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Watson Street Lodge
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Watson Street Lodge

Historic Photographs
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Watson Street Lodge
Historic Photographs
Watson Street Lodge
A photograph of the Watson Street Lodge in Victoria Park.

The figures standing in the doorway are most likely to be Robert Walker (1848-1930), the Keeper of Victoria Park, and his family; his second wife Christina Walker and daughters Elizabeth and Ann. Judging by the 1891 census and Robert's eventual obituary, the family also had at least five sons.

Walker was previously married to Isabella Robertson. She died on 24th November 1877. This photograph likely dates from the later 19th century.

Robert Walker was originally from Perth and was himself a son of a gardener. He came to Aberdeen as a nurseryman and in around 1871 was chosen out of 450 candidates to be the city's first keeper of parks.

He oversaw the creation of Victoria Park, Aberdeen's first public park, before going on to lay out Westburn Park, Stewart Park, Union Terrace Gardens and the Promenade. Walker was also an early advocate and pioneer of the planting of street trees.

For a number of years Aberdeen had two superintendents of parks, Walker and a Mr Peter Harper at Duthie Park. When Harper retired in 1914 Walker was appointed general superintendent.

Post Office directories indicate that Walker and his family lived at the Watson Street Lodge, also known as the Victoria Park Lodge, from its construction in around 1872 to his retirement in 1919. His residence at the lodge was part of the job. On retirement Walker moved to the relatively nearby 111 Westburn Drive.

He was succeeded as general superintendent of parks by William B. Clark, who resided at the West Lodge of Duthie Park. A man called Robert Duncan replaced Walker as the keeper of Victoria and Westburn Park.

Over the years Aberdeen has had substantial success and renown as an attractive, green city. A considerable portion of the credit for this success must reside with the pioneering and dedicated work of Robert Walker.
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