BEFORE the arrival of a certain Member of Parliament, the best known Robin Walker in Worcester was a veterinary surgeon who ran a highly successful small animal practice in the St John’s area of the city.

Now sadly, vet Robin has gone, died at the age of 80. Although the wonder is he made it that far. For by his 50s he had suffered a severe coronary and had a triple heart by-pass, brought on by the pressures of his job.

But it was one he had always wanted to do. He was born in a village in Bedfordshire where the vet was the local hero. Interviewed in 1992 he said: “The vet was a charismatic figure, no one else seemed to be important in our village in the 1940s.

“I used to watch him. He was a hero, a legend in the village and one day in 1945 I knew that was what I wanted to do and there was no turning back.”

The son of a head herdsman, Robin was already used to animals. He would help his dad train border collies to work with sheep and cattle. Despite his school headmaster trying to steer him towards politics or the BBC, he was determined to become a vet, although the six years training to qualify from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 1964 he described as “the hardest academic assault course I ever knew”.

For a year he stayed at the college as a house surgeon and then went into general practice in Kent and London’s West End, before moving to Worcester in 1970 to join The Gables practice in Bromyard Road. He worked mainly with small animals with a normal workload covering between 40 and 70 consultations a day.

As well as his technical expertise, Robin Walker was also an innovator and in 1990 introduced the area’s first mobile vet clinic when he converted a new auto camper vehicle to travel to clients who couldn’t get to him.

“I’ll be doing all the usual consultations, but not operations,” he said. “I don’t fancy tackling a Great Dane in a caravanette.”

His daughter Caroline Oakey said: “My father was one in a million – not only in his profession, but also as my Dad. Growing up, he was always joking around and quoting Monty Python – he saw the funny side of everything. He was a font of knowledge and my main confidante. I will miss him dearly.”

There was also a studious side to Robin Walker. He studied Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman medical history and even translated the Veterinary Papyrus of Kahun (an ancient Egyptian treatise on the diseases of animals), which was printed in the Veterinary Record.

In 1972 a medical firm published a book he wrote called Ars Veterinaria.

Mr Walker leaves a wife Jill, son James, daughter Caroline and two young grandsons. His funeral will be held at Worcester crematorium on Friday, September 22, at 1pm.