Alan Blair, born in London in 1932, studied chemistry from 1950 to 1953 at Imperial College, London. He gained his Ph.D. in the field of analytical chemistry in 1956. He worked for 8 years at the Atomic Energy Authority in Dounreay, Scotland, before he came to Juelich in 1965. Firstly he worked on actinidene chemistry at the former Institute for Physical Chemistry and later at the Institute for Chemistry and Dynamic of the Geosphere. He retired in 1994.

Alan Blair was interested in many things which became his hobbies. At first his interests lay in narrow gauge railways and engines for motor ships from different countries. Then he discovered the world of clocks, until he found his ultimate hobby: bells. He travelled throughout the world to find bells, which he measured, described and catalogued. He was familiar with bell ringing and the technique of playing carillons. After retirement he drew back increasingly from public life. Nevertheless, he was well known in Juelich, particularly when he shopped by bicycle taking no note of the type of weather and always without a shirt or vest. His appearance, way of life and views caused much gossip. But he knew it and it did not bother him at all. He lived for himself, for his own points of view and for his hobbies. He was an extremely faithful catholic Christian, who followed the commandments of the Church. He prayed for a long time for the way he wanted to die and this prayer was heard. He died in peace with himself and with the World.

We will miss him.


Langerwehe, Germany

BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers