SHE could have been one of the country’s great singing stars.
But Huddersfield-born Doreen Walker died alone, in a neglected house.
Now her story has been told in a TV programme – which revealed that her £¼m fortune could be left to the nation.
The programme Heir Hunters found that Miss Walker, who died last year in Lewisham, London, has no living relatives.
If none are found her estate will pass to the Government in 2040, after the statutory 30-year waiting period.
But those behind the programme revealed that Miss Walker could have been a superstar of the entertainment world.
Matt Gordon, of Flames TV, the production company, said: “She was regarded as a young woman with a brilliant future.
“She had a superb contralto voice and she could have become a great star.
“Instead, she was something of a recluse with personal problems and died alone in her home, aged just 61.”
Miss Walker is thought to have been born in Honley but was raised in Newsome and went to Stile Common Primary School.
A former schoolfriend was Angela Cameron (nee Newton) who recalls the happy days they had at the school.
“Doreen sang at my seventh birthday party and her father was the organist at my wedding in 1971.
“I think Doreen went on to Greenhead High School when we left Stile Common in 1959 and she went on to get a scholarship at the Royal College of Music.
“I was saddened to see her on the programme. It said she died alone in her house in Lewisham and seems to have been a recluse.
“She was a talented singer with a wonderful voice and had the potential to go far.”
Miss Walker sang with many renowned musical groups including the Brighton Festival Chorus, the Doncaster Choral Society and the Halifax Chamber Choir.
She was married, but it is thought her husband left her in the late 1980s and ran off to South Africa with a younger woman.
Mr Gordon said: “We have been unable to trace any living relatives.
“The only people who can put in a claim for her estate are blood relatives or first cousins, once, twice or three times removed.”
Heir Hunters is now in its fifth series. It can be seen on the BBC, as well as the UKTV family of channels. It has also aired in several other regions including Australia and New Zealand.
New unclaimed estates are advertised by the Bona Vacantia Division of the Treasury Solicitor on their website.
Anyone who thinks they may be an heir to an estate and want to make a claim will need to have their family tree proving their relationship to the deceased and appropriate family certificates for birth, marriage and death.
Do you recall Doreen Walker? Contact the Newsdesk on 01484 437712?