Alan Beecham has died in hospital in Lewisham Hospital, Kent, from prostate cancer. He was 82. When he left the grammar school, he became a junior reporter on the Lincolnshire Standard, based in Bargate. During his national service in the army, he went to what was Malaya where he sent back reports to his newspaper entitled “With the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment in Malaya”. He was a keen cyclist and a member of the Boston Wheelers.
He left the Standard to work for the Surrey Comet and then the News Chronicle in Fleet Street before joining BBC radio as a sub editor – first with the Overseas Service and then with Radio News at Broadcasting House. He worked for about ten years alongside another former BGS pupil, Alan Ashton (1948-54) whose elder sister Irene had been Alan’s form teacher at his primary school, St. Nicholas. The two Alans were both on duty the night President Kennedy was shot in 1963 and many other notable events. Alan Beecham rose to the status of an assistant editor – one of four – in charge of all radio news on either day or night shifts.
Alan took early retirement after a dispute with his employers over new rota arrangements and spent some of his retirement time giving lectures about films – an interest he said had developed by outings to the cinema after the war arranged by his primary school teacher, the late Irene O’Shaunessy, Alan Ashton’s elder sister. He leaves two sons and a sister.
Words: Alan Ashton