith of the LCLRHVT presents the nameplate for the trusts Simplex locomotive to Tubby, and a bouquet to Mrs Sheila Robins in 2006.


July 2015

It was with great regret that the Trust learned earlier this year of the passing of its founding President, Major J.A. “Tubby” Robins.

It was without doubt through his good offices, his enthusiasm for the Trust's aims and his appreciation of the historical significance of our collection, that it was saved for the future at a time when the LCLR Company was having to reduce its stock of vehicles on its then site at Humberston North Sea Lane. The Company generously agreed to make one of its ex-World War One Ambulance vans, two of its Class “D”  bogie wagons and a Class “P” ration wagon available for preservation by the newly-formed Trust.

“Tubby” was at that time recently retired from the Army and helping to move the Museum of Army Transport from Normandy Barracks at Leconfield, to a new home in Beverley. He readily welcomed the Trust's vehicles, arranged for them to be displayed and interpreted, made facilities available to help in their restoration and happily took on the role of the Trust's President.

Chris Bates, one of our founder members, observed: “Without his enthusiasm and practical support, it's doubtful whether the vehicles could have survived or indeed, the LCLR itself, as they provided a focal point in the difficult days after the closure of the line at the end of 1985 and its eventual rebuilding and reopening on the Water Leisure Park at Skegness.

“'Tubby' was held in the highest esteem and regarded with great affection, because we shared an enthusiasm for the vehicles and an understanding of their place in the history of the UK. They were and still are a tangible reminder of the sacrifices of the brave men and women who went to their country's defence in The Great War”.

The Trust was represented at the funeral in Bridlington Priory by Jim Smith and Chris Bates. The nameplate from the former Skegness Brickworks Simplex locomotive “Major J.A. Robins R.E” was displayed on an easel  during the service, when tribute was paid to his involvement with the Trust  and his affection for it.

Major John Anthony Robins – “Tubby” to all who knew him – was born in Manchester on the 24th June 1927. He married Sheila Margaret in Tobruk, Libya on the 5th April 1958, who predeceased him in December 2011. The couple had two children – Rachel Foster and Sarah Robins.

In his  career with the Royal Engineers,  “Tubby” served in Hong Kong, Palestine, Bahrain, Libya, Cyprus, Singapore, Germany and England.

He set up the Museum when it moved to Beverley and was its central consultant on railways, ports and movements.

In Bridlington, he always attended the Priory Church and was Secretary to the Priory Restoration Committee, as well as being a past Prior of the Bridlington Augustines.

The Trust's members have the happiest of memories of our involvement with “The Major” (which was how he was affectionately referred to by most of us). We have lost a good and loyal friend, without whom we might not have a railway or our precious collection  of historical vehicles. The Trust wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to Maj. Robins' family and friends, who are always welcome at the collection's base on the LCLR.