A new generation in store for Weston business
- Credit: Sam Walker.
WESTON’S family-run department store Walker & Ling has welcomed its fifth generation into the business.
The company started in 1893, based in Bath at the time, and Samuel Walker opened a branch in Weston in 1904, which has continued through two world wars and four successive generations.
It is currently run by Tony Walker, Samuel Walker’s great-grandson and now his son Sam has joined the team.
Tony said: “It’s a great opportunity for the shop, and I am thrilled that Sam wants to be part of the family business.”
Sam and his wife Rachel graduated from Durham University together in 2009. They then lived and worked in London teaching in secondary schools, before making the move back to Weston in 2013.
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Sam said: “I am really excited to get started. The shop has been a big part of my life, so I am looking forward to getting to know the business a little better.”
The store has seen many changes during its long history. Samuel Walker’s son, Charles, developed the business until 1942, when the shop was almost entirely destroyed by bombing.
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The store was later redesigned and rebuilt, but the back stockrooms still have their original brickwork.
After the war Charles’ son Peter joined the shop, and four years later his brother Roger also became a partner.
Current proprietor Tony joined the family business in 1973, and the four men worked together until Charles Walker died in June 1976, only a few days before his 90th birthday. Roger retired in 1989 and Peter retired in 1997. Tony Walker then took on the daily running of the business.
Tony added: “I shall be glad to have Sam’s help.
“Shops like Walker & Ling are a rare breed; next year we celebrate our 110th year of trading in Weston so I hope we can together secure the future of the store.”