Robert Taylor Murray was born in Barry, near Carnoustie, in 1940. Growing up in Westhaven and later residing in Carnoustie itself, he attended Barry and Carnoustie Schools before becoming an apprentice grocer with William Low & Company Ltd. He qualified as a Member of The Grocers’ Institute, and was appointed manager of William Low’s Brantwood branch in Dundee, becoming the company’s youngest ever manager at the age of 19. He later oversaw the Logie Street branch in Lochee.
Robert went on to manage a larger third branch in Dundee and then, after attending further education management courses, discovered he was sufficiently qualified to successfully apply for a post as a lecturer in distributive trades subjects at Dundee Commercial College – a position he held for five years. Realising how much the retail trade was changing and feeling he was less in touch to reflect the current scene, he applied to join The Grocers’ Institute and was appointed Training Development Officer for part of London and east England, where he advised companies and colleges on training in the retail grocery trade.
After two years he returned to the Dundee area when he was appointed Training Officer for Watson & Philip, a national wholesale food distributor. He remained with that company for thirty-three years, during which time he was appointed Personnel Manager and eventually became Group Personnel Manager with responsibility for three thousand employees and, latterly, in the London area.
Following a company acquisition he became redundant at the age of sixty-two. In retirement he has again been actively involved in amateur theatre. He is a member of Tay Writers – a Dundee based writing group – and Angus Writers’ Circle, and writes short stories. He has written a stage presentation on the life of Robert Burns, The Spirit of Robbie Burns, which has been performed several times by amateurs in Tayside. Robbie's first book, The Grocer's Boy: A Slice of His Life in 1950s Scotland, was published by Extremis Publishing in 2018.
Robbie joined Carnoustie Probus Club (which meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month) in 2015, and was Club President for 2017/18. Probus is an organisation for retired or semi-retired professionals from all walks of life. The movement operates worldwide.
In 2021, Robbie was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Fellowship to this learned society is awarded to those who have demonstrated that they have made significant contributions to social change, and who support the RSA's mission of finding practical solutions to social challenges. Since 1754, the RSA Fellowship has been a community of leaders in the fields of art, literature, journalism and business who have made significant contributions to society or the arts.
Robbie has two daughters and four grandchildren. When he is not writing, he enjoys travelling, hill walking and golfing.