Mrs. E A Sherratt has sent us the following obituary of her father.
Alderman Alan Courtenay Brazendale
15/12/1924 – 31/01/2014
Alan Brazendale was born in the Wirral, the eldest of two brothers. His father, George, was a master mariner, carrying on a long family association with the sea, and during the war Alan trained as a radio mechanic with the Navy. It was during his training period in Perth that he met, and later married, Betty Carr.
Alan was highly intelligent, and earned a scholarship to Birkenhead School, and was proud to retain his association with the school as an 'Old Birk'. His commitment to education remained throughout his life. He qualified as an accountant after the war, and moved to the North-east in the 1950s for the sake of his wife's health, working for the Coal Board. He did some part-time lecturing at Newcastle Polytechnic before being appointed as a senior lecturer in Management Studies, and later set up a business providing in-set training for local organisations.
He had always had an active involvement in politics, and was a member of the Labour Party for most of his life. He was elected to Gateshead Council in the mid-1970s, serving as Chairman of Education for many years. He had the honour of being elected Mayor of Gateshead for 1980-81, and traveled abroad for the first time when the Gateshead team went to Germany for the international round of It's a Knockout. Having got the travel bug, he and Bet went further afield with a cruise on the Rhine, and later on , a trip to Russia, which he enjoyed enormously.
Sadly, he lost both his wife and his seat on the Council in the same year, shortly after retiring from his job as a lecturer, and had to adjust to a very different, quieter life. He was never one to be unoccupied for long, and soon set up a small printing and publishing business, but when it was sold, Alan was able to devote more time to his writing. He had several books published on local history, and was often in demand as a guest lecturer around the region. He was particularly noted for his knowledge of early wooden wagon ways in the north-east . He was a founder member of the Whickham and District History Society, and served as their chairman until forced to retire through ill-health.
In recognition of his many years of service to the Council and his work in promoting Gateshead through his writings, he was appointed an Honorary Alderman in 2005, an honour which he was proud to receive from the region which he had adopted as his home.
Alan was a wonderful father to Elizabeth and a caring and doting grandfather to his grandson Timothy. He was married to Betty Carr for almost half a century, and cared for her during the last years of her life. As a family man, he was always loving and supportive and will be desperately missed.