Remembering Murray Roberts

worms-head-gower 550 Michael has sent me a message with sad news from a wild and beautiful corner of the British Isles – home to one of the founding fathers of This Thing That We Do:

Hello Valdor, I’ve got some sad news I’m afraid. I’ve just had a phone call from Gower. Murray has died. He hadn’t been well for a long time. He was a lovely fellow; I’d known him for over 40 years. It was through the Janus Bookshop initially, when as a youngster I read its Collectors Corner, something of a forerunner of your marvellous site here.

I told them I’d like to talk with whoever put the Corner together, and he got in touch with me. We stayed in touch ever after – even when he left London (where he had worked though he actually lived in Herts then) I’d go down to Gower to stay with him, particularly latterly when joining his wife to go on the long trip to Australia to see their daughter was getting beyond him.

Latterly too he let me drive his car which was getting a bit beyond him. The previous summer there had been an incident with some sheep when he was driving me from Swansea Station across the moors-LOL. He was a real pioneer in the collection of spanking memorabilia, and a tireless researcher for new material. We spankos all owe him a lot.

He had one or two colleagues in America but on this side of the pond Murray Roberts was the first to record and share mainstream spankings. His seminal Collector’s Corner in Janus was avidly followed by a generation of up and coming spankos including yours truly. I never met him myself but, since starting this blog, I have been contacted by many readers who did know him personally and he will be much missed. He first approached me with the idea of submitting some novel extracts to the Spank Statement and the Library of Murray Roberts series was born. It ran for 3 years from 2009 – 2012. He was a huge fan of Kiss Me Kate and researched many pictures from that musical, and in 2011 he wrote a guest post on the subject. He also supplied rare movie clips to both the Spank Statement and Chross even though his lack of computer skills made this very difficult for him. In October 2010 the Spank Statement posted Murray’s personal list of all time favourite movie spankings. Murray was in his mid 80s and he kept up his interest right to the end. I know he made arrangements to preserve his huge collection of spanking memorabilia. Looking back, I last heard from him in September 2014 when he told me that, despite poor health, he was very much enjoying Harry’s theater series of posts. The view in the picture is one that Murray would have known and loved. As Michael says in his message, we all owe him a lot and I’m sure you will want to join me in paying tribute to the life and work of Murray Roberts. We will always remember him.

Introducing Murray Roberts
Kiss me Kate by Murray Roberts
Reader’s Top Tens – Murray Roberts
From the Library of Murray Roberts
Eloge de la Fessee by Jacques Serguine

10 thoughts on “Remembering Murray Roberts”

  1. Very sad news indeed – but I’m inspired by the fact that Murray kept his interest well into his eighties – hope for all of us.

    I think my favourite memory of Murray was how on earth, he managed to get two great photos of Billie Whitelaw (who also sadly died recently) having her bottom spanked in Simon Gray’s stage play “Molly”. Cameras were quite bulky back then – and banned from theaters(?) when Murray took those pictures (wonder if he dared use a flash?) and i assume that he must have been hanging over the circle balcony to get the shots – he deserved a medal for that act of heroism – or inducted into the “Spanking Hall of Fame”
    – without him i doubt whether there would have been any photographic evidence of the TWO spanking scenes in the one play – along with loads of other largely forgettable films that have been preserved forever only because he painstakingly managed to obtain copies (reel to reel from all over the world at considerable cost) and transfer them over to video 25 years ago.

  2. It is indeed sad news to hear of the passing of Murray. Over the last few years I was fortunate enough to exchange several emails with him in his quest to obtain all of the vintage Kiss Me Kate spanking pics that I could lay my hands on. He had even offered to pay me to do the research but how could one even consider taking a dime from a man who had given so much to the community?

    Those of us who collect nowadays have it easy, relatively speaking. All we need to know is how to use a computer and use our free time to spend countless hours searching for material. When Murray was doing this it was the old fashioned way, painstakingly following up leads and as Martyn said above, probably at an expense that we could only imagine. Again, there are a few of us who pay quite a bit to locate this material, whether finding it online or ordering it, but it is probably only a fraction of what Murray paid out. Our rewards are pretty instantaneous as well, can you imagine the weeks Murray had to wait to receive something that he ordered?

    I had sent him all I could in regards to Kiss Me Kate, and even then he was such a connoisseur that some of the pictures that were really small or distorted probably only frustrated him a bit because he enjoyed them so much.

    Murray certainly was an inspiration to those of us who make a hobby out of discovering rare material, but as noted already, we really do have it easy. And a lot of the material we produce was originally noted by Murray so he provided us with the foundation for us to provide more to the community.

    Even though the point may be moot right now, I would like to say a big thanks to Murray for his tireless work, he provided our community with so much.

    Richard Windsor

  3. Like all collectors of spanking memorabilia I will miss Murray as well. He did know much about all mainstream spanking events in plays, tv and comics. I as well would like to thank Murray for his work and sharing it with us all.

  4. Sad news. I didn’t know Murray personally & his Janus work rather predates me, but he was certainly a familiar name from this site & elsewhere on the internet – I did particularly enjoy his ‘Library’ series here, many great extracts which may never have seen the light of day without his work. RIP

  5. Sad News. I once, some years ago, actually received an email from him on one of the older yahoo.groups about mainstream movie spankings, and he was very Kind to me as a Young upstarting hobby researcher in that field. He was a real pioneer. Maybe the Internet community should honour him, by installing an online Award the “murray roberts prize” which could be a joint venture of chross blog, Richard Windsors page and spank Statement (since these are the three absolutely predominant sites for spanking Research) and should be given each year for the most outstanding and rare finding of that year. This would encourage People to carry on the Tradition and honour one of those who started the entire Thing Long before the Internet. His Name would not be forgotten that easily. Just an idea.

  6. Good lord. I didn’t know Murray had passed. I last purchased a pair of English late 1940s booklets from Murray in 2013. When he ceased to reply to emails, I simply thought nothing of it. Recently-ish, I tried again, only to have it “bounce”. Searched around, found this blog. Depressed. Murray was attempting in the end to assist me with my British saucy / spicy magazine collecting. If anyone else out there can help, could you possibly forward my letter to them? My email addy is:
    Feel free to give my email and info to anyone that might be of assistance.

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