Robin Smithett (1947-2013)

The January edition of Waterways World was delivered recently and it included an obituary for the waterway's photographer Robin Smithett who died in mid November. Many editions of Waterways World are packed full of his wonderful images. There are very few editions of the magazine without at least one of his photographs. There is a short obituary on the IWA web site.

We are lucky enough to own a large signed print of  a classic Stoke Bruerne scene by Robin; it occupies pride of place in Albert's cabin. We were given it in the late 1990s by our friends Anne & Edward Winter as a thank-you. At the time Anne was a teaching colleague of Robin's wife Margaret in a Bedford school.

Robin Smithett's classic winter view of Stoke Bruerne
We occasionally saw Robin along the Grand Union and I once had the opportunity to discuss the Stoke Bruerne image with him. He recounted how there had been ice on the cut until just before he took the photograph and as the sun hit the water the ice sank making a remarkable mirror-like surface. It was a case of making sure you were at the right place at the right time. The water's surface is so smooth in the picture it is possible to hold the print upside down and for a moment not realise.

I expect his waterways images will still be published for years to come but it sad to think that there will be new Smithett images in the waterway's press.