The funeral of Thanet businessman and major UKIP donor Alan Bown is being held today (June 10).
The bookmaker passed away on May 13, from a heart attack. He was 77.
Mr Bown was born in London on September 23, 1942. His father was a car park control owner. After a move to Stockport he attended Macclesfield Grammar School.
His first job was for a bookmaker and he also worked as a croupier in a nightclub. At the age of 18 he set up his own betting shop from a garden shed.
He found early fame as Granada TV’s “young entrepreneur of the year” and was interviewed by Bill Grundy.
He was recruited as a manager by the Danny Quastel Bookmakers chain, which gave him the financial stability to marry in 1964, Angela Goodwin, the singer in the nightclub where he worked, with whom he had a daughter, Dawn.
With the incentive of a pay rise of £2 a week, the family moved to Margate, where Bown settled for the rest of his life. While managing the bookmaker’s shop, Bown took the opportunity of taking over the town’s early morning paper round and then of buying a guest house.
He bought first betting shop in Broadstairs High Street in the mid-1970s and eventually owned 18 betting shops in the East Kent and London areas, alongside a portfolio of properties.
His first marriage ended in divorce. In 1992, he married Lesley Smith. After her death in 2012, Bown sold up his betting business and turned his attention to his new venture designing, importing, and selling bathrobes both in the UK and internationally.
He also became a director of Margate Football Club and an honorary life member of Birchington Bowls Club. He funded the Salvation Army’s Thanet Winter.
He was the largest donor to the controversial UK Independence Party, giving the party more than £1 million. In Thanet the party saw success at county council level in 2013. In the 2015 election the party took control of Thanet council but collapsed in 2018 amid a split over the future use of the manston airfield site. The party was wiped out at the 2019 elections.
Through the party he met Maggie Carter who was his constant companion following his wife’s death. Together they travelled the world with homes in countries including Spain.
Alan is survived by his daughter Dawn Cullerne Bown, a successful businesswoman now living in California, and Maggie.
The funeral service today is at Thanet Crematorium at 12.15pm.
Details via UKIP