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An Obituary and Memories of Alan Westwater

Alan was born on 16th June 1939 to parents Eva and Andrew Westwater.
He had two sisters, Joan and Joyce, now deceased and brother Fred, aged 86, living in Lanchester, Co Durham.
Alan was married to Margaret on 17th February 1963 and they have three children, Jamie, Janet and Claire and six grandchildren.

Alan attended primary school in Annfield Plain and, as a young boy, joined Oxhill Boys Brigade. He quickly rose through the ranks of the Boys Brigade and became a junior officer at the age of 17.
Alan took part in many external activities with the Boys Brigade and held records locally and in the Northern District for athletics.
In the Sixth Form of Stanley Grammar School he won the County Championship athletics for the 440 yards and held this record for a number of years.
Alan trained as a Sports and History teacher and worked at Shield Row School, then Greencroft school before beginning business in Sports Trade.
He continued in business with his brother Fred, running family sweet shops and tobacconists and a sports and toys shop.
Involved as a Local councillor, elected in 1976, he served almost 20 years as an independent.
Alan helped many local people saving houses from demolition in Oxhill and New Kyo and protecting the Old peoples homes in South Moor from flooding.
Throughout his teenage years, Alan was a member of Oxhill Methodist Youth Club and in 1962 he took on the role of Youth Club leader.
Alan continued as leader for over 50 years in which time it went from strength to strength. His leadership skills were key in the youth club surviving two fires, and with money raised the youth club was rebuilt with superior facilities.
Alan also raised money for cancer research and supported hundreds of young people providing opportunities in both sport and pantomime to name a few.
The Pantomime, a popular local event, was performed annually at Stanley Civic Theatre, raising money for Youth Cub Funds and Cancer Research and Alan always played the Dame.
The Youth Club will be organising some celebration of Alan's life after the pandemic restrictions so that his achievements in the Youth Club can be celebrated.
In 2012 Alan gave up his active leadership of the youth club due to his illness and he was made a life long president.
Alan was an accomplished sportsman in his Youth representing Durham County in athletics and apocryphally playing for Leeds United reserves whist at Carnegie College in Leeds.
He progressed to Loughborough College to complete his studies in Physical Education. He was a lover of all sports and actively encouraged many to play football and table-tennis.
An avid fan of Newcastle United football Club, he was honoured to meet Bobby Robson.
Alan was involved in too many businesses to list here. He was the representative For Hummel Sports in the UK which allowed him the opportunity of selling football boots to many of the top football teams.
He later became the Manager for Aral Sports who manufactured sports clothing including The England Football team training kit.
He moved from the Sports trade to the hotel business running hotels on the Isle of Wight and it was that business he was involved in before he retired

Alan was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2002 and became too ill to continue in working life
He was cared for magnificently by his wife Margaret. She met his every need with patience and kindness.
Alan was characterised by huge energy, drive and a fighting spirit - this fighting spirit was present even at the end.
He suffered well over a hundred falls in his illness in latter years and, when hospitalised with Covid 19, took a week to succumb to the illness on April 20th 2020.
Alan will be fondly remembered and missed by all his family, friends and business associates.
Jane Reed (niece)

Alan taught at Tanfield 1960/1961, while Bill Geddes was at college, where he monitored Winter Cross Country lessons taking the “Tanfield Route” from the pit heap opposite the school wearing one of the thickest longest great coats I have ever seen and binoculars – its funny how some things stick in the mind.
Peter Brown

I’ve just found out about the passing of Alan Westwater. What a fantastic man he was! It’s hard to believe.
Alan took me away on many enjoyable holidays to Devon, the Lake District and even to watch the commonwealth games in 2002 to name a few!
Alan used to show me table tennis tips when the men used to practice on a week night for the north east league games... he always had a cheeky glint in his eye and knew lots of jokes and always used to make me laugh!
20+ years ago when I first started appearing in the Oxhill Youth Club’s annual pantomime, Alan used to always play the leading lady (Widow Twankey etc) and he was a master at his craft! He founded the youth club in 1962 and it’s still going strong now!
One thing Alan used to always do was say goodbye to you and then wait until you were about twenty yards away and shout over to you and motion for you to come back... you’d walk back over and he’d say ‘take care son, see you again...’, it always got a laugh and a ‘Arrrr Alan man!’ 🤣 *shakes fist*
James Ward

He put so much into the community and helped hundreds of people from loads of generations.
David Walton

A huge loss to the communities in and around the Stanley area. Alan had a huge heart and mad sense of humour and was a pretty good table tennis player in his own right.
David Robson

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