In May 1977 Alan and I were married and apart from the first year, we lived for twenty four years in the Chiltern village of Frieth. Four of the children,Daniel, Ann, Geoff and Suse, lived with us and attended Frieth primary school and Nick, Martin and Pete visited at weekends and holidays. // Despite Alan’s initial reservations concerning the inconveniences of living in the country with a growing family, namely the limited transport and lack of amenities, (including a temperamental septic tank, frequent power cuts and snowdrifts across the fields blocking us in) he threw himself wholeheartedly into village life and revelled in the beauty of the surrounding countryside.// Alan joined the Frieth Village Society committee and suggested that they compiled a booklet about village life in olden times. He was instrumental in bringing about the publication of “Frieth a Chiltern Village” working closely with Mrs Joan Barksfield, a formidable local historian and school teacher at the village school who took on the major role of contributing and collating all the information. Some years previously Alan had gained the vicar’s permission to borrow copies of the old Parish magazines. These dated back to 1860 and were kept in an old tin trunk in Hambleden church (Quite how he discovered this I don’t know!) and having made copious notes of Frieth -related articles he was well placed to sift through these and submit them for entry into the new booklet. He also sourced many old photos. All 500 copies sold out immediately and as demand was high, a larger reprint had to be ordered.// Alan loved collecting by-gone items including tools and farm equipment - in fact he could be described as a hoarder ! Our loft groaned under the strain of all manner of fascinating collectables - Mammoths teeth and fossils were some of my favourites - but there was also a 1920s bicycle in the garage awaiting renovation in a spare moment - which unfortunately never came! He was asked to put on an exhibition in the village hall and everyone was astonished at the variety and volume of items. Word soon spread and many folks who’d missed it hoped to come the next day but unfortunately the hall had been booked for a party so the exhibition had to be dismantled.// However, his most treasured acquisitions were books. Every month he would go to the Turville book sale and come back armed with a new supply. Nearly all were non fiction covering subjects such as local history, London and world history, wartime tactics, autobiographies, travel, cricket or railways. Soon our shelves were bursting and even the study specially built for his use, became impossible to use as the books took over! // I recall trying surreptitiously to take some old magazines to the book stall at the annual village fete but he spotted them, purchased them all and brought them home again! // Although he didn’t play an instrument himself, Alan loved classical music and to the uninitiated this would often sound very sombre. The children particularly found it quite hard going when Alan played various concertos during long car journeys! However, his taste was not always so serious as he enjoyed songs from the Gang Shows, operas, jazz and big band music like Glen Miller. Less of a problem for the children was his interest in following his football team West Ham! However, there was a certain amount of competition as a few of the boys supported rival teams! Far ahead of his time he liaised with the Governor of Finnamore Wood youth offenders open prison and arranged for some of the lads there to come up and help with our village fete, putting up tables etc. This enabled them to experience the lovely community we had and to witness what could be done when people worked together.// Alan was interested in the environment and once more obtained permission for some of these lads to help clear out two of our village ponds - a messy job but thoroughly enjoyed by all. After completion it was a huge pleasure for this little band of workers to take on the relatively easier task of planting natural small narcissi around the wonderfully clear ponds and to admire their hard work. Rather sadly we learnt that some time later one of the boys was so keen to stay rather than be released back to the east end of London, that he deliberately tried to escape to stay longer in the area. We became members of the Chiltern Society and Alan really enjoyed walking the local footpaths. This love of the outdoors extended to wilder areas especially Dartmoor and the Lake District guided by Wainwright ‘s books which he loved. With his previous knowledge of building canoes he soon had us canoeing down the Wye or out into Wonwell Bay in the South Hams. // We had many a rainy camping holiday, one so wet that we had to be pulled out of a very muddy field by the farmer on his tractor! These holidays were quite a mammoth operation especially if all seven children came. I recall setting off leaving poor Geoff behind on one occasion. Luckily Ann noticed his absence before we had gone very far! And the wonderful Devon holidays were always well worth it and not always wet! // Back home again and it was nearly time for the autumn fruit and flower show. Alan grew lots of vegetables and often won prizes. His biggest rival was a man who lived on the outskirts of the next village and much to everyone’s chagrin just came within the one mile catchment area to be able to enter the show! // Alan loved the old roses, including Gallicas, Damasks, Bourbon and Mosses and we chose and planted a wonderful long hedge of these old fashioned roses, all different and all exquisitely perfumed. They bloomed over a long period and one day we spotted several men crouched down in the field on the other side of them. Feeling concerned and curious Alan asked them for an explanation. They were photographers who were taking advantage of this wonderful display! // Alan had travelled extensively and had taken many “slides” during his travels overland returning from New Zealand . When a speaker didn’t turn up for a monthly Frieth village Society’s meeting, Alan stepped in and showed some of these. Although not a natural speaker, preferring to show these to a few friends coming to supper, the slides were wonderful and the large audience was very appreciative asking many questions at the end (always a good sign!) // In the 1990s Alan became increasingly interested in local and national politics. Being an ardent PR fan, he joined the Lib Dem’s and attended two or three meetings a week. Recognising his enthusiasm he was asked to stand for the Hambleden Valley- unheard of as it is a true blue area and no party had ever stood against the Conservative incumbent! Although he didn’t win he gained a good third of the votes which totally astonished and rocked this Tory stronghold! // A few years later he stood for Lane End where he had set up his own company ACE (Automated Controls and Equipment) This time he won the seat and became Councillor Alan Mountford (district) He had a particular interest in planning and also education and true to form read up on all the relevant rules and policies. He attended numerous specialist and site meetings as well as the regular Council meetings. // Alan was also invited to take on the role of a governor at Ibstone school which he willingly accepted. Being self employed he was able to attend their sports days, nativity plays etc and would sometimes drop in for ad hoc visits which the school seemed to appreciate and he certainly enjoyed.// Alan was an interesting and interested man who contributed a great deal to the community and was a good role model for the children. He bravely bore a terminal illness over many months, not deserved. Rest in loving peace Alan.