Francis Alan Beardmore was born in Stoke, Staffordshire on April 25th 1899. Alan’s father, Francis William Beardmore (Frank), was a well-know manufacturer of earthenware and his mother, Frances Gertrude Bennett, was Arnold Bennett’s sister.
The 1901 census shows Francis Alan, known as Alan, staying with his grandparents, John and Elizabeth, at 188 Waterloo Road. At the time Alan’s parents were at Hatfield House with their yet-to-be-christened three week old daughter, Margaret.
By 1911 Alan was living with his parents, sister Margaret and brothers Roger and George, at 11 The Villas, Stoke on Trent.
In 1917/18 Alan served in the Royal Flying Corps which merged with Royal Naval Air Service to became the RAF on April 1st 1918. In August that year he also became a member of the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom.
After the war Alan attended Loughborough College and, among other things, established himself as a daring motor-cyclist. After the Beacon Hill Climb in May 1921 a reviewer wrote: “Beardmore is another motorist who is cut out for the sport. I like his quiet, unassuming way of ‘going for the bacon’; he is no half-hearted rider and when on the course he goes all out to win.”
On September 2nd 1922 aged 23 Alan embarked on a great adventure. He and eleven companions set out from Buckie on the Moray Firth in a drifter called ‘The Wild Goose’ with the intention of establishing a British colony on one of the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific. They passed through the Caledonian Canal, calling at Milford Haven before crossing the Irish Sea and a stormy Bay of Biscay to Corunna and finally Lisbon. There things began to unravel and eventually the expedition was abandoned and ‘The Wild Goose’ sold.
Alan married Freda Jesse Riley (1904–1979) in April 7th 1928 in Loughborough, Leicestershire. Alan’s best man was his brother Roger.
Alan and Freda’s daughter Ann was born on March 18th 1932 and their son John Richard on July 5th 1934. The family moved to Linton in 1934.
Alan died on February 5th 1977 and Freda died two years later on March 1st 1979.