‘Old Boys’ News’

Two former St Bede’s Old Boys have been linked in a new book which is due to be published in 2016. John White (O.B. 1957-1964) has written and will self-publish the biography of Alfred John Brown (O.B. 1905-1908) in a book entitled: The Life and Literary Works of Alfred John Brown, Walker, Writer and Passionate Yorkshireman (see title page). ‘AJB’ was one of the most popular and widely read authors about the Yorkshire Dales and indeed the whole of Yorkshire. He influenced a whole generation of Dales lovers and walkers, and demonstrated an encyclopedic knowledge of ‘God’s Own County’ of Yorkshire as it was in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

He was born in Bradford in 1894, attended St. Bede’s and became a wool trade trainee. As a youth he developed a passion for moorland tramping which lasted a life time. He spent most of his career in the Bradford wool business, which was interrupted by war service; in WW1 he was medically discharged from the Royal Field Artillery with post-diphtheria paralysis and spent six years in recovery, but in WW2 he served as an RAF intelligence Officer. During the interwar years he married and raised a family in Burley-in-Wharfedale. After the war he ran a small hotel on the North Yorkshire Moors, then made an unsuccessful attempt to become a full time writer, so he returned to the wool trade and established an overseas textile sales agency. He is best known for his Yorkshire tramping books, but he wrote four personal stories, two novels and a book of poetry. He died in 1969 at Sleights in North Yorkshire and was buried within sight of the moors that he loved so much.

The ‘AJB’ biography will be released and distributed in September 2016 by Smith Settle, Printers & Bookbinders of Yeadon, near Leeds. It is a monochrome, hard-backed, 550 page book, fully illustrated with many photographs and maps, and will retail at £15 per copy, plus post and package costs. For further biographical details please see the attached journal article, and for more information about the book please contact John White via email:

Past pupil Alfred John Brown. 
The Life and Literacy Works,  
List of published books by AJB