John Henry ROBINSON
Born in 1951 into a historic farming, abattoir, and butchering business in Weardale on the eastern slopes of the Pennines in northern England, 10 miles west of Durham City, 70 years after grandfather Thomas William Robinson started the business. Previously our ancestors farmed a smallholding at Aukside 5 miles north west of Middleton in Teesdale, back to the 16th century. Their main income in the 18th and 19th century came from lead mining.
In 1968 I joined Martins Bank Ltd, as a trainee, at Spennymoor branch. Martins merged with Barclays in 1969 and, over the next few years, I was posted to Willington, Leyburn, Darlington and Internal Audit before being accepted onto the Graduate Management Development Programme, causing postings to Edgeware Road, Cavendish Square and Regents Street, all in Central London.
My first managerial appointment was at Kendal, Cumbria, in 1979, as the Operations Manager, followed three years later, by Blackburn as a Relationship Manager, then back to London as a Large Debt Recoveries Manager. In 1986 I was posted to Dublin to close down a small subsidiary high street bank and then control the debt underwriting. 1989 took me to Head Office in Lombard Street then to Gracechurch Street as a generalist Relationship Manager, and then, in 1994, after a complex reorganisation, I found myself in the Professional Practices Team at Lombard Street caring for the global banking needs of global Accountants, Actuaries, Real Estate firms and Solicitors.
2003 took me to New York for three years to care for the banking needs of the US based global top decile Accountants, Lawyers, and Realtors. I retired from Barclays in 2006 and joined Tony Williams at Jomati Consultants LLP as a consultant looking after the banking and financing requirements of global law firms. Contemporaneously, I was caring for Accountants through Robinson Bros Consultants Ltd. The global crash in the late first decade caused professional consultancy work to dry up.
Fortunately, Barclays had started paying my pension so, “to give something back”’ I started doing Pro Bono Business advice to a couple of web based businesses, a horse riding establishment, a couple of Restaurants, three pubs, a Timber business, and a Cathedral. I also took on several Directorships, Trusteeships, and Charity work.
My hobbies since Primary School had been administration and woodwork. The administration had me managing my father’s business accounts at age 12 and was probably why I became a banker. Woodwork saw me repairing fencing, gates, doors etc. on the farm. At age 13 I decorated my mother’s staircase and at age 14 I started a window cleaning business in our village with my father’s ladder and my mother’s wash leather and bucket.
In my banking days, I continued administration as a committeeman, charity worker and also continued woodworking building wardrobes, kitchens, flooring, fences, gates, etc.
Since final retirement in 2011, I have completed hundreds of woodwork projects many of which are shown in the attached pages.
I have been married to Janice since 1972, we have three children and six grandchildren and all are healthy and successful.
My principal activities in 2020 are membership of the St Albans Deanery Synod and Diocesan Synod , St Albans Bishop’s Council, Vacancy in See Committee, Closed Churches Uses Committee, St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance, General Committee and Ordinary Committee, Properties Committee, Assets Committee, and the Audit Committee.
I have a classic 1983, ex-military, Land Rover Lightweight, Series III which got me into several Clubs where I am, or have been, a Company Director, a Charity Trustee a Company Secretary and a Treasurer.
I also spend time with an ex-Tablers club, St Albans 41 Club and run the finance and secretarial affairs of a small property management company.