SHE may have died alone but singer Doreen Walker was known for her stunning voice during her Huddersfield days – as Examiner readers have been telling us.
Ms Walker, who grew up as an only child in Newsome, died alone at her London home last year leaving £250,000.
Despite an appearance on BBC Heir Hunters, no relative has came forward to claim her small fortune.
And while no relatives have contacted the Examiner, we’ve had numerous calls from readers who knew her during her Huddersfield days.
Bob Ellis, 75, of Newsome, knew Doreen’s father, Eric Walker, who was choirmaster at St John’s Church, Newsome, and a turner for David Brown.
Mr Ellis believes Doreen moved to Hitchin in Hertfordshire with her then husband, a South African named Colin Howard.
Her parents, Mr Ellis thinks, lived on Cross Lane in Primrose Hill.
“She was a lovely girl,” she said. “And she had a lovely voice.”
David Messenger, 64, of Rawthorpe, dated Doreen in the mid-1960s.
The pair met at Holmfirth Music Festival when David was a tenor in Skelmanthorpe Male Voice Choir.
Mr Messenger said: “I was surprised to read she had died a recluse because she was a really flamboyant, outgoing girl.”
The pair went out for 18 months but the pair drifted apart when Doreen took a place at the Royal College of Music in London.
David said Doreen was a friend of former Huddersfield Town player Trevor Cherry.
Doreen was a talented contralto who went on to sing for famous choirs including the Brighton Festival Chorus and the Doncaster Choral Society.
Kathleen Dyson, who taught Ms Walker at Stile Common School, recalls a Christmas concert.
She said: “I heard this beautiful voice and asked one of the staff who it was. It was Doreen. She would be about seven at the time.
“It is very sad what happened when I think of her as a little girl at school.”
Chris Ridsdale, 63, of Newsome, was a classmate of Doreen’s at Stile Common.
He said: “She was jolly. I knew she was a good singer. She had your typical opera singer build and when you heard her sing she was damn good.”
Brian Radcliffe, a former teacher at Rawthorpe Secondary School, believes Doreen was a pupil there.
Mr Radcliffe, 81, of Almondbury, said Ms Walker was invited back to the school for a recital after she left.
He said: “She sang two or three items that were perhaps a little high-brow for Rawthorpe, but she had a beautiful contralto voice.”