Allan was for many years the Secretary of the FR Midland Group. He also founded and ran the Conwy Valley Railway Museum at Betws y Coed, where he operated a popular 7¼" gauge railway.
He was born in Nottingham, but moved to Llandudno, where he went to school. He joined the Army in 1942, serving in the Royal Engineers.
After the war he trained as a teacher, teaching mathematics, science and cricket at West House School, where he became headmaster of the junior school and met another teacher, Joyce Dodds, later Mrs Pratt. They had two children, Anne and Roger. They spent many of their holidays at the old WHR station house at Snowdon Ranger.
In 1955 he became involved in the revival of the FR after Allan Garraway asked Rob Smallman to form a Midland group of the Society. He attended the first meeting at Rob's father's house and served on the committee for many years. Eventually his enthusiasm for narrow-gauge railways overcame him and he moved to Betws y Coed around 1970 to found the Conwy Valley Railway Museum. He ran the museum until he retired in the mid 1980s, when he and Joyce moved to Deganwy.
He was an expert modeller, specialising in narrow-gauge prototypes on 'O'-gauge track. He was a pioneer in the construction of garden railways and helped to found the 7¼" Gauge Society. He was also a considerable photographer of the old style, doing his own developing and printing.
See also[edit source]
- "Article", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 202, page(s): 647