Alan was a man who had many interests but the one that probably gave him the most satisfaction was the sport of cycling and the many different facets cycling covered. Alan inherited the cycling gene from his grandfather who was a competitive cyclist and when he was a young man held a record for a lap of a big lake in Cumbria. Alan’s father owned a jewellery business in Oakengates in Shropshire. When Alan was a young man he helped his father in the business before going to Hull University where he graduated with a law degree. Alan had various jobs in different parts of the country then in 1976 he moved with his family to live in Glamorgan. He looked for a club in the area and joined Cardiff Ajax and became a valued member. When he had worked in his Father’s jewellery business he had learned the skill of engraving and for many years Alan engraved all the medals and trophies that were presented to the prize winners at the annual club dinners . Alan could always be relied upon for his help when the Ajax club was promoting a racing event. Alan competed in all forms of cycle sport including time trials and road racing but what he liked best was the hard tough winter season of cyclo-cross racing. He was very good at it, he was club cyclo-cross champion many times and Welsh veterans cyclo-cross champion on three occasions . He loved the natural world and during the many hours he spent riding through the maze of lanes in the Vale of Glamorgan, which he knew like the back of his hand, he observed nature through all the different seasons. In the summer he sometimes liked to ride late in the night and told of one occasion when he stopped for a while and quietly watched the activities of a family of badgers in a field before riding on. On occasions Alan had to work away but always took his bike so he could explore the area where he was staying. Once when he was working in west Wales he said on a clear warm night he liked to ride slowly along the beach at Newgale listening to the waves and looking at the stars against the black sky, he liked to be in touch with nature.
Alan was very knowledgeable about cactus growing, his greenhouse was full of many different varieties, he was a member of a horticultural club in Cardiff and won many first prizes in the competitions he entered.
When he was in university Alan was in a judo club and reached a level where he was able to teach other people.
Alan was active in the Barry yacht club and once helped a friend to sail his boat to Portugal. He was very knowledgeable about classical music, he liked to listen to radio three because he said the whole piece would be played, he pointed out that classic F.M. would only play shortened versions of what he liked. Alan was philosophical with a dry sense of humour he liked to have a serious in-depth conversation and put the world to rights, he would have made a good politician.
Alan’s cycling took him all over Britain and to many countries in Europe, when he was following the Tour de France on his bicycle he took a small tent and camped overnight between stages. Alan often rode ten thousand miles in one year and became a member of the exclusive three hundred thousand mile club. Alan was among the older generation of cyclists who still kept active. On a Wednesday all roads lead to the cafe on Cowbridge common, Alan would often ride to the cafe to meet up with his cycling friends and spend a pleasant hour in conversation, getting up to date with all the news before wending his way home again. Alan and Denise met once a month with other cycling friends in the Earl Haigh club in Whitchurch to play skittles, one purpose of the skittle club is to raise money to give to small local charities.
It doesn’t seem that long ago Alan was still very active and enjoying life, doing what he liked best, riding through the lanes of the Vale of Glamorgan. Then, sadly and cruelly his health began to deteriorate and he was forced to give up the things he loved. He knew what was happening to him, he was ready to talk about it and with Denise at his side faced it bravely. His family can be very proud of him. We will all miss you very much Alan.