Friday, 18 May 2007

Interview: Alan Belshire

Mr Alan Belshire is someone I feel I’ve known all my life and yet a month a go we hadn’t met.

As we sat in his study, the 66-year-old gave an insight into his relaxed approach to life – "it’s important to laugh at yourself, otherwise what’s the point!"

It’s this fun loving character that’s led to a running joke in the house.

A storyteller at heart, Alan used to tell his children when younger, many tales about "Dogsbody Hollow".

The name derived from Alan’s imagination and also due to their home being situated on a hill.
When they grew up, they created a "Dogsbody Hollow" plaque, which takes pride and place in the porch – "I often find people staring at it bemusedly!"

It is with fondness that Alan speaks of his children and indeed he also fondly remembers his own childhood.

"It was the 4th year of the war", Belshire recalls, "and my Dad had to remove a wasp’s nest stuck in our car".

"My dad attached a hose pipe to the exhaust of our Austin, to drench them out!"
It goes without saying it was an extermination even the Daleks would have saluted.

"It was very impressive!" Alan adds amusedly.

For 35 years Belshire worked as a solicitor, running his own firm "Alan Belshire & Co." in Winton.

However, although he enjoyed it, it wasn’t always clear what would happen next.

"Once a month, I had to represent the local bad lads in prison.

But you had to be nice, otherwise you could be stuck in a cell with them, if the police forgot you were there!"

Alan’s family consists of 7 grandchildren as well as his 3 children (Carol, Katy and John).

It’s not always a good thing though – "It can cause a headache at Christmas!"

Now retired, Alan now shares time with his wife Wendy and also works for Victoria Park Methodist Church.

As pastoral secretary, one of the hardest tasks he finds is to stick to word limits writing church news articles.

I couldn’t agree more.

Mark: 67 (2:1)