Thursday, 12 May 2016

Don Robinson: The Story of a High Flier by David Fowler

Don Robinson is a remarkable man. Who has done many remarkable things. Don is a self-made businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Born in Batley, West Yorkshire he moved to Scarborough aged ten. Don left school aged fourteen and played professional rugby and other sports. After he had completed his national service he rented a small part of Scarborough beach and installed trampolines for use to members of the public. This was very successful and lead him to setting up sites throughout the country and also hiring and selling trampolines. He then moved on to have a number of very successful businesses and tourist attractions, like Scarborough Zoo and Water Scene. Many more tourist attractions where to follow not only in Scarborough, but throughout the UK and abroad too.

Don launched a radio station aboard a ship in the 1960's. He was responsible for the first direct charter flights from England to Las Vegas. He was a successful wrestling promoter and wrestler. He became chairman of Scarborough Football Club and then Hull City Football Club and President of Scarborough Cricket Club. Don also was a committee member of the Variety Club of Great Britain and he was a director at Yorkshire Television.

Don also found the time to become a Scarborough Borough Councillor and own the Royal Opera House in his adopted home town too. He also managed to bring Little Richard to perform at Bridlington Spa and at that very same gig a then unknown Robert Palmer performed in a supporting band. I could go on, and on and list all he has achieved! Don Robinson is an amazing and inspiring man. This book is a fascinating read.

I had a huge personal interest in reading this book. I am related to Don Robinson. I am the eldest granddaughter of Joan Milner, nee Robinson. We spent many childhood holidays with her at Auntie May and Uncle Joe's house in Scarborough, Don Robinson's parents, until my grandparents moved to Scarborough themselves in 1985. We were very lucky to be able to go often to a lot of the tourist attractions that Don owned in Scarborough. Many happy occasions spent with family at these locations, like Water Scene, going down the enormous water slide with my gran! My gran also cared for Joe during his final days at her home. My grandma herself passed away in 2011 and I am left with many happy memories of our time in Scarborough. Don Robinson is a huge part of Scarborough's history.

Don Robinson has a wonderful story to tell and I think it would be fantastic for it to be told and brought to life in film. I would very much like to see Don Robinson's wonderful story go into production and be brought to the big screen. The book gives a lot of information and although it does repeat itself sometimes, the author David Fowler has really done his research.

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