was born in Birkenhead on the 30th November 1920 to
Cornish parents. He was the fourth son of five brothers and two
sisters. Although his parents were Cornish they previously resided
in Stevenston and returned there less than a year after Alanís birth
where his father worked for ICI. His early education was at
Stevenston primary and Ardrossan Academy. In the summer he was
working in the lab with ICI at Ardeer awaiting the start of a
medical degree course at Glasgow University.
With the outbreak of war, although
he was in a reserved occupation, he volunteered for an officerís
course with the Royal Navy. In the meantime he was sent to train as
a torpedoman in Portsmouth and was involved in the clear up after
the severe bombing of the town and docks in late 1940. He joined HMS
Exmoor, a Hunt class destroyer at Wallsend-on-Tyne in February 1941
and served as Navigator Seaman in the North Atlantic then round
Africa to the Mediterranean. When his father died in 1943 he spent
some time in a desk job in Portsmouth. Subsequently as a Leading
Seaman he was sent across the Atlantic through the Panama Canal to
the West Pacific on the Landing Craft Carrier Empire Battleaxe
attached to the United States Navy.
In June 1944 Alan married Jean
Wilson from Stevenston. This was a marriage that was to last for 62
years. After demob he obtained a BSc in Maths and Physics at Glasgow
University and a Teacherís Certificate at Jordanhill College. It was
during this time that his two sons Alisdair and Graham were born.
His first teaching job was at Patna in 1951 at which time the family
moved to Crosshill. They still have the same house 56 years on! In
1952 he went to Carrick Academy initially teaching Science but
subsequently taught Maths for almost 30 years. He retired in 1982 as
Assistant Rector and Head of Guidance.
In 1946 he joined British Legion
Scotland and enthusiastically supported them all his life serving
many years as Branch Secretary. After the closure of Crosshill
Branch he joined Prestwick. Latterly he took an unofficial but keen
interest in the work of Hollybush House. Alan enjoyed his bowling
and was for many years Treasurer of Crosshill Bowling Club and
served a year as President. He was an enthusiastic member of the
South Ayrshire ex-Presidents Bowling Association and had a life
Membership. The highlight of his bowling career was when he was a
member of the Crosshill rink which won the Scottish Senior Fours
Championship at Ayr in 1996.
A founder Member of Maybole
Toastmasters which evolved into the Carrick Speakers Club he was a
member of the original Social Club Committee which was the
forerunner of Carrick Sports Club. Although he was not, for health
reasons, still involved with the Club he organised a group of
Crosshill cronies to attend the annual Burns Supper and was planning
this yearís trip.
Alan served as District Councillor
for Crosshill in the days of the County Council from 1960 until 1975
and became a JP in 1970. Lately deteriorating eyesight and general
health had forced him to give up bowling and driving but he still
remained active in his garden and home.
His death occurred suddenly at
home on the morning of January 14th 2007 as he was looking forward
to his granddaughterís wedding in June.