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Memories of Alan Brown

Our Memories of Alan Brown by Dave & Vanessa Miller

In our early days as ski club members (probably around the year 2000) Vanessa and I were on a holiday to Saas Fee in the Swiss Alps, just the two of us. This was an area we had walked previously in summer but had not skied before.

On the evening of our arrival we were wandering through the village and saw a vaguely familiar figure walking towards us. Vanessa recognised him as someone from the club, we’re not sure where from, not a club holiday we don’t think but no doubt some other club event. We could see this man sort of recognised us too and we stopped to chat.

It was Alan Brown in the heyday of his ski repping for the SCGB and he’d arrived in resort a week before his planned stint as rep to learn the area from the incumbent rep, never having skied there before himself.

Alan persuaded us to meet up and ski with them the next morning (it didn’t take much arm twisting). We duly did and found ourselves in a small group of six including Alan and the rep, whose name escapes me, and we gave the area a thorough bashing. After a great day and having exhausted our free pass to be led we paid our SCGB dues and arranged to meet again on the morrow.

Depending how you look at things the weather for the week was either abysmal or excellent with poor visibility and heavy snowfall a lot of the time. We thought it was great, with testing conditions and deep snow everywhere the leadership from Alan and the rep really brought out our abilities. More or less the same people turned up each day and we gelled into a tight knit group as the week went on.

Apart from skiing with the group in the SCGB sessions we also skied together with Alan when he gave us a masterclass in how to cope with various conditions, from the heavy powder in Saas Fee to borderline icy on a visit to the lower area around Saas Grund. I still keep stuff in my skiing toolbox I learned from Alan that week.

Apart from the skiing, Alan invited us to join him and the rep for dinner where they were staying in the swanky Schweizerhof, which was very pleasant bonus.

Since then we’ve enjoyed Alan’s company on many and varied occasions; skiing, hiking or other events, but one of my most vivid memories of Alan is that great week in Switzerland.

So, thanks Alan for that week, the many other times we had your company and for the great service you gave to the club over the years.

Memories of Alan Brian & Helen Richardson

We met Alan through SCoM, through skiing, — of course — , but we got to know him also through other Club events. I can no longer recall the timeline, except that it was at least two decades ago; maybe as far back as the early 1990s. My main recollection of skiing with Alan is how, before the first run of the day, Alan would take us through warm-up exercises. It must have been a surprising sight for other skiers, when a group of us, using our poles for support, were stretching and swinging our legs and doing leg dips, etc, to loosen our joints before setting off.

Brian recalls how he and Alan had snowboard beginner lessons together in Courcheval. Although both felt it was a worthwhile and fun experience, they agreed it “wasn’t for them”, and would stick to skiing, — which they did.

We have great memories of pleasurable annual SCoM garden party afternoons munching Alan’s speciality BBQ’d sausages, — alongside admiring and having a tour of Alan and Caro’s beautiful garden at no. 64. Alan took great pride in his gardening, and was justly proud not only of their garden there, but also, of how he was developing the garden at his bungalow, where we visited him a few times. Not to forget are the fun times visiting Alan and Caro’s wood, being impressed by Alan’s hedge layering expertise, as well as having guided walks through the woodland, and sharing a cuppa and cake in the helicopter hangar there with Alan and Caro. I look back also on the enjoyable walks which Alan and Caro together led some of us on during SCoM Lake District early May weekends.

Alan’s company will surely be greatly missed by many in the Club.

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