Alan belongs to: Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade
Alan works as an Instrument Technician offshore. He joined the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade at the age of 18. His family have been involved with the Brigade since it began in 1864. Alan's main job is looking after the searchlight.
Alan was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 30 November 2005. The interview took place at Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade watch house and lasted 22 minutes and 18 seconds.
Call out routine
"Myself, if Iím called out, it doesnít matter what Iím doing, I go"
Myself, if Iím called out, it doesnít matter what Iím doing, I go- thatís what I joined the brigade for. I mean I, I joined the brigade through my heritage, but with a sense that I was doing my job voluntarily, which I wanted to help people. And if someoneís in difficulty, it doesnít matter what time of day it is, what kind of weather it is, Iím out there.
I mean there was one instance, which I have friends who still recall it, that I was going to a dinner dance and I was actually standing on the front door, with a dickie bow tie, tuxedo, white shirt, polished shoes, everything and I stood on the front door, and my wife in her finery waiting for some friends to pick us up. Telephone call came, call out the brigade. First thing I did, I said, ďsorry, pet, but Iíve got to go.Ē So she waited at home while I just grabbed my bag with all my stuff in, waterproofs and what have you, and I just went- didnít change, I came straight down in a dinner jacket and I just put my waterproofs on, Wellingtons on, and went out, did the necessary- it was a terrible night, it was, it was really terrible, the weather. It was, it was sleet, rainy, it wasnít a very nice night at all, we were soaking, basically.
And once the rescue had finished and weíd been stood down, well I did, I didnít bother, just didnít even take my waterproofs off, I put my bag in my vehicle, my car, and drove up to the function, walked in the front door still with my waterproofs on, took them off, took my waterproofs off and put them to one side because it was raining outside so I thought, ďwell, Iím not going to get wetĒ and I actually went in, and people knew, some of them knew where I had been, and they said it was just like James Bond coming through the, coming out of the water. Walked in, waterproofs, peak cap on, absolutely soaking and just walked through the door, took off the jacket, took off the trousers and took peak cap and there I was fully dressed for a dinner dance. And they still make comments about it now. But thatís it- I mean, once, if youíre a brigadesman, youíre dedicated- it doesnít matter where, when or how, if someoneís in trouble, youíre there.
Alan has 11 memories in the memorynet:
Alan's memories with a Traditions theme:
Alan's other memories: