Alan George Davey was born in West
Ham on 25th May 1930 to George and Flora.
He also had a sister, Renee.
Alan was registered blind at an early age and throughout
his life managed very well with a very small amount of vision.
During the 1939-1945 war the Davey
family moved to Bristol for a short while before settling in Cheltenham,
where Alan spent the rest of his life.
He attended the Royal School for the Blind, Bristol, where
he learned his trade as a piano tuner.
After qualifying in June 1950 he went to work at the Bentley
Piano factory near Stroud. After
a relatively short time, however, he left piano tuning as a full
time profession, and spent the rest of his working life in engineering,
keeping his hand in with a few tunings at evenings or at weekends.
In March 1963 Alan married Stella,
whom he had known at the school in Bristol.
They became proud parents when their daughter, Angela,
was born in November 1964.
Alan was a very active man, with a
wide variety of interests. He
took a keen interest in most sports and was a life-long supporter
of the Hammers. He was
very interested in Cricket and was an avid listener to the test
match commentaries on the BBC.
Alan was known as a man who was very generous with his
time, particularly when there was anyone around who needed a little
help or advice.
Among his other interests, he was
very fond of old time dancing and he ran sessions at a local blind
club for a number of years. He
was also often to be found entertaining various groups with his
keyboard or with his inexhaustible store of humorous tales.
I first met Alan in 1948 when I was
playing for the junior chess team against the seniors at the school
in Bristol. For the next
couple of years we often met up to renew the contest.
We met up again, when I moved to Cheltenham in 1956, and
a regular round of socialising developed with our families and
friends, in particular, Chris and Bob Brown and the late Malcolm
Alan was still playing chess and he
had joined the renowned Cheltenham Chess Club where he played
a number of games in the North Gloucestershire League.
Around that time Alan and I could often be found on a Sunday
lunchtime in the garden of the Albion Inn, with a chess board
on the table between us and a foaming pint of Cheltenham and Hereford
Ale at our elbow.
Alan was enthusiastic and adventurous
in his chess play, rather than studious. He liked nothing better than making, what
he might refer to, as an interesting or speculative move and sit
back to see what happened.
When Alan joined the BCA he soon formed
an alliance with Richard Harrington, Geoff Patching and the late
Francis Collisson. They all enjoyed their walks exploring the
areas where the BCA had landed up for one of its events. They were soon being referred to as the
Alan remained very active until six
years ago, when he suffered a severe stroke which resulted in
a lengthy stay in hospital. Upon leaving hospital he became a
resident of Bay Tree Court, Nursing Home in Cheltenham.
In spite of some difficulties with mobility and with his
speech he refused to give in, and continued to be regular attendee
at the local blind club. He also greatly enjoyed his regular Thursday
visits to his close friends, Chris and Bob Brown when he was able
to enjoy another of his enthusiasms for a game of cards.
Alan died at the nursing home in Cheltenham
on 30th June 2015. His
funeral was held at Cheltenham Crematorium on 16th July, when
BCA members, Chris and Bob Brown and Juliet Reeve were among the
congregation of more than fifty.
Alan will be missed by his many friends.
Our condolences go to his daughter, Angela.
has composed a tribute to Alan in verse:
At Morecambe with blind chess players, how my heart did sink,
But Alan, you made me welcome and said 'Come and have a drink.'
From then on I warmed to those known as the BCA.
Alan, you were a good friend, so I would like to say
Thank you for the memories what happy times we had.
And when you couldn't be with us it made us all quite sad
But you were cheerful to the end, from life's cares you found
It's been good to know you, Alan.
Goodbye and rest in peace.