Councillor leading design engineer of UK's biggest warship (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Former Waltham Forest mayor Geoffrey Walker worked on HMS Queen Elizabeth unveiled today by the Queen
A Conservative councillor spent the last years of his working life working as a consultant on Britain's largest warship, it has been revealed.
Councillor Geoffrey Walker of Hatch Lane was employed as a consultant through an engineering company to design, overlook and manufacture a key function on HMS Queen Elizabeth, unveiled today.
The 69 year-old of Normanshire Drive in Chingford was involved in the billion dollar construction of the aircraft and the second vessel, the under-construction HMS Prince of Wales from 2007 until 2011.
He won the contract to work on the Navy's biggest ever ships after designing the twelve lubrication systems on the turbine driven generators of the Navy's six new T45 Destroyers (guided missile destroyers).
Mr Walker's involvement was kept relatively secret at the time as he travelled to and from Bristol and the engineering company Denco's headquarters in Hereford where the parts were manufactured.
The 65,000 tonne vessel was officially named by her royal majesty the Queen today in Fife's Rosyth dockyard with a bottle of whiskey being smashed against the ship rather than the traditional champagne.
"I was privileged to act as a consultant for the generator lubrication systems on the carriers and subsequently won the contract to also design and build those systems.
"Unfortunately as I'm now retired, I didn't get an invitation to today's naming ceremony but I am immensely proud to be one of the many people closely involved in this magnificent aircraft carrier and wish the Royal Navy every success," said Mr Walker.
The estimated cost of the vessel and its sister ship is £6.2bn but Mr Walker claims it was money well-spent in terms of UK military capability and says both the ships are "much more efficient" than their American equivalents.
Mr Walker officially retired in 2010 but continued working part-time until May 2011. He is now busy working alongside the Royal British Legion and churches in Chingford on a WWI commemorative event on August 4.