Allan Robinson MBE, who died on Sunday October 21 st, 2007 ,
was a well-known motor-cycling commentator and former Commandant of the Surrey Special Constabulary. As the voice of motorbike racing, especially TT and Classic events, Robinson’s expert, colourful, and often humorous commentaries have been enjoyed since the 1960s by spectators (and most competitors) at the Isle of Man TT, Brand’s Hatch, Silverstone, Goodwood Motorsport, Cadwell Park, Croft, and many other circuits. Despite advancing cancer, he worked as recently as September at the 2007 Goodwood and Snetterton meetings.
The British Motorcyclists’ Federation described Robinson as “the epitome of professionalism,”, as well as praising his unflappable and informative style as event commentator. In May the BMF presented him with a trophy for his outstanding work over more than 30 years as main announcer at their annual shows, and has established the Allan Robinson Memorial Trophy in recognition of his contribution as announcer at their “infamous moped races.”
His versatile descriptive skills also extended to TV, radio, cricket and police dog trials, as well as a busy schedule as an eloquent speaker and skilled toastmaster. As long-serving secretary of the TT Riders Association, he played a major role in establishing benevolent funds for the dependents of killed or injured riders, and the annual Parade Lap of historic machines.
Allan Robinson also had a long career as a noted racer in his own right, competing often at the Manx TT, in Road Navigation Trials, and in Europe and USA . He set British “sprint” records on a Honda in 1954, and continued to race into his seventies, most recently on his Manx-Norton, until July 2007. As a specialist journalist, his contributions on motorcycling were published in many national newspapers, and in Motor Cycle News, She, and other magazines. A literary sideline were his fantasy stories on the exploits of the intrepid imaginary motorcycle racer Edgar Jessop, whose narratives have many followers among riders, and will shortly be published in Australia and New Zealand.
Although he claimed that his MBE meant “motor bike enthusiast,” in fact that honour recognized another activity, his volunteer contribution over 25 years to the Surrey Special Constabulary, reaching the rank of Commandant and overseeing the modernization of the uniformed “specials” force in support of the professional police. He was also closely involved with the Surrey Constabulary Motor Cycle Club.
Beginning his working life as a civil servant, Allan Robinson worked in the 1950s in the Criminal Records Office of New Scotland Yard, and in the Metropolitan Police Alien Registration Department, touring Ghana and Nigeria for reports on the then-new phenomenon of mass immigration. Later, his sporting interests and journalism led him into a career in public relations, working in industries from cars and bikes to shoes, leather and plumbing, and establishing his own Helix Ltd company with special links to motorcycling.
As Brother Allan Robinson, he was also a freemason for over 40 years, initiated into the Staineway Lodge in 1964, then joining the Coveham Lodge in 1997. He held several offices, and in 2005 was appointed Past Provincial Assistant Grand Pursuivant in the Province of Surrey in recognition of his services to Masonry.
Born in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, in 1935, Allan Robinson had an early education disrupted by World War 2, spending time in schools in Warwickshire, Surrey and Sussex . After the war he attended Kingston Technical School , qualifying for the civil service. He lived his entire adult life in Surrey , at New Malden, Cobham, and from 1964 Ripley. Win, his wife of 43 years, died in 2002. He leaves one daughter, Tracey (“TJ”) of Ross-on-Wye, and one grand-daughter, Olivia.
Allan: Some final tributes
* Allan was a great friend for me. I meet him many times at the TT races. I most appreciate his work and commitment for the Laps of Honour. R.I.P. Allan and my deepest condolences to his family and friends.
TT Supporters Italy
For some recently added material written by Allan, please see ""
Otherwise, this website is now complete. April 13, 2008
Any further tributes to Allan for this site may be emailed to
(With sincere thanks for website design and all technical and creative work to Paul Monk.)