Monday, 01 August 2011
One of Worcester’s most famous political figures, Lord Walker of Worcester, will be forever remembered at the City’s university after his family donated his collection of political and biographical books.
The wife of the former Cabinet Minister, Lady Walker, has generously offered his cherished collection be housed in the new joint university and County Council library, The Hive.
She said: “He would have liked the idea of putting something back into the Worcester community and this is an ideal way as both students and the public will benefit.”
Worcester’s Conservative MP Robin Walker has followed in the footsteps of his father, who served as a Cabinet Minister in both Ted Heath’s government in the 1970s and Margaret Thatcher’s government in the 1980s.
Lord Walker retired from Parliament in 1992 and became a life peer as Baron Walker of Worcester. He died in June 2010 soon after his son was elected as Worcester’s MP. The family contacted the University after hearing of the expanding journalism and politics courses.
Claire Wolfe, Subject Leader in Journalism, said: “Many of our students are engaged in political research as part of their courses and have been on an organised trip to Westminster where they met MPs.
“We are delighted that the Walker family thought of us when considering what to do with these books as they will be an extremely valuable resource. It is a fitting tribute to a well known politician.”
Claire and Anne Hannaford, the University’s Director of Information and Learning Services, visited the Walker family home to view the collection of hundreds of books. They include biographies, a collection of Kennedy texts, a number of first editions signed by the authors and autobiographies including copies of Staying Power, Lord Walker’s own memoirs.
Anne Hannaford said: “This generous gift is a wonderful addition to our university research collections. They will be housed in the new Worcester Library and History Centre. This will be the first fully integrated university and County library and everyone in the City will be able to enjoy the books.”
Lord Walker is probably best known as the first ever environment secretary and for being energy secretary during the 1984 miners strike, but he also served in Edward Heath’s government and his political career was one of the longest of the 20th Century.