Mr Alan Lott
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The click-clack of Alan Lott’s typewriter is silent since the tireless writer died on Sunday, September 28.

His son Andrew and daughter Kathy Bestwick fondly remembered the sound of the manual machine from their childhood.

Although AE Lott – whose letters regularly featured in the Post and other local newspapers – had a computer and had mastered emails, it was the manual typewriter he preferred when he had a strongly worded missive to send.

The subject matter in his letters was varied but often alluded to roads and traffic. The 86-year-old retired electronics engineer, who worked at AWE Aldermaston before he retired, had many enthusiasms.

He founded the Reading Amateur Filmmakers’ Club in Caversham in 1957 and was still an active member of the Reading Film and Video-makers’ Club, which it later became.

He also recorded video documentaries, one of which on the Miles Aircraft Company is still on sale at Woodley Aircraft Museum where he was a film archivist.

His widow Clarisse said he was an expert on 9.5mm film, and as well as helping people to convert their family films to video tape he restored historic pieces of film.

As a young man he was a keen sailor but his enthusiasm for aviation led him to take up gliding.

Son Andrew said: “If he ever had a chance to get up in an old bi-plane or a micro-light he would jump at it – anything that had wings and an engine.”

He was also skilled at making and mending things – from model planes to boilers – and his skills were often put to use helping neighbours and friends.

His writing skills had also turned to poetry and he had two published – one on the Hindenberg disaster and another on old films called Bygone Cinema.

What he loved best was to provoke a debate in the letters column.

His wife said: “I used to go to my Townswomen’s Guild and they would say they had seen his latest letter and agreed with him. He used to say ‘Why don’t they write in then?’”

His last letter to the Post on Monday, September 15, was short and to the point.

On the windfall VAT on increased fuel prices, he wrote: “It could easily be used to reduce fuel poverty for the elderly; why not? What do Reading’s two MPs have to say on this matter?”

A jazz enthusiast, Mr Lott, of Richmond Road, Caversham Heights, was a regular at the Crooked Billet in Stoke Row for its gypsy jazz sessions and his 80th birthday was celebrated there.

Mrs Lott said: “He often went on his own because I had other commitments and when he felt as a single man he was not getting a very good seat he, needless to say, wrote a letter to the owner Paul Clerehugh complaining. Ever afterwards he was given pride of place.”

He has asked for a cardboard coffin for his funeral and for This Old House by Rosemary Clooney and other music by Glenn Miller, Stefan Grapelli and Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club de France to be played.

Mr Lott’s humanist funeral will be held at Reading Crematorium on Monday at 1pm. The family are requesting, instead of flowers, a donation to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Reading Post from Oct. 8 to Oct. 13, 2008.
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2 entries
October 15, 2008
Alan was my boss in the mid to late Seventies. I will always remember him and often thought of him, long after he retired. He is often spoken of too by his other ex-colleagues that remain. One of many things that stand out in my memories of Alan is the story of him challenging his home insurance company, who wanted to increase his premium for 'upheaval'.

Alan wrote: "After exhaustive research, I can find no evidence of volcanic activity or earthquakes in Caversham!" The company nevertheless demanded the extra money....
Barry Lovelock
October 10, 2008
I am sorry to hear of the passing of A E Lott, Richmond Road, Caversham Heights, and my sincerest condolences to his family. His letters to the local newspapers were always interesting to read and a highlight during a local debate, if not awaited.

I cannot say that I always agreed but on many occasions he was the voice of reason and very much a credit to the town for airing his views and offering food for thought when so many wouldn't even bother.

The letters pages will no longer be as interesting a read but if Mr Lott has inspired anyone to publicly comment (as he did me a couple of years ago), long may that continue.
S Bell
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