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J. Walker (b. c. 1856) - 1st baritone, secretary, Batley Old Band. Also Adjudicator

J. Walker commenced his musical career as 2nd cornet player in Gomersal Band, at the age of 12 years. He remained at this band about 18 months, after which he joined the California Works Band, in the same town. In 1872, his parents removed to Batley, and he remained a member of the latter band for some time. In January, 1874 he entered the Batley Old Band as fourth horn player, and was soon offered the solo horn, which he accepted and played for three years, He then took up the 1st baritone and played that instrument for two years.

When the reeds were dispensed with, Mr. Walker was specially desired to take the solo cornet, which he did on the condition that as soon as a better man could be secured he might return to the baritone. In 1880, Mr. Walker was appointed bandmaster, and in 1882 he was elected secretary of the band, both of which offices he holds at the present time.

Notwithstanding the onerous duties appertaining to these positions, Mr. Walker seems to have discharged them in such a manner, was eminently satisfactory to the committee, members, supporters and patrons of the band, for on the 1st February, 1892, they presented him with a silver watch and albert, to which a medal is appended, bearing the following inscription: "Presented to J. Walker, by the members and friends of the Batley Old Band, in recognition of long and faithful services as Secretary and Bandmaster, February 1st, 1892."

In 1884, Mr. Walker returned to the baritone, and is still playing that instrument. To the perseverance, energy and self-denial of a few of the older members, including the above is due the present high musical position of the band. Personally, Mr. Walker is quiet and unassuming in his demeanour, and believes in the motto, "Deeds, not words." Had he been a little less modest, we have no doubt that his excellent musical abilities would have won for him a high position among the bands in the neighbourhood. He is well known and highly esteemed by a large circle of musical land non-musical friends in the district. On the 24th of January next, Mr. Walker will have completed twenty years service with the Batley Old Band.

(Report published in 1893)