Alan Downer was born on September 12, 1930 in Swansea, Wales and he died March 16, 1995 in London, of a stroke having been ill for a number of years. He is one of a handful of actor/writers who have both acted in and written for Coronation Street. His widow was the late Dilys Laye, Alan Downer was her third husband. Dilys Laye also acted in Coronation Street but after Alan Downer’s death. His acting career included "The Good Soldier" 1981 Granada TV. In 1969 Alan Downer and Jill Hyem (Diversity page on www.suttonelms.org.uk/JH.HTML) were asked to develop the replacement for Mrs Dale's Diary (the axing of which had provoked questions in the House of Commons). This was Waggoners’ Walk. They collaborated on Waggoners’ Walk throughout its 11 year run.
Three linked plays by Alan Downer
The Centenier 1.3 (SNT 13.02.82)
The Centenier 2.3 A Bumper Year For Dahlias (SNT 02.11.85)
The Centenier 3.3 The Deep End (SNT 04.03.89)
NOTES ON SOME OF THE PLAYS
THE CENTENIER 1.3 (SNT 13.02.82)
The first of the three plays which all feature the Centenier, an ancient office held on the Channel Island of Jersey. The Centenier in the play is called Richard Hammond; he is a senior member of the Honorary Police of Jersey. In all three plays the enjoyable hokum of the crime drama is neatly balanced with the Hammond’s family life, especially his wife who possesses a dry sense of humour. In this first play the naked body of a man is found in the bay. Originally treated as a simple accidental drowning the Centenier uncovers something darker. Dilys Laye has a small rôle.
THE CENTENIER 2.3 A BUMPER YEAR FOR DAHLIAS (SNT 02.11.85)
A young woman’s body is found in a cottage which the victim shared with her cousin. What at first appeared to be an overdose of sleeping tablets turns out to be more complicated.
THE CENTENIER 3.3 THE DEEP END (SNT 04.03.89)
The Centenier helps to arrest one of two supermarket robbers. The one who escaped had the money on him. Then the Centenier and his family start to receive anonymous threats.
Background: Centeniers are elected for a period of 3 years at a public election within the Parish. They are the only officers entitled to charge and bail offenders. A Centenier presides at Parish Hall Enquiries and acts as Prosecuting Officer before the Magistrate's Court. The Constable of the Parish appoints one of the Centeniers as Chef de Police of the Parish. Under Jersey law, anyone charged at the States of Jersey Police Headquarters must be charged by a Centenier, who will present the charges if the case is taken to court.
Alistair Wyper, Diversity website
Back to top