A BUSINESSMAN who worked on some of the biggest projects across the North-East has died.

Eighty six year old Robin Nixon, the owner of J.E. Nixon and Son, worked on Kielder Dam, Matfen Hall, Langley Castle, Eldon Square and Newcastle United’s St James’s Park in a career that spanned almost six decades.

Robin was born at Farnley, near Corbridge, but spent most of his life in Bellingham.

After attending Hexham Grammar School, he completed his National Service, which saw him travel to the Far East for a time

Upon returning to Bellingham, he met a local girl, Glenis Mole, and married her in 1956. The couple had two daughters, Sandra and Gillian, and went on to have four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Robin joined his father’s plumbing business and was made a partner in 1958, before taking the reins himself. He expanded the business and became one of the North Tyne’s biggest employers, working on some of the biggest contracts in the region, as well as countless smaller jobs. He retired in 2015, at the age of 82. Glenis died in 2017.

Aside from work, Robin was passionate about music. He learned to play the piano at the age of seven, and was Hexham Grammar School’s official pianist, as well as winning a silver medal from the Royal Guildhall of Music.

He then went on to play the cornet and the trombone, and was well known for performing in the Ovington Silver Band, Durham Constabulary Brass Band, Backworth Colliery Band and more. At one stage he even performed at the war cemetery in Arnhem.

His daughters, Sandra and Gillian, both paid tribute to their father, who moved to Whitley Bay earlier this year to be closer to his family.

Gillian said: “He was a hard working family man, who loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We had a lot more interaction now we were all together, doing things together. He was always there to advise whenever needed.

Sandra added: “When you get to 86, a lot of your friends are gone, so you rely more heavily on your family. He’s been closer to us all since he moved. He loved his music. Mum used to get exasperated because he had five trombones in the house! He was a great part of all our lives.”

Robin will be laid to rest at the West Road Crematorium in Newcastle on Wednesday at midday.