Over to Brenda for her side of this story

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Have you al­ways lived in North Devon Brenda, and how did you come to meet John?

I was born and raised in Stoke, near Hart­land. I went to Hart­land School. I met John when I went on a blind date to Bide­ford Cin­ema when I was 15. I did not think too much of him on that first date, but he kind of grew on me as time went on. We courted for seven years, and ev­ery week­end we would go to a trial. Both my par­ents and John's used to ob­serve. We got mar­ried in 1974 in Hart­land. Ian Hay­don was John's best man.

How did you come to start the Tri­als school?

The Lyn Club started it. Elaine Baker and Rob Do­ran used to run a train­ing week­end at Ian's fa­ther's place, but there was some prob­lem with an­other piece of land, so I said why not come up to our place at Wem­b­swor­thy. Mal­colm Red­stone ad­vised that if we ap­plied for a grant from the South West Cen­tre, the ACU would prob­a­bly match it. We did it through the Tor­ridge Club, and I think we started off with £100. That was 25 years ago. We started with 8 or 10 rid­ers. Joe Baker was one of the first pupils, and now he is one of our train­ers. We ran it on a Thurs­day and Fri­day, and the pro­ceeds went to CLIC be­cause I had a friend whose child had Leukaemia. We sup­ported CLIC all the way through un­til 2005 when we split it with CRY — Car­diac Risk in the Young be­cause of the sud­den death of our son Martyn. In our last year in 2016 we raised £4,400 for CRY, and over the years we have raised over £100,000 for char­ity.

Who were the train­ers in the early days?

We had Martin Cross­waite and Wayne Bray­brook, and then there was Steve Saun­ders and Chris Berry. Of course, some are bril­liant rid­ers but find it more dif­fi­cult to put the ideas across, while oth­ers who are not quite so bril­liant can be bet­ter at train­ing tech­niques. We can use them all.

Tell me about your or­gan­i­sa­tion

It takes a lot of peo­ple to run the school of 60 to 70 rid­ers. In fact, we had to put a ceil­ing on the en­try. We have ten train­ers at any one time, in­clud­ing Jo Baker, Colin Crease, Barry Hus­band, Roger Johns, Robin Martin, Alan Pearce, Dave Price, Ray Samways and Si­mon Welsh. It ob­vi­ously takes a lot of or­gan­i­sa­tion, and we get help from a lot of peo­ple. I would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to thank my main or­gan­i­sa­tional helpers Heather Al­lan, Kay Dal­lyn, Ju­lia Rawle and An­gela Spry. Of course, there is also our Chef Nick Hunt, who does an ex­traor­di­nary job at the bar­beque with all those sausages and spuds.

What do you do in your spare time? Did you help with the lamb­ing?

In the main John man­aged the sheep, although I used to help where I was able. Now we have sold all our sheep I do not have to get up at 11.00pm to help with the lamb­ing, which is a bless­ing although John misses it quite a bit. On two days a week, I used to work in an 'Aladdin's Cave' in Brad­wor­thy. It is a shop that sells al­most any­thing, from iron­mon­gery to fur­ni­ture etc. I have good mem­o­ries of Martyn, which I will never lose, and it is hard for both me and John at times. We have bought a car­a­van now and can get out for some days to en­joy our semire­tire­ment. Our sup­port for CRY was a memorial to Martyn to pur­chase equip­ment that can do a sim­ple check on chil­dren to es­tab­lish whether they are sus­cep­ti­ble to car­diac ar­rest. These checks are car­ried out au­to­mat­i­cally in the USA and also Italy in the Euro­pean Com­mu­nity. We hope that even­tu­ally, it will be­come a stan­dard check for all chil­dren when they are born in Bri­tain. The Martyn Luck­ett Memorial Trust Fund man­aged to get 150 ten- to four­teen-yearolds screened in 2017.

It’s 1976 and John is still try­ing his very best on the Ossa.

One of the last out­ings on the Ossa at the 1977 end of sea­son Bri­tish Ex­perts Trial.

The 1975 South West Cen­tre Team at the In­ter Cen­tre Team Trial (from left): Brian Hig­gins (Honda), Ian Hay­don (Yamaha), Alan Dom­mett (Bul­taco), John Luck­ett (Ossa) and Martin Strang (Ossa)

John went on strike along with the rest of the en­try at the 1975 Bri­tish Ex­perts, but this picture is from ear­lier in the day.

Still en­joy­ing his tri­als rid­ing, John is seen here in the 2016 West of Eng­land Clubs Moor to Sea Trial on the Mon­tesa Cota 4RT. In 1978 with fel­low rid­ers and friends Brian Hig­gins, John Luck­ett, Martin Strang and Al­lan Hunt. 2007: It’s tro­phy time for the Luck­etts.

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