Alan Frederick Wendelken was born on 27.2.1933 and experienced a difficult childhood. His father, a First World War veteran, suffered from post- traumatic stress and went blind when Alan was in his teens. His mother experienced mental illness. At age fourteen he was sent to Finchden Manor in Kent, a residential school for boys run along therapeutic community lines. He left in 1955 to begin work, initially finding unsatisfactory employment as a photographer before moving for a year to work at a garden nursery. The passion for photography he had developed at Finchden enabled him to return to it as a professional for nine years before moving into residential care with young people at Stamford House. In 1967 he returned to Finchden Manor, this time as a staff member. Wendelken was prominent in the final years of the school, which closed in 1974 following the death of its founder, George Lyward. Before his own death, Wendelken wrote his memoirs of Finchden Manor 'A Finchden Experience' in which he recalls his time there both as a boy and as a man. In 2019 the manuscript, edited by his wife Claire after his death, was published as an e-book by the Therapeutic Community Journal.