With great sadness, we have to announce the passing of our wonderful Chairman, Mr Ian Walker on Wednesday 6th December 2017. Ian had worked at Walker’s Nonsuch for sixty-two years, originally alongside his brother Edward. They soon had to take responsibility of the company when their father Edward Victor passed away in 1962. Ian and Edward were helped by the Company Secretary at the time, Cyril Jackson, who guided the two young men. Edward, Ian’s brother, also passed away at the early age of 50 years which left Ian to become Managing Director.
During his career, Ian learnt about toffee production, researched and enjoyed buying new machinery, developed new products and of course, travelled the world selling it. Ian loved both the home and export businesses; one of his favourite export markets was Oman. It was the first country in the Middle East that Walker’s traded with. Ian’s attendance at the ISM Cologne exhibition for over forty years brought the company to export to fifty countries worldwide today. Greatly respected in the industry, Ian often helped other manufacturers with advice when they were in struggling with production!
Ian was still active and working right up until his death; in fact two days before his passing, he told his daughters Katie and Emma that he was missing work! They laughed about it together. It truly was a love of his life. However, his great love was of course, his wife Jill. Ian and Jill were married for twenty eight years and enjoyed many happy times travelling for both work and pleasure. They loved their travels to The States and exhibited at many trade shows with his trusted ally Ed DeSoto and his wife Chrystie. Ed and Ian were like a double act, as Ed, the true salesman, introduced Ian as ‘Lord Walker’. Ian looked very much ‘the true British Gentleman’ in his pin stripe suit and trilby. So much so, that the customers thought he mixed with our Royalty! Ian’s favourite holiday destination was Sorrento, Italy. He loved the Italian’s style and food.
Up until the age of forty, Ian played first team rugby at Stoke RUFC and in his later years was a keen golfer at Trentham Golf Club.
Today the company sees Mr Adrian Hill as Managing Director, a loyal work colleague and of course, a dear friend to Ian too. Adrian will be supported by fellow family member directors, Edward, Katie and Emma, along with the fifth generation, and some very loyal and treasured work colleagues.
He was a proud Grandfather to Howard, Edward, Jonathan, Freddie, Jessica, Bobby and Isobella.
He will be missed dearly.
Funeral details to follow.