Alun was brought up in Hill Street, Aberaman. He was the son of George Maldwyn Maddy, and his wife Annie Olwen Maddy, née Harris. Both his parents attended the school: his father 1908-1912, and his mother in 1909. His father and grandfather were grocers and his mother was raised in the village also. Alun specialised in the sciences in the sixth form and took Chemistry, Zoology and Botany for his A levels in 1951 - the year that A levels were introduced. The quality of his examination results gained him one of the two State Scholarships awarded to ABGS pupils in that year. Twenty years later in 1971, Alun was the guest speaker at the Distribution of Certificates Ceremony at the Coliseum.
In response to a request from us, Alun kindly sent us the following summary of his career.
I entered the “County” school in 1944 when it was still nominally fee paying. Two pounds ten shillings had to be paid at Lloyds bank every term, and in school a further one shilling “sports” fee. (This one shilling had not changed since my parents’ day at the school before World War I). After two years in the school, when I was just 13 years old, I was considered to be old enough to decide whether to enter the Arts of Science stream. Fortunately I made the correct choice.
I left school in 1951 for King’s College, London. At that time few universities taught biochemistry at undergraduate level. It was necessary, in London University, to take a B.Sc. in a biological or chemical subject and follow with an M.Sc. in Biochemistry. I initially graduated in Zoology and then took my M.Sc. in University College before moving back to King’s for a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. After an assistant lectureship at Royal Holloway College, London, I moved north to a fellowship at Edinburgh University in 1959, staying there for the remainder of my career as a senior lecturer, teaching and researching in Cell Biology. Since my retirement in 1998, I have worked as a volunteer guide in the National Museum of Scotland, a complete change of activity. I have now lived in Edinburgh almost three times as long as I lived in Aberdare!