Barry Robinson

Barry Robinson

The passing of photojournalist, Barry Robinson of Ilkley, West Yorkshire on Sunday  February 26, 2023 is a great loss to the world of motorcycle sport. Whilst Barry concentrated his reports from events in Yorkshire, he was at heart a dyed-in-the-wool motorcycle enthusiast and will be known by many Northern Centre riders and organisers.

Barry was one of the first to report for the fledgling Motor Cycle News in 1957, but his reports were not just for the specialist press, as he reported on many trials and scrambles events over six decades for the daily newspapers as well as the motorcycle press. Barry was also one of the earliest freelance journalists to send his reports of many Yorkshire trials to Trials & Motocross News from 1977.

In his 64 years as a reporter he also was involved in officiating at numerous speedway meetings and was also mechanic to road-racer Alan Shepherd when he competed in the TT.

His daughters, Liz and Sarah have used social media to report on Barry’s passing:

“Barry Robinson – FINAL POST – In true “Robbo” style, “I am not retiring” was his most recent post. True to his words he did not – Barry’s last parting words from this mortal world were “bring me a notebook and pen when you visit tomorrow in case anyone rings with results” from his hospital bed at Airedale.

Unfortunately this is the one deadline he was not able to make!

 Mike Rapley writes: One of my first encounters with Barry was during the time I competed in sidecar trials with Mannix Devlin my passenger. We were taking part in the Allan Jefferies Trial, which in those days was a round of the British Sidecar Trials Championship.

 One of the early sections was a long, steep, limestone rock gully not far from the start, a section on which we failed miserably, looping the sidecar. Barry was strategically placed at the top of the hazard to catch the action in full, which he did and which made print several times in later years.

 Some years later we travelled together to the world trials round in Luxembourg, travelling in Barry’s Peugeot 308. Barry drove from Ilkley to the Kent coast and when we disembarked from the ferry, he simply got into the passenger seat, telling me he had no intention of driving on the “wrong” side of the road all the way to Luxembourg.

He did take the wheel again once we were back in the UK.

Barry’s picture courtesy of John Hulme, Trial Magazine.