Captain Robin F A BATT
Robin was born in October 1947 at Hartfield in East Sussex. His Father was a Master Mariner and his Mother’s family had relations and ancestors who had a long tradition of seafaring service. His parents divorced when he was four years old and his maternal Grandmother became his Guardian. He was sent to boarding school in Sussex aged six and then to Pangbourne Nautical College aged 13 for four years.
Originally bound for the Fleet Air Arm (FAA), he started flying lessons at 15 and obtained his PPL license two months after leaving Pangbourne and his driving license two weeks later. Sadly, his application to join the FAA was turned down. In October 1965 he joined BP Tanker Company as a Deck Cadet and three years later at aged 21, Robin obtained his 2nd Mates Certificate. On his third trip as 3rd Officer on joining a new ship due to the Asian Flu epidemic, he found himself promoted to Acting Chief Officer within 48 hours. At aged 22 he obtained his 1st Mates Certificate and was promoted to 2nd Officer. Aged 27 he obtained his Foreign Going Masters Certificate and was promoted to Chief Officer. He specialized very early on in his career on Product Tankers and was trained as a pump engineer; attending various management courses at BP Head Office. During study leave for Masters certificate he also attended night school to obtain a Diploma in Ship Management and Business Studies. As part of his development BP sent Robin to the Royal Navy’s Britannia Royal Naval College, in Dartmouth, to attend the Merchant Navy/Royal Navy Liaison Officers’ Course which was put to good use while serving in the Far East.
Unfortunately, weeks after promotion to Chief Officer he was forced to hand in his resignation to BP as he was asked to come ashore to rescue an Industrial Rubber Company which was a family business. Robin joined C.O.H Baines Ltd as a management trainee and 12 months later he was made Sales Director. At aged 29, Robin was promoted to acting Managing Director, a position he held for two years. After nine years as Sales Director the Company hit its first million-pound turnover and by then was exporting to 22 countries worldwide. He then took over as MD for 26 years and the company had expanded into: aerospace; defense; maritime; general engineering and; together with the top end of the automotive industry. Although a relatively small company (30 employees) the company became known as the Barometer for the British Rubber Industry.
Robin retired in January 2012, aged 64, having sold the company and he would later join the Honorable Company of Master Mariners in 2013, becoming a Liveryman in October 2014. In his spare time, he volunteers as a supervisor for The Wellington Trust’s exhibitions and aids in the delivery of the Trust’s schools’ programme. In his private life is enjoys sailing, skiing and motor sports and with the latter, having spent 20 years as an amateur racing driver and test driver for GT Developments. Robin has been married to his wife Rosemary for 50 years and they celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on board HQS WELLINGTON in November 2021. They have two sons Andrew and Jonathon, two granddaughters and two grandsons. They have lived in East Sussex for 49 years of their married life.