Death of picture framer Mike Walker

The death occurred on Friday in Ninewells Hospital of a well-known Arbroath businessman, Mike Walker, who was aged 75.

Mr Walker was latterly a respected picture framer, who retired from his High Street business two years ago.

But he had a varied early career. He was in car sales, but in the 1960s joined the Goodyear Tyre Company. He was on duty at all major Grand Prix events, and was friends with Graham Hill, Jack Brabham and other major drivers at the time.

He had a fund of tales of those days, and he even had an off-duty drive around the Monte Carlo circuit with James Garner when the film Grand Prix was being made.

One day he was crossing the German border with his tyre van when he was stopped and asked for his papers. The guard was showing a greater than normal interest in them, and he was beginning to worry until the man grinned: “You are from Arbroath? I was a prisoner of war at Carmyllie!”

After Goodyear he took up a roving managerial post with John Menzies. In 1968 he returned to Arbroath to marry Aileen and to assist his father in the family fish and chip business.

In 1968 he opened Lawhill Gallery, an art and antiques business; then 13 years later settled into picture framing, which he enjoyed most.

In 2004 the couple’s daughter, Stephanie, married Graham. Their daughter, Poppy, born three years later was his big delight.

Mike was a great reader with interests in art, history, language and cars, and enjoyed chatting to his many clients. In retirement he was a passionate gardener.

Some people may know him best for his long-term membership of the Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society, with which he was best known for his portrayal of Abbot Bernard. He is also a former member of Arbroath Rotary Club.

He is survived by his wife, daughter and family, and also sister Anita, brothers Ronald and Tom, and nephews and nieces.