Born in Stockport in 1921, Alan left school at 14 to become, ironically, an apprentice decorator. That particular burgeoning career was interrupted at the outset of war, and Alan was to serve for several years in the British Army during the second world war.
On return to the UK, Alan attended evening classes, studying art at Stockport College, committing to a full time course in the late 1940s.
Taken up by the Crane Kalman Gallery in Manchester soon thereafter, Alan was to have many successful solo exhibitions, in time transferring with Crane Kalman to its London location. Many additional exhibitions followed, included the Osborn Gallery New York. After Alan’s premature death in 1978, retrospective shows were held at the Stockport Art Gallery and in 1995 a major retrospective at Crane Kalman in London.
In the early 1950s, Alan began to visit and paint scenes in and around St. Ives, Cornwall, and was to settle there for over a decade. He subsequently lived in Gloucestershire, but continued to visit and paint his native Stockport.
Alan is today regarded as one of the most important of the painters within the twentieth century Northern School, with his work held by many prestigious public bodies, including the Arts Council England, University of Liverpool, Museums Sheffield and Glasgow and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.