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2024 Spring Photography Contest Winner by Donald Putnam

Seeking photographs of Stephen Walker busking with bagpipe in London, Paris, or Dublin circa 1975-78

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Andover NY metalsmith, musician, and businessman offers $1000 reward

Thousands of photographs were taken. Help find at least one

From Walker Metalsmiths, pictured is Walker in the late seventies

Were you a tourist in London, Dublin or Paris in 1975 – 1978? Did you see a street performer playing bagpipes? Did you take his picture? Was it Steve Walker? If you can share that picture with Walker Metalsmiths you could score some sweet Celtic jewelry.

With a much more recent photo of a kilted Walker with his bagpipe being used to promote the World’s Shortest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Wellsville, NY, the search has begun in earnest for a photo from his busking days. Walker is offering to trade a gift certificate worth $1,000 redeemable in fine Celtic jewelry at his shop in Andover, NY or through his website WalkersCelticJewelry.com. This prize will be awarded to the first photo that can be verified to be of Steve Walker, busking on the street, in London, Paris or Dublin from the 1970s. Photos taken at the 4th of July parade or in the USA do not count.

Above is a photo of Steve in present day participating in the World’s Shortest St. Patricks’ Day Parade.

Stephen Walker, the master jeweler at Walker Metalsmiths, was propelled into his career as a craftsman when his teenage years were centered around bagpipes and the local bagpipe band in his hometown, the Allegany Highlanders. Making the regalia of piper’s uniforms soon transitioned to making jewelry. For well over forty years creating Celtic themed jewelry in silver and gold has been his primary vocation. For a short time, between high school and college, he made his living as a bagpiper, busking, or playing on the street for donations.

Above is an image of Stephen at age 13 getting ready for a parade with the pipe band that inspired his career in Celtic metalsmithing. 

During this time, when Walker was 18 to 20 years old, his picture was taken thousands of times. Since the best places to play were the spots frequented by tourists, and before the era of phone cameras, it was mostly tourists who would have a camera ready to snap his photo. Walker not only does not possess any of these pictures from his colorful past, but he has also never even seen one.  

It is hoped that by spreading the search through social media, eventually a photo can be located. If someone thinks they have the winning photo they can send a scan by email to service@walkermetalsmiths.com or by messenger through Facebook.com/WalkerCelticJewelry.

The first photo received that can be verified to be Stephen Walker busking with his bagpipes taken in London, Paris, or Dublin in the 1970’s wins! If a winner can be found we’ll announce the winner on St. Patrick’s Day 2024.  If not we’ll extend the deadline. 

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