Bernard Ridley Walker


The Friends School, showing the portico (Tasmaniana Library, SLT)

Bernard Ridley Walker (18841957), architect, regarded as the last of the 'gentleman architects', was the grandson of George Washington Walker, the nineteenth century Quaker missionary. He trained with AC Walker (no relation) & Salier, and then joined Huckson & Hutchison, with the latter member of which he later formed a long partnership.

Spending 191113 in London, he was influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement and on returning to Hobart completed early examples such as 441 Sandy Bay Road (1914). Walker's most prominent projects are the Hobart Cenotaph, won in a design competition (1925), and several inter-war buildings at The Friends School, including its well-known portico and Hodgkin Hall.

During the First World War Walker served in the hospital corps, 191719, including over a year in France. In later life he was active on a number of public bodies including the Scenery Preservation Board. He retired from practice in 1955.

Further reading: B McNeill & L Woolley, Architecture from the edge, Hobart, 2002; 'Oriel', Mercury 24 February 1990.

Barry McNeill