Ted Walter, whose mother recited longer narrative verse to him in his cot, and whose father’s books included Socrates and Plato, grew up with words on a council estate in Swanley, Kent from 1933.
He matriculated from Beckenham Technical School in 1950, a year after his father died in a motorcycle accident and entered an engineering apprenticeship with Siemens cable manufacturers in Woolwich.
Having no aptitude for Chemistry nor for Calculus he failed his Intermediate BSc. Exam and was called up for national service in 1953, serving as a surveyor in the Royal Artillery in Germany, Korea and Japan.
He joined the Metropolitan Police in 1955, retired in 1980 and became a Highways Inspector with Sevenoaks District Council, having been among the ‘police poets’ who received attention from the media in 1976.
His appearance on ‘Nationwide’ television in uniform, being questioned by Sue Lawley as to what he was first, a policeman or a poet, prompted him to begin to look for what was meant by modern poetry and, in 1977 to start tutoring an adult education class for the WEA in Writing for Pleasure.
The search continues after thirty years of tutoring, sometimes five classes a week, and after several hundred visits to schools as a ‘Poet in School’.
He has been published in many independent magazines and poetry collections, including The Scarpfoot Zone, Earth Songs and The Visit and has had collections published Choosing Yellow, The Visit and blue moon. He is a regular contributor to Equinox.
In 2006, following treatment at St Thomas' Hospital, he produced the pamphlet collection, Promptings of Saint Thomas, to raise funds for the Cancer Care Unit there. The poems were all written during "those interesting seven weeks" of treatment.
of Saint Thomas: 36pp, £5.50, Willing Words.
"This is a collection full of joy and optimism; an inspirational read I'd recommend to anyone facing a difficult time — and anyone else, for that matter, who loves good poetry."
Anne Stewart, editor, poetry p f
Facilitator at many weekend writing workshops he has now retired from adult education provision except for one private class in Tunbridge Wells. He is still available for visits to Primary and Junior schools and ready to read whenever and wherever the opportunity arises.
He is married to Hazel, his artist wife, and has two sons, three grandsons and an American step-granddaughter.
"Promptings of Saint Thomas, Willing Words;
"blue moon", Willing Words
"The Scarpfoot Zone", The Aegis Press;
"Earth Songs", Green Books
"The Visit", Cross Channel
all poems featured on this site remains with the