Sat, 13 April, 2024

Alan Freeman

Posted: August 25th, 2021

ALAN FREEMAN’S funeral is on Monday, September 20 at 10.15am at Beckenham Crematorium, Elmers End Road, Beckenham BR3 4TD. The wake will take place from noon at The Mansion in Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham, BR3 1SY. Parking fees will be met by the family. Donations in Alan’s memory may be made to the Healthcare Workers’ Foundation

ALAN FREEMAN, dedicated Mirror librarian and long-time supporter of the AMP, died on Tuesday, August 24 [2021] in Lewisham Hospital following a fall at his home the previous week. Alan was 87, and had just returned from a family holiday in Pembroke. The PDF page below is reproduced from Mirror Pensioner, autumn 2020, and says a lot about Alan’s Mirror career.

Alan and I met on my first working day in the Mirror Library back in February 1961. I was introduced to “Alan Freeman” and made some crack about the disc jockey of the same name – and was met with bit of a gaze showing some disapproval. That apart we became and remained firm friends. Our final conversation was on the day before he was taken into hospital.

In those early days Alan ran the library enquiry desk, where the phones rang non-stop for most of the time. This didn’t stop Alan from also organising outside of work activities, including quiz nights challenging other newspaper libraries, tabloid versus broadsheet; and trips to the theatre to see the likes of Billy Liar, Pickwick and many more. Employment at the Mirror also included Alan’s lovely (late) wife June – and their sons Simon and Adam worked in the Dark Room and Library respectively.

Talking about Alan you cannot leave out his best pal of more than 60 years and born on the same day – Derek “Nodder” Drury. After their Mirror employment ceased they turned up together in the Sun Library. Even when that job had gone they met every week in Croydon, either for pie and mash, or in a Wetherspoons. On Alan’s 80th birthday, Alan shared the celebrations with his mate Derek.

Alan was totally devoted to his job and enjoyed working for the Mirror. Derek and I and all our Library colleagues will miss him. I am really sad about the loss of a dear friend. Our thoughts are with Adam, Simon and their families.

Jimmy Dean: When I started in the library, it was Alan who was so helpful and advising me on finding my way around the maze of files and photographs. He will be much missed at our usual gathering after the AMP meetings, and I’ll raise a glass in his memory.

Caro Cluskey: I was so sorry to hear about Alan. I knew him well in the Holborn days. He was a walking encyclopaedia, like so many who worked in the Mirror Library. Alan became an avid AMP supporter early on, and always took an interest in our publications and the website. He seemed to get to every London AGM, even in times of ill-health, and always greeted with a warm handshake and beaming smile. And for me, a peck on the cheek! He wrote more than once for Mirror Pensioner, and we are fortunate to have his memories archived. Alan was old-school – a gentleman with impeccable manners, he was helpful, considerate, and incredibly loyal to the Mirror and to his many friends and colleagues. We are the poorer for his passing.

Martyn Dowd: So sorry to hear about the sad loss of Alan. I had the pleasure of working with him for more than 20 years. He was a fount of all knowledge and knew the Mirror Library backwards – and was always there to lend a helping hand to his colleagues. Alan was a lovely, friendly man who was a true librarian through and through, and he will be sadly missed.


We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.