To be born in a whiskey distillery may, to some, be considered the ultimate good fortune but, for Alan, it was not by choice but by reason of his father being “head distiller” in the John Jamesons Distillery in Smithfield, Dublin.
After schooling Alan set out on a career in the hotel industry starting his training at the Royal Hibernian Hotel with stoking the coal fired ranges and peeling by hand piles of potatoes.
Having mastered those skills Alan moved to Cork where he was appointed a trainee manager of the Hotel Metropole followed two years later by spells in France and London before becoming Assistant Manager of two Trust House Hotels in Kinsale and Clonmel.
In 1970 Alan came to Richmond taking on managerial roles at the Richmond Gate Hotel and in 1978 became Operations Director of European Country Hotels then running not only the Richmond Gate Hotel but also the Petersham Hotel and Hotel Chateau Tilques in France. During this period at the Petersham Hotel Alan provided hospitality to many celebrities, not least the England Rugby squad at times of major matches at Twickenham Stadium.
After twenty eight years in the hotel business Alan left to pursue a new career and joined South West Trains in November 1998 shortly after its privatisation and worked in the Revenue Department as an Inspector. Clearly very successful in that role Alan after two months became a trainer and subsequently Training Champion for the entire South West Trains region from Waterloo to Exeter and Weymouth and the whole south coast.
2006 saw a further change of job when Alan was seconded to the Gateline Project at Waterloo – the introduction of ticket gates – the biggest in Europe with 52 gates.
Alan joined the Rotary Club of Richmond (Surrey)in 1998 as it was then known and has served as its President and throughout has played an active part in the widest range of Club activities. His work has been recognized in the award of a Paul Harris Fellowship, richly deserved.
Alan is married to Nannette, lives in Twickenham, has an abiding love of railways and in his spare time plays a leading role in the Richmond In Bloom Competition and can often be found helping visitors to Richmond to find their way around from his “Tourism Desk” in the main concourse of Richmond Station.
“By the way Alan – when’s the next train from North Sheen to Martins Heron?”