Family life before S&A series
Where do the Walkers live?
The Walkers are frequently described as living in the South: In Swallowdale; The Walkers had come up from the south yesterday, and All four knives had been sharpened by the blacksmith before the explorers had left the south of England (SD1,12). In Winter Holiday when their experience of skating is compared with that of the D's, the Walkers lived mostly in the south (WH5).
In England, regions are often described by relative direction from London, so "the South" is much smaller than "the North" for example. Ted Walker could have often been stationed at one of the many South Coast Naval portsmight have been. One possible residence could be Plymouth, as Roger had experienced hearing steamers' foghorns there:
- "I will, anyway," said the boy, and a few damp sheep up on the top of the moor were startled by hearing what they did not know was the deep hooting of an Atlantic liner feeling the way towards Plymouth in a Channel fog. ('Fog on the moor', SD28)
The Walkers shift to Shotley
In late August or early September 1931, The Walkers set up house in Shotley, where the newly-promoted Captain Walker takes up a shore position at the local naval base: If Daddy's coming to Shotley meant living up there .... this was going to be very good indeed. (WD3) "...we must try to meet [the Eels] again next holidays... Well, if they ever come around to Shotley we'll be very glad to see them." (Mary Walker, implying a planned prolonged residence at Shotley, SW31).
All the four older Walkers go to boarding schools as is shown by them having to get their health certificates, headed by the school's name in large handsome letters, signed before going back to school (WH9). John and Susan go to school nearer the Lake than Titty and Roger, who have to travel further to get there (PP1). They go to four seperate schools, which were probably single-sex boys or girls schools like most boarding schools in England then might have been.
As a family the Walkers have some resemblance to the Altounyan family, with the notable exception that the oldest Altounyan child, Taqui is a girl and she is not called John. Also, their youngest child's name, Brigit differs in spelling from that of Bridget Walker.