/ NEWS: Former BMC President Derek Walker Dies

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UKC News - on 21 Jan 2013
Sir Chris Bonington, Mark Vallance and Derek Walker, 3 kbDerek Walker, who served as both president and general secretary of the BMC, has died at the age of 76. He was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. General secretary from 1989 until his retirement in 1995, he oversaw major changes, including the relocation of our premises to Didsbury. The...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67751
David Simmonite on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Very sad news indeed. A lovely chap who will be sadly missed. I've known Derek for many years and he always had a good word to say.

I can only offer my sincere condolences to Hilary, his family and friends.

RIP Derek
jon on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to UKC News:

That really is a crying shame. A gentleman.
Trangia - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Sad news
Old Skooled - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

I only came to know Derek relatively late in his life but warmed to him immediately. He was always so friendly, courteous and enthusiastic. As someone said a real gent and a real climber. A terrible loss and a terrible shame.
DaveFarrant on 21 Jan 2013
That's really sad news.
Dave Turnbull, BMC - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to UKC News: very sorry to hear about Derek's death, he was a real gentleman and a great friend of the mountaineering world. Sitting writing this whilst in Patagonia makes it all the more poignant, Derek worked in a school down this way in his younger days and was integrally involved with the Whillans expeditions at the time, I can well remember his stories of those times and his impersonations of his great friend Don. Deepest sympathies from all at the BMC.
Wiley Coyote - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to UKC News:
A lovely guy and a very keen and active climber long after many had hung up their boots. I remember getting onto a bus in Zion Canyon and finding him and Hilary sitting there. Somehow it was no suprise at all. I asked if he fancied climbing the next day but he'd already fixed to go and do a new route on the Fisher Towers, even though he must have already been in his late 60s.
Sean Kelly - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to UKC News: Sad news indeed. We soloed together up First Pinnacle Rib on Tryfan about 20 years back and I don't think we stopped talking all the way up. As enjoyable a day as it is possible to have in the hills.
In reply to UKC News:

Sad news. I never knew him very well, but well enough to know he was a pleasant bloke. RIP.


Chris
gaz parry - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to UKC News: Sad news. A man who always had a nice word for all. My thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace Derek.
neilh - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Mrs and I ad a long chat with him once in Tuolomne ( he was there with the lateTrevor Jones, a real character) as it was both respective teams first time there. Realy noce guy.
In reply to UKC News:

Once out running miles away from home thinking I've bitten off to much I turned a corner and there was Derek out walking with his friends. A smile came across his face and he must have seen my slight discomfort and offered me water and food. I politely declined and carried on but the smile saw me home and stayed with me for ages. RIP Derek
Al Evans on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to UKC News: Very sad news, I liked Derek a lot and even got to climb with him once at a CC commitee meeting. Condolences to those close to him :-(
Mick Ward - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Dave Douglas: Awesome Walls:

Hi Dave,

> the smile saw me home and stayed with me for ages...

I think you've come as close as any of us ever will to capturing what was so special about Derek. His decency, his humanity went far beyond the norm.

The last time I met Derek was at a funeral in Bangor. A terrible day, the worst of my life. I'd been buttonholed by a well-meaning character who was banging on about climbing ethics. Not what I wanted to hear! I was too poleaxed by grief to politely extricate myself. And I didn't want to cause offence to someone I've always liked and admired by telling him well... you can guess what.

Derek came over and, as with you, instantly realised my predicament. Without the slightest hesitation, he acted, adroitly steering the conversation towards harmlessness. I was - am - so very grateful.

It was as though Derek had a moral compass that showed True North. And he didn't just look at it, he acted on it - in situations like yours' and mine, straight away.

I always yearned to know him better and foolishly was too shy to do anything about it. How many people were inspired by his quiet example? We'll never know, but I'd wager - a lot.

Rest in peace, Derek.

Mick





Ben Farley - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Very sad to hear this. I didn't know Derek very well but his face and cheerful demeanour will be missed from cheshire sandstone evenings, usually up at frodsham. There will be a lot of people missing Derek, but plenty of kind words and happy memories as demonstrated by this thread.
Christheclimber - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Extremely sorry to hear the news of Derek's death.

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