The origins of Robins Paper Bags

Back in 1930, Ernest Robins identified a niche market for packaging supplies. He purchased a bicycle with a large basket on the handlebars and pedalled round the streets of Crayford and Bexleyheath in Kent selling paper bags he bought from a London manufacturer. Thanks to the personal service he offered, he soon built up a thriving business. Moreover, he found that the business kept him remarkably fit, thanks in no small measure to the number of miles he cycled every day.

In time, the old bicycle was pensioned off to make way for a “state-of-the-art” Trojan powered by a single chain wheel drive. Later still, the Trojan was superseded by more up-to-date models.

The business continued to flourish and Ernest gradually expanded his range of products. Later on, he decided to move into manufacturing and started to make his own paper bags.

The company became a fully-fledged family concern when Ernest was joined by his sons, Peter and John, after they completed their national service.

With continued expansion, Robins’ quickly outgrew their premises in Crayford and eventually moved their complete manufacturing operation to a new site in Canterbury, Kent. When Ernest Robins retired, Peter and John continued to run the business and were later joined by Peter’s son – also called Peter.

Older brother, John, retired from the business in the late 1980’s and Peter senior died tragically in 1990 while playing hockey – his lifelong sporting passion. After Ernest’s grandson, Peter Robins juniors’ retirement, the business is now run by Michael Redhead who took over as Managing Director in 2020. He and his dedicated team continue to provide the personal service that Ernest started and they maintain the first-class reputation the company has built over more than 90 years.

The business has seen many changes over the years but the ethos is exactly the same as it was in Ernest’s day – quality product, friendly and efficient service.