During the war, at five years of age, I was evacuated from London to Wales. I’ve got no recollection of my life before. I had been born in Bexhill on Sea but my father became a chef in a London hotel. I don’t know what happened to my parents—whether they were killed in the bombing—but I never heard them again. The only thing I have of my mother’s is a photo that she gave me when I was evacuated.
After the war I stayed with the family who were looking after me. They were mum and dad to me—wonderful parents. He was a deacon of a Baptist chapel and I went with them three times on a Sunday right up until I left to do my National Service in the army. We had really good times—Sunday school outings to Barry or Porthcawl once a year. It felt like a way of life.
I wasn’t the only youngster who went to church. We had no television when I was young and church was something to look forward to; just to hear the rest of the story.
I don’t think my faith has changed that much since being an adult. I’m still a strong believer. I don’t go to chapel but in my own way I pray though not as regularly, perhaps, as I should.
I think I’ve been happiest in my life since I’ve been married and moved up to Wiltshire. We’ve had a good life, forty-six years together. We’ve had three fantastic children. Now we have the grandchildren. They wind me up something rotten but I’d do anything for them. I’m the taxi driver now that they are getting older.
(Recently Alan has had some health problems. He explains about how he felt close to God after heart surgery.)