Tributes after death of Scarborough doctor Keith Walker, a GP on Falsgrave for 45 years

Tributes have been paid to a Scarborough GP who has died at the age of 81.

By Steve Bambridge
Thursday, 14th January 2021, 3:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th January 2021, 3:12 pm

Dr Keith Walker practised on Falsgrave for many years, was an attending doctor at St Thomas’ convalescent hospital on the Foreshore, was involved in planning new hospital developments and helped to run the diabetes clinic at Scarborough Hospital.

Born in Glasgow in July 1939, just before his father was sent off to the war, he went with his mother to her parents’ home in Kilbarchan, Scotland and eventually to Dardenne School where he won prizes most years.

At 13 he went to Bootham School, York, and then on to study medicine at Glasgow University. As a student he worked as a conductor on the trams in Glasgow which led to a lifelong interest in both trams and steam trains, full size and models.

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Dr Keith Walker

Although a teenager when he first went abroad, he was bitten by the travel bug and during his medical studies completed a long placement in the main hospital in Oslo, Norway.

After qualifying he worked for a year in the pathology department of Boston City Hospital, Massachusetts, where he met his future wife, Mary, who happened to be another Brit nursing in a nearby Boston hospital.

After returning from the USA and marrying, Dr Walker worked as a Registrar in Diabetics in Aberdeen where his son, Neil, was born.

After six months in General Practice in Driffield he was offered a Partnership, in 1969, with Dr Ray Nicholl in Falsgrave, Scarborough, just before his daughter, Catherine, was born.

Dr Walker was made a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners

Dr Ronnie Kok joined the practice later and they remained partners for the next 31 years until Dr Walker finally retired in July 2014.

As well as being a trainer for doctors wishing to become GPs, he was a member of the local Primary Care Trust and was involved with the planning for the new hospital developments.

For many years, Dr Walker was an attending doctor at St Thomas’ convalescent hospital on the Foreshore, always helping to serve up Christmas lunch to inpatients there with his children; and helped to run the diabetes clinic at Scarborough Hospital.

He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners for his groundbreaking work on the VAMP scheme, helping to standardise computerised patient record keeping in GP surgeries.

Dr Walker was a keen sailor, a pastime that started in school days at Bootham, and he enjoyed sailing on the Clyde while at Glasgow University and later in America, and even built his own dinghy that he enjoyed sailing with the family off Scarborough and Filey.

He was an active member of St James’ Church, Seamer Road. He was church warden for many years and later became treasurer for the Community Arts Centre when that was set up on the church site. In his retirement he often helped out at the café there.

Dr Walker was awarded the Girl Guide Association Thanks Badge from the North Yorkshire North East Guides Association for his work during their 75th Anniversary year.

After his retirement he also volunteered at Wood End museum; cataloguing items and helping to discover some of its hidden treasures and was an active Friend of the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Having battled with Parkinson’s Disease and accompanying dementia for many years, Dr Walker passed away in November 2020; his family have just released this tribute.

They said: "Mary, Neil and Catherine have been blessed by the support of family and friends, especially our church family, and would like to extend their thanks particularly to his excellent consultant and local Parkinson’s nurse and support group.

"It is not goodbye for God is with us and we will see him again in heaven."