Richard Stuart Walker, better known as Dick, was born on 29th May 1918 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire and is widely considered to be one of the most influential anglers in the history of the sport.
He was educated at Friends' School Saffron Walden and St Christopher School Letchworth before going on to Cambridge in 1936. At Caius College he read engineering, however his studies were cut short due to the onset of the Second World War. Dick applied his knowledge of electronics and radio at Farnborough where he worked for the RAE and he played a prominent role in the development of radar technology - a hugely important tool in the war. After the war he joined the family firm, Lloyds and Co. of Letchworth, manufacturers of high quality grass-cutting machinery as technical director where he designed a number of innovative machines.
Having started fishing at the early age of four with his grandfather, Dick Walker became an accomplished angler. He wrote a number of articles for the Fishing Gazette and Angling Times and was very much an advocate of the thinking that one could set out with the deliberate intention of catching big fish. This view was met with considerable scepticism and publicly put down. Dick however, persevered and in 1952 he caught and landed a 44lb carp, at Redmire pool in Herefordshire, which smashed the record at the time which was at 31.4 lb *.
Dick was one of the first to apply scientific thought to angling and beyond this, he developed a number of inventions to help. These ranged from the simple, yet effective 'Arlesey Bomb' - a pear shaped weight attached to the line with a pivot - which enabled much longer casting; an electronic bite-alarm, and he was also instrumental in the development of carbon-fibre as a suitable material for fishing rods. He had had extensive experience making his own rods in his workshop with cane and applied this, his scientific know how and enthusiasm to bring modern materials into angling. Examples of his handcrafted Mark IV carp rods are very collectable, changing hands today for thousands of pounds.
He was a member of the Carp Catchers’ Club and instrumental in the great advances in carp fishing methods in the 1950s which have come in many ways to define the carp specimen fishing of today.
Dick wrote many books and for the angling press. His first article on fishing appeared in his school magazine and the first that he was paid for was in the Fishing Gazette. He went on to write regular columns in the London Evening Standard and most memorably, the Angling Times for which he wrote weekly for over 30 years, and was well known for his column "Walker's Pitch".
He died in 1985 after a long battle with cancer.
Mirror 26lb - Mapperley
24th July 1930 to 3rd Oct 1951
Mirror 31.4lbs - Redmire Pool
3rd Oct 1951 to 13th Sept 1952
Common 44lb - Redmire Pool
13th Sept 1952 to 16th June 1980
Mirror 51.5 lb - Redmire Pool
16th June 1980 to June 1995
Austin 'Oz' Holness
67lb 14oz - Conningbrook lake
16th August 2008 - to date