Robin Blain - R.I.P.

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  • 04 Nov 2017 17:40
    Reply # 5533031 on 5365780

    I would like to thank all the members of the JRA for their kind words about Robin and I have received many cards as well.

    The official announcement came out in the Daily Telegraph today and I hope to make the day a celebration of his life.

    BLAIN, Robin William originally from Melbury Bubb and latterly of Titchfield, on Wednesday 25th October peacefully at his new home in Broadmayne after a short illness aged 76.  Husband of Miranda (Mandy), loving father of Christopher & Guy, grandfather to Amber and Rosie.

    Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired to RNLI and Melbury Bubb PCC, c/o A.J. Wakely & Sons, 16 Newland, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3JQ. Tel: 01935-816817.

    Funeral service to be held at St. Mary the Virgin Church, Melbury Bubb (DT2 0NQ) at 2 p.m. on Saturday 18th November followed by refreshments at Leigh Village Hall (DT9 6HL) where all will be welcomed.  Please let Mandy or Wakely’s know if you are attending.

    Many people have kind enough to post pictures of Robin and if you have a picture the family would love to see it.  I am afraid most of our photos are of Christmas celebrations which have for many years remained identical except for the sons' facial hair!



  • 04 Nov 2017 13:07
    Reply # 5529473 on 5365780

    How sad, Robin helped us convert our first boat to junk rig and latterly smoothed our purchase of Ron Glas from Jock much missed Tony a d Sally 

  • 03 Nov 2017 11:43
    Reply # 5514071 on 5365780

    I had a delightful visit with Robin and Mandy in 1999. I traveled with him on his rounds, including a boat delivery to the Isle of Wight. We made a pilgrimage to the former office of Angus Primrose and Associated to speak with Bill Dixon who remembers packing up the plans for my NA-29 (Marco Polo III/Teleport in 1976.) Another pilgrimage took us on a day trip to the Kensington Science Museum in London to view the junk model Maze Collection. Just amazing> It's a pity the collection has been removed from display.

    I corresponded with Robin over the years during construction. I regarded him as part of my whole junkrig experience. RIP

  • 03 Nov 2017 10:03
    Reply # 5513163 on 5365780
    Good bye Robin. Thank you for your work to convert the rig of my Wharram cats in Swing Wing rigs and for all the time you spent with the Junk and Advanced Rig association.

    You'll miss for you family and for a lot of sailors.


  • 31 Oct 2017 10:43
    Reply # 5464731 on 5365780
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    David and I joined the JRA from abroad when we were building our Tom Colvin designed boat.  We came to know of the JRA through another member who was building a 'sister ship' in Southampton.  The JRA was then in its infant, pre-computer days.  Our welcome into the relatively small membership was a personal note from Robin along with a copy of an early newsletter.   A face-to-face meeting did not happen until we returned to the UK on an fittings, engine and instrument buying expedition.  It so happened that there was a rally and AGM at Warsash while we were back in the UK and I was,  at last,  able to meet Robin, the driving force behind the JRA.  A kind and generous man for whom nothing, especially if related to junk,  was ever too much trouble.   Contact between Robin and ourselves was minimal during our years of cruising - largely because we had to rely on snail mail delivered to Poste Restante offices in our ports of call.   On returning to the UK,  our membership with the JRA continued despite no longer having a boat.  This changed in 2015 when Robin kindly helped me to find a junk rigged boat suited to our changed lifestyle.  He and Mandy generously had me to stay in their home when I drove to Portsmouth to view and sail aboard the boat once owned by the JRA.    Robin knew the boat very well and was concerned that I should feel it was the right boat for my purposes.  He joined me on my inspection of KRKA and accompanied me on the trial sail.    His generosity did not end there as he also prepared the boat for transportation to my home waters and saw that she was loaded safely for the journey.

    While staying in the Blain's home,   Robin was keen that I should inspect the 'nerve centre' of the JRA.    His office - a veritable junk themed museum - displayed an amazing collection of junk pictures and photos,  and shelves containing every conceivable book on the subject of junks and their sails.   His fascination with, and his knowledge of the subject was second to none.   His unfailing willingness to help anyone who showed an interest in the subject to learn more,  his generous gifts of time for teaching and sharing his knowledge is a huge loss to junk enthusiasts the world over.     

    We shall all miss you,  Robin.    Rest in Peace.

    Condolences to Mandy and the rest of Robin's family.    


    Last modified: 31 Oct 2017 10:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 30 Oct 2017 21:07
    Reply # 5456797 on 5365780

    From my first contact with Robin and before we knew each other, his kindness and warmth was immediately tangible and his huge enthusiasm for boats in general and the junk rig in particular was infectious.

    During our friendship I was astounded by his encyclopaedic knowledge and unfailing memory of boats and their owners. I hardly ever spoke to a member but that he or she made a point of saying that Robin was the kindest, gentlest, most helpful and generous person.

    Time tends to change everything, of course, but his like in not to be expected in this organisation. Our loss won't be made good.

    Last modified: 30 Oct 2017 21:08 | Anonymous member
  • 30 Oct 2017 20:34
    Reply # 5456495 on 5365780

    he did a lot for the junk–rig community – what a loss! 
    my deepest condolences!!  

    may g–d comfort his wife and his child!!!

  • 30 Oct 2017 18:42
    Reply # 5455346 on 5365780

    This morning I received news from Annie that Robin had passed, a sadness passed over me and I am just now coming to grips with Robin’s death. I first contacted him in the late 70s and over the years we corresponded off and on. I had converted an Albin Vega to Blondie & Jocks plans which were then in blueprint format. His knowledge and helpfulness stood me in good stead as I continued to pursue one junk rig boat after another.

     While in Southampton last year preparing Tao Zou for the 2016 Jester Azores Challenge I finally had the chance to sit down with him over lunch which I invited him to as thanks for all the help he had given me. That lunch will always be a high point with me as we talked junks and past adventures.

    Robin will be missed by us all!

    To Mandy and his family my deepest sympathies’


    Last modified: 30 Oct 2017 18:46 | Anonymous member
  • 30 Oct 2017 01:40
    Reply # 5442807 on 5390072
    Ketil Greve wrote:

    My sincere condolenses  to Mandy and sons.

    My thoughts are also with Mandy and sons. I never met Robin but I knew enough to know he was a good man.
  • 29 Oct 2017 18:02
    Reply # 5434824 on 5365780

    The day we flew back to the UK from Paradox (now in Cartagena, Spain), Mandy emailed to say that Robin was dying. A week later we were still coming to terms with that when Lynda passed on the news that he’d gone. We’d known him since 1979/80 and bought our Sunbird 32 Matanie from his company. He and Chris Scanes spent a week with us on Paradox in Weymouth UK helping rig her Scanes-built  cambered sails, and did his usual meticulous job. He drove from his home in Hampshire to Scotland to collect the then recently deceased Vincent Reddish’s Kingfisher 21, and towed it to Cambridgeshire from where our daughter had it collected by a friend and driven to Briancon in the French Alps where she sails it every summer and now hopes to meet up with Paradox in the Med. We and the JRA won’t be the same without him.

    Last modified: 03 Nov 2017 17:54 | Anonymous member
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