THE family of former Largs police officer Robin Knox have led tributes after his death at the age of 80 following a battle with cancer.

Robin was well known as a police constable for 30 years - most of that time spent serving in Largs, where his helpful and kind manner led to his being regarded as a pillar of the local community.

Robin was born in Perthshire in 1943, in a small village between Dunkeld and Pitlochry, but when he was a young boy his family moved to Ayrshire to live in Beith, where he went to Spier's School.

It was while living in Beith that he became a police cadet at the age of 18, before going to the police college at Tulliallan to train to be a full-time officer.

He married Elaine in 1965 at the EU Congregational Fellowship in Beith, and they spent their honeymoon in Italy after departing from the then Renfrew Airport.

Robin was initially stationed in Largs, but on his return from honeymoon he was transferred to Dalmellington, where he remained until his return to Largs in 1971.

The couple had two children, Gail and Tracey, with Tracey following in her father's footsteps by joining the police.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Robin recently pictured with his daughters Tracey, on left, and Gail.Robin recently pictured with his daughters Tracey, on left, and Gail. (Image: Knox family)

Robin was on duty during the miners' strike in 1984, and as the local constable he 'booked' the most arrests ever through Largs police station after some 1,000 striking miners descended on the ore terminal in May of that year in a bid to stop coal and ore being brought in from overseas. 

And during his time in Dalmellington he was one of the first police officers to go down the Ayrshire mines as part of health and safety checks.

Towards the end of his time in the police, he was based in both Largs and Saltcoats, before he retired in 1992 at the age of 48.

After retirement, he worked in a variety of jobs in the security business, putting his police experience to good use. 

Robin also had a lifelong passion for golf, becoming one of the youngest ever captains of Beith Golf Club. He went on to become a member at Routenburn, where he struck up a long-term friendship with legendary golf coach and professional Bob Torrance and future Ryder Cup winning son Sam.

His love of the sport saw him win many a police golf tournament, while he spent many years as greens convener at Largs Golf Club, where he also served as captain.

He was a keen member of Halkshill Bowling Club and, thanks to his experiences at Spier's School, retained a fondness for rugby.


Largs and Millport Weekly News: Robin is pictured on the third row, far left, with Elaine, at police ball at Marine and Curlinghall Hotel in 1970s.Robin is pictured on the third row, far left, with Elaine, at police ball at Marine and Curlinghall Hotel in 1970s. (Image: Newsquest)

Robin loved the great outdoors and walks around the countryside. As a youngster he once walked all the way from Beith to Largs on foot, and appeared in a busy beach photograph which appeared in national newspapers.

His experience of the countryside was of great help to the other emergency services, as it meant he was able to lend his knowledge and expertise for searches in the Ayrshire hills.

Despite the health difficulties which affected him in his later years, Robin was able to spend his 80th birthday at home in Glen Avenue, Largs on July 4 with his family and friends, including four grandchildren aged between 18 and 22.

Asked about his years of service to the police and to his local community, Tracey said: "I think my dad liked helping people. Folk think police is about jailing people but 90 per cent of the day-to-day work is helping others - from attending road incidents, to meeting people. there is a lot of good work that doesn't sometimes get recognised.

"He was a well known face in the Largs police, and treated people fairly. 

"I think this is why he was so well respected, and seen as a friendly and trustworthy figure."

Elaine, 82, who worked as a legal secretary in Largs, said: "At one point Robin was offered a promotion to work in the east end of Glasgow, but he loved Largs, and he wanted his girls to be brought up here, and he refused it so he could stay.

"He also occasionally would go over to cover Millport, and lots of people knew him on the Isle of Cumbrae too.

"As soon as he came to work in Largs, he didn't want to leave."

Robin's funeral will be held at the Clyde Coast and Garnock Valley Crematorium on Friday, July 28 at 2pm.

Donations, if desired, may be made in Robin's memory to Ayrshire Hospice, who were a great source of help and comfort to Robin and his family.