Student helps to turn man’s life into book

Alan Brearley from Halifax who was approached by a student at Crossley Heath School, Havishma Sreedharala, aged fifteen, to be the subject of her DofE project. She set herself the formidable task of writing an autobiography of Alan�"s life which has been compiled into a small book.
Alan Brearley from Halifax who was approached by a student at Crossley Heath School, Havishma Sreedharala, aged fifteen, to be the subject of her DofE project. She set herself the formidable task of writing an autobiography of Alan�"s life which has been compiled into a small book.

The fascinating history of a man’s life has been turned into a book thanks to the dedicated help of a student.

When Crossley Heath School student Havi Sreedharala began visiting Trinity Fold care home, she never imagined she would help to compile a biography of one of its residents - and make a lifelong friend in the process.

Havi, 15, began visiting the home, at Blackwall, Halifax, in 2013 as part of her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.

At the time, the home wanted to compile notes on the lives of the residents - Havi jumped at the chance to help out and began visiting Alan Brearley every week.

“Alan’s life was really interesting, every time I came he was ready and looking forward to my visits,” Havi said.

“It was really nice to spend an hour with him every week. I loved hearing about his wife and their love story, it was really nice to write about.”

As the pair began to compile notes on Alan’s life, a firm friendship was soon born

Havi added: “It was great to hear all his little stories. He was really passionate about completing the project, he is a hard worker and is lovely, really down-to-earth and a good friend.”

And Alan, 94, and a former pupil of Crossley Heath, enjoyed the journey down memory lane to unearth his past and said it was lovely that Havi took an interest.

“I looked forward to it, especially when I knew we were getting somewhere,” he said. “It got my life in order and it was nice to go back and think about all the things I’ve done.”

When the time came to put the book together, Alan found another friend in Alexia El-Merhebi, of Calderdale College, who took on the task of typing all the notes up for the biography.

Alexia, Marketing & Schools Liaison Coordinator at Calderdale College, 30, said: “Alan is an extraordinary man and has led such a remarkable life, he is a constant inspiration to everyone around him and has dedicated his life to the Halifax textile industry - writing and editing a series of books which became standard works and educating young people across Halifax, Huddersfield and Dewsbury. As the College’s oldest former student and member of staff we are extremely proud of what he has achieved and he is a great example to us all.”

For a copy of the book, “Some Aspects of the Life of Alan Brearley”, contact Trinity Fold care home on 0800 020 9524.