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News > Churcher's Chat > Churcher's Chat - Series 1, Article 3

Churcher's Chat - Series 1, Article 3

We chat to Alan Horan (47) about his memories of Churcher's...

Do you remember your first day at Churcher’s? 

Yes, it was cold! They decided to put me in a lower dormitory, Rodney, to start with on the grounds that it would be warmer for me, having just arrived from Egypt. All dormitories had the windows open for good ventilation, even in winter. To be fair, the Rodney boys did not object to having a Drake amongst them! 

What was your favourite subject? 

Mathematics 

Was there a teacher that particularly inspired you? 

The maths teacher, Mr R. Eaton, and Headmaster, a physicist (who had been on the famous Barnes Wallis bouncing bomb team). 

Also, Mr Dimond, chemistry. He very kindly arranged a quartet with him on Cello, Mrs Dimond on Viola, Les Harfield on piano (he was with me in Mathematics in U VI;  was a very good pianist and organist) and me on Violin – I feel sorry for them all in retrospect! 

Do you have a standout memory of your time at Churcher’s? 

We were in one of the top classrooms in January 1945 and I had recently arrived from Egypt. It was snowing – I had never seen snow and was quite mesmerised by the sight of falling flakes of snow; so much so that I was unaware of the instruction of the teacher (I think it was Kershaw) to the remainder of the class not to disturb me in my reverie! When I realised how I had been watched, the class burst out laughing! I did not mind!! 

I was quite good at tennis and a much-publicised match was set up between H L Fuller and me. He was a natural at sports. It was quite a match watched by most of College – but I am sorry to say that he won. We were both in Drake House.  

What did you do after leaving school? 

I studied at Birmingham University, Chemical Engineering Department, for my first degree and later for a PhD. I then went into the oil business, starting in Kuwait and then later in Abu Dhabi (twice: 1960- 62 and then General Manager for ADMA-OPPCO, the offshore oil company 1971-1982). Finally I worked with BP North Sea and then various minor industry activities. I was granted an OBE in 1979.

What is your proudest achievement? 

Settling into a new environment and being able to participate in so many of the facilities offered by Churcher’s: sport, music, and other activities. 

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Enjoy your schooldays! 

What would you say is one thing that makes Churcher’s special? 

The welcome which was offered to me bearing in mind that I had just arrived from Egypt and was relatively unfamiliar with my new surroundings. As far as I can assess, Churcher’s reputation was a good one. 

Thank you very much to Alan for taking part in Churcher's Chat.

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