Meet The Family

Eileen Messenger – Partner

Eileen was born in Penrith in 1945, only child of Reg & Dorothy Walker. She attended Brunswick Road Infant School. Tynefield and Briggs Commercial College, Penrith – her first job was secretary for Mr J. Carlyle Lancaster, Land Agent, Penrith for 4 years, then she moved to the Royal Insurance Company in Penrith where she stayed until after her marriage.

She then joined her mother and father at ‘Walker’s Taxis’, Corney Square, Penrith. Most weekends were spent helping the Messenger family in their shop and post office at Glenridding. Eileen Married Peter Messenger in 1969.


Peter was born at Glenridding in January 1943, youngest son of William and Mary who ran the Village Store and Post Office. He attended Patterdale School and enjoyed the lake district all his life. He had a mechanics apprenticeship with J.W. Kieser of Penrith, travelling daily from Glenridding. It was whilst he was working in Penrith he met Eileen in 1963. He joined the Walker family business in 1968. Peter died suddenly in July 2014.

Peter and Eileen were married at Christ Church, Penrith on 29th June 1969 and moved into their own home at Frenchfield Gardens. Their first daughter Kathryn was born in 1973 and their youngest daughter Susan in 1976

Alan & Susan Smyth – Partners

Susan was born and bred in Penrith attending Ullswater Community College before studying Information Technology and Typing. Susan has worked for various businesses within the town including A.T.S Tyres, Harold’s Tyres and Carrs Billington Animal feed, She then met Alan who was studying forestry at Newton Rigg and the couple married and relocated to Lanarkshire, Scotland where Susan worked for Inverarity Vaults, importing fine wine. After 6 years and the addition of their son Archie they jointly decided to return to Penrith to be part of Walkers Funeral Directors. Two years later their second son arrived, Rowan “Walkers Funeral Directors has been a huge part of my family my whole life, and we are very passionate to keep it that way, we would like to think Archie and Rowan will continue with the same passion in the future.”

Alan Smyth – Partner

Alan was born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.  He was born into farming, and spent most of his childhood helping his grandparents on their farm. His spare time was mainly spent fishing and attending the Boys Brigade. When he was 18 he received a scholarship for Newton Rigg Agricultural College studying Forestry.  He worked for the Forestry Commission for many years.  He met Susan in 2002.


We are very proud of our dedicated team, they have been with us for many years. They are all very experienced, compassionate and are respected members of the community.

The Future of Walkers Family Funeral Directors.

Archie Helping his Dad and Grandad wash the vehicle and Rowan trying out Dad’s top hat.

Gary Strong joined Walkers in 2015