My father is not a celebrity or an especially extraordinary human being, but he has been a much loved father, grandfather, and now great grandfather, a well-respected schoolmaster, and, for over three decades, he was the voice of Home Park as the Argyle announcer.
Desmond John Robinson was born in the Alexander Maternity Home, Devonport, in August 1932, he was evacuated to St Austell during the war, and left Sutton High School in 1947 to join the Services, following in the footsteps of his father and his older brother.
After ten years with the Royal Navy he emigrated to Australia so that his wife, Brenda, who was recovering from cancer, could be close to her sister. Five years later he was back in Plymouth, with Brenda. After a variety of jobs – with Remington Rand, the Telephone Exchange and Plympton Secondary School – he went to St Luke’s College in Exeter and qualified as a Mathematics Teacher. Successful teaching practice at Southway Comprehensive saw him enjoy a 15-year career there before taking early retirement to support Brenda who had also retired early, from the BBC, on medical grounds.
From 1969 through to the early 21st century Des was the voice of Home Park.
This book chronicles his life but is also intended as a template for others to emulate. Doubtless many of us have boxes and boxes of old photographs, for the most part with no identifying information on the back. Engaging with the older generation, recording their memories, putting them in some sort of order, recalling such details as you can is something we all owe it to ourselves to do and to our children and their children. Having a better idea of where we’ve come from will help us all to decide the best direction to take in the future, or put another way, the person who can’t make sense of their past has no future.