Born in 1921 in Stockport, Alan Lowndes is best known for painting the social commentary of daily life and customs of three very different environments in a direct and primitive way. His early work, upto the 1950's, was of the streets and buildings of the mill and railway town of Stockport. This period is arguably the most sought after and valued. From the middle of the 1950's through to 1970 he painted the Cornish fishing port of St. Ives and then rural Gloucestershire from 1970 until his death in October 1978. However, the Stockport of Lowndes youth never left him and images of industrial Stockport recurred in his paintings throughout his career. Largely self-taught, Lowndes painted the soul of northern street life eg the organ-grinder, flower-seller or ice-cream man, rather than giving a precise topographical record of the decline of the industrial age. His empathy with the imaginative world of children and old customs is also evident in his street scenes full of children playing football, cricket or hopscotch and the annual visits to the circus or fair.