Born in 1954, Chris Robinson is a third generation Plymothian who is passionate about his home city.
He has dedicated his life to drawing Plymouth and its environs, writing about its rich history as well as capturing more recent eras in a series of nostalgic publications and films.
Chris went to a variety of schools in Scotland and Australia before attending first Hyde Park School, then Plymouth College. Subsequently studying psychology and sociology at Leeds University, he went on to write master’s thesis at the University of Warwick in 1976.
On completion of the MA two years later, Chris opened a studio workshop on the Barbican, Plymouth, selling prints of his original pen and ink drawings and he spent the first few years building up a portfolio of several hundred local prints – of Plymouth schools, churches, pubs, public buildings and places of interest.
In 1982 he began a weekly local history column for the Plymouth Herald that is still ongoing in a different format today. These articles and the drawings that accompanied them were to become the subject of his first two publications, Plymouth As Time Draws On I & II.
The move to the present premises, 34 New Street, on the Barbican – one of the oldest commercially run properties in the city – came in 1984 and the following year he and his wife Clare established Pen & Ink Publishing in order to publish the many local titles he would go on to write.
Around the same time, he started freelancing for the BBC producing and presenting a weekly regional music and memories programme, As Time Goes By, later moving on to Those Were The Days, Late Night Sou’ West and the Sunday Late Show. In 2005 he presented his first television series – The Painted Garden – for ITV Westcountry. Over the years he has also put in extensive shifts as match day DJ for Plymouth Argyle and proprietor of the Hot Wax disco.
Various books and videos – available through the site – have been produced over the last twenty years, including the 20th century series, several Then & Now volumes, a set of Pub books, as well as a series of a dozen or so DVDs, produced with his film-making colleague Alan Tibbitts.
Books are currently his main focus and Chris had also undertaken a wide variety of commissions on different businesses and organisations as well as penning several biographies. Currently there are five or six books at various stages in the pipeline. Watch this space for further details.