Summer 2020 Pic

Main themes of this blog

Wilberforce Sixth-Form College

Diaries of my presentations to the college corporation as secretary to the student council, of visits by noteworthy figures, and of some group excursions.

University of Hull

Records of general events at the university, but particular focus on proceedings of the student union and various staff committees, plus appearances by famous guest speakers.


The experience of being a long-time editor. The main focus is on articles relating to British politicians and aristocracy, with particular interest in heraldry and portraiture.


Commentary on current or historical events, plus spotlights on interesting phenomena ranging from themes in television and film to details of algal blooms in rural ditches.

Recurring characters

320px-official_portrait_of_lord_norton_of_louth_crop_1The Lord Norton of Louth is Professor of Government at the University of Hull and has organised several talks on campus by political celebrities. I first encountered him in 2016 when he gave a lecture to some students at Wilberforce.

320px-official_portrait_of_dame_diana_johnson_mp_crop_1Dame Diana Johnson is the Member of Parliament for Kingston-upon-Hull North, which includes the university. She made a visit to Wilberforce College in 2016 and was part of a BBC election debate in 2017. Every now and again I spot her on campus.

320px-mike_hookem_2017Mike Hookem used to be a Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber. He took part in an ITV debate on the European Union referendum in 2016 and the aforementioned BBC debate in 2017.

Isobel Hall (small)Isobel Hall is President of Hull University Union, and was formerly President of Education. She chaired many a course representative forum. In 2018-19 she ran a successful campaign to increase students’ printing budgets.

Simon Taylor (small)Simon Taylor is the guardian of Paull Holme Tower. He has made a series of short documentaries about the tower and other old monuments, as well as some information films about the fire safety of modern high-rise residential buildings.


Prior to starting this blog I didn’t normally use my middle name. Though my surname is the fourth most common in Britain, my first is rare enough that I was nearly always the only one in my school. It must be quite popular among the blogosphere, though, because I searched through the Robin Taylor domains one by one and found them all taken. This could be thought inevitable in a world of four billion internet users, but strangely I found plenty of vacant domains when I searched the names of my classmates. I managed to find free domains by using all three names, which occasionally made people think I was double-barrelled.

Robin Taylor could be:

Robin Stanley could be:

Stanley Taylor could be:

RST could be:

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Robin,
    I’m a volunteer with the C20 Society (https://www.c20society.org.uk/) which campaigns to protect buildings of architectural significance from 1914 onwards. As has been reported in the Press, Ferens Hall the Lawns Cottingham has been put up for sale. It’s going to be crucial that the new buyer recognises its significance and comes up with a conservation led scheme for suitable reuse. We are going on a site visit to advise. We are planning to do a press release on this building and were hoping that you had a photograph that we could use to support this. Any help much appreciated. best wishes, Wendy


    • Dear Wendy…I would love to help with your campaign to ensure that the significance of The Lawns is recognised and that any future developments do not harm its heritage values. Best wishes, B


  2. Hi Robin, my interest in The Lawns is similar maybe to Wendy’s above…although I am looking at it from with academic slant currently studying from a MA in Conservation of Historic Buildings at UoYork.
    I grew up in Cottingham, living next door to The Lawns from the age of 4 until leaving to study Architecture in Birmingham, The Lawns being no doubt, a strong influence on the subject choice of my degree. The halls and grounds provided a great playground for the children of Park Lane and although I have explored externally, only once did I dare to venture inside a stair well.
    If you do have internal photographs (& external ones too) that you are happy to share I would love to be copied in.

    Thank you, B


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