alan buchanan

Good to hear from Alan today (8.6.03). I hope some new photos might follow. Here's his description of his life since school...

"Chris Barclay's long curriculum vitae has inspired me to write a (much shorter) synopsis of what I have been up to for the last 35 or so years.

After leaving school I spent a number of years doing a variety of jobs, including blacksmith, hotel worker, navvy, glass engraver and as a sailor on yachts and in the Merchant Marine. I then, in about 1974, went into business with my then brother-in-law, running a business that rejoiced in the rather long-winded name of 'Self-sufficiency and Smallholding Supplies', selling all sorts of small-scale and amateur farming equipment. (Remember, this was the height of the 'goodlife/back-to-the-land' period.) Running that was great fun for about ten years and we really became internationally quite well known within that interest group. We had customers trekking to our door from as far away as St Helena and Tristendacuna. The business was a partnership, which is a bit like a marriage and, like many marriages, they don't last forever and frequently end in acrimony! The business still exists, after several changes of hands, as mail order only - based near Shepton Mallet.

Luckily my real marriage (1978) to my lovely wife, Joy (formerly 'Liffy'), is still going strong.

After leaving the business I worked briefly as a cave guide in Wookey Hole caves as a stop-gap, then did a 'TOPS' course in computer systems analysis. That enabled me to get a job with Clarks Shoes, who are based in Street (Somerset), only seven miles from my home. I have worked there ever since and am now a Senior System Analyst. We have two children, Ambrose (21) and Corrina (18), both of whom have gone to Bedales for their sixth form. Ambrose is now studying Computer Science at Exeter University (not bad for a boy who, like his father, is very dyslexic!). Corrina is just in the midst of taking A-levels at Bedales.

That's the end of the history. Keep up the good work!

Lots of Love, Alan"