Allan trained as an Art Teacher in the early Sixties and specialised in the education of children with learning and behavioural difficulties. He moved to Bermuda in the early Seventies where, in addition to teaching, he painted professionally. Returning to the UK in 1974, Allan taught secondary school aged children with emotional and behavioural difficulties in a residential school in Peckham, South East London. Little opportunity was found for painting.
In 1978, he hand his wife moved to Nepal with BMS World Mission and worked as members of an international team building a technical college in Jumla, Karnali Zone, for the Nepal Government.
In 1985, he returned to the UK to work with physically challenged children and young people at Bromley, South East London. It was not until he took early retirement in 1995 that he was able to find the time to paint again.
Allan was pastor of Westerham Hill Baptist Church from 1993 to 2010.
Now permanently residing in the UK at Dartford, Kent, Allan paints, is a member of Bromley Art Society (currently as chairman) and regularly exhibits with the society and alone. He is also a member of the Dartford Arts Network.