Alan Brearley: [Heath 1932–1937]

Alan was born on 3 June 1921. An only child of devoted parents, he started his education at Salterhebble Primary School in 1926. His academic prowess quickly came to the fore as he won a scholarship to study at Heath in 1932. To look at his reports he was top of year during his time there. In 1937 he passed his Oxford School Certificate with straight As except history with a lowly B. His desire to go to university was not fulfilled due to family illness.

It was decided that he should take up positions in business or commerce. Between 1938 and 1944 he undertook positions with two local woollen mills providing him with a sound grounding for his future specialisation in the wool and textile technical issues. In 1944 he moved to the Wool Industries Research Association in Leeds where he progressed until 1958 when he moved into the education field. From 1958 to 1966 he successfully applied for a position as Senior Lecturer in Textiles at Huddersfield Technical College, part of which later became part of Huddersfield University. From there he moved to Dewsbury and Batley Technical and Art College, initially as Head of Textiles, then in 1972 as Vice Principal.

Head and shoulders of Alan Brearley in his nineties
Alan Brearley

Alan retired in 1979 but filled his time with many and varied activities most prominent of which was his membership of Probus to which he gave much of his time and energy. He was made a Life Member in recognition of his work and effort for Probus.

Alan married his beloved Rhoda in 1960 and remained devoted to her until her death in 2004. In 2013 following a heart attack Alan moved to Trinity Fold where he stayed until he passed away on 5th July 2016.

Active right until the end Alan characteristically was on the residents’ committee and hosted a morning Easy Listening hour for the residents using his extensive collection of music. Trinity Fold will miss his votes of thanks to any visiting speakers or performers.

Finally it should be mentioned how proud Alan was of his connection with Heath. If you were from Heath then you were OK! He was particularly amused when he discovered at one point that he was the oldest old boy left in the association. This is a bit extensive but you cannot dismiss Alan in a few words.

Richard Hoyle

[Editor’s note: no one who was there will forget Alan’s after dinner speech at the 2008 Reunion Dinner.]