Alan Bretman was born in London in 1949 and graduated in History and Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge in 1972. During the 1970s and 1980s he gained wide experience of different jobs and areas of England, working in sales in Essex and Lancashire; with disabled people in a community project and teaching in a pioneering community school in the East Midlands, then running a retail business in Kent. He was an active Labour Party member from 1982 until 1996, and a Parliamentary Candidate in the 1987 and 1992 General Elections.
Alan continued his teaching career as a senior manager in secondary schools in Kent until 2008 when he and his wife, Teresa, moved first to Normandy, and subsequently to the Limousin in France where they have established a Chambres d’Hotes business. Alan has been an enthusiastic Europhile for over 40 years, and has been relishing the opportunity to improve his knowledge of the French language and culture, while becoming part of his local community.