After his House Officer post in Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast in 1949, Robin took a temporary post as a general practitioner (GP) in the mining village of Sherburn, Durham, England (February to September 1950) before taking up his new training post in the Royal Maternity Hospital Belfast. His return to Belfast turned out to be short-lived, although highly significant; for it was then that he re-met his future wife. The doctor, for whom he had been substituting in Durham, was an alcoholic and he committed suicide in November 1950. It was then that Robin, at the age of 24, was invited to become a full partner in that dispensing practice, and he stayed there until 1970. Curiously, although in Durham for those 20 years Robin never had any knowledge of the 17th century Harlands whose homes could have been quite nearby.