Sunday, 21 July 2019

Successful businessman known for generosity and having fun

Successful businessman known for generosity and having fun

ALLAN RICHARDSON HANNAH died on June 23, aged 70, after a long fight against an incredibly debilitating disease.

Despite the fact that the disease systematically destroyed all his voluntary muscles, he never complained and continued to demonstrate his Tommy Cooper-style sense of humour until the moment he died.

Allan was born in Falkirk and moved to Dumfries in 1960 with his parents Ronnie and Cecelia and younger sister Kathryn.

He attended Glasgow College of Building and qualified as a chartered quantity surveyor with Kean Kennedy and Partners in 1973.

He used his significant intellect to become a very successful businessman with great confidence and huge tenacity.

At the same time, he was always conscious of helping others around him who were less fortunate or not as able.

Allan’s main career started at James Crombie & Sons in 1975, where he worked his way up to become managing director in 1978.

He then moved to work in the Middle East, firstly in Abu Dhabi and then in Riyadh. He was due to return to the UK when — in typical fashion — he bought a campervan and drove the family back across Europe. They had some extraordinary adventures on the way.

On his return to the UK, Allan became managing director at George Depledge & Co in Leeds.

In 1994 he joined Tilbury Douglas plc as joint group managing director based in Twyford and moved to the Henley area. Following a takeover, he became a full board director of Interserve, running the profitable international RMD Kwikform division.

He retired from Interserve in 2004 following a disagreement about the strategy the company was adopting and more recent events might suggest his views were valid.

Beyond everything else, Allan was a family man.

He met his wife Kathleen at the age of 17 and they were married in 1970.

They both delighted in their two children, Kevin and Louise, and their eight grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Allan’s interests were both wide and varied.

He was politically active in his youth as chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Labour Party and was an election agent in the Seventies.

Having moved to Henley, he renewed his passion for rugby (he had played for Riyadh RFC) and joined Henley Rugby Club as a founder member of “The Shiplake Mafia”.

He contributed to the club as both a committee member and financial supporter over many years. Allan’s sense of humour, sociable nature and his love of camaraderie led him to form a partnership with Graham Cromack and Dick Emery to acquire the Baskerville Arms in Shiplake so as to ensure the village maintained a quality pub for the benefit of all.

He carried this on very successfully with his son Kevin.

After retiring in 2004, he was determined to live life to the full and embarked on his lifelong ambition to own a yacht.

In his typical self-confident and tenacious way and, without any sailing experience, he bought a yacht and promptly became a very able sailor with great support from Kathleen.

He named his yacht Free Spirit, which absolutely summed him up.

Sadly, his developing illness meant that his enjoyment of his dream was all too short.

Everybody who knew Allan admired him for his generosity and tenaciousness and were humbled at the way he fought for so long against one of the most debilitating diseases imaginable.

He will be greatly missed by his family and very many friends.

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