John Cooke – “Cookie

     1930 – 2013

John Cooke (Cookie) was born on the 14th November 1930 at Revesby Park  where at that time his father John Herbert Cooke was Stud Groom to Lady Beryl Groves. On leaving school at fourteen Cookie went to work at an auctioneers office. This certainly was not his scene and he moved swiftly on to the South Wold (West) Kennels as general factotum which was much more his cup of tea! This was when the South Wold had been split into two and the well respected Mr Leslie Butcher was Master with the hounds being kennelled at his home at Edlington. It was here that Cookie started to learn the groundwork of kennel life which was later was to prove invaluable to him, as he developed his own very high standards. After four seasons he took up his National Service with the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery. Cookie then progressed to whip in to the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire in Scotland, the nearby Burton and the Newmarket and Thurlow, where eldest son Johnathan was born. From here he went to the Wilton near Salisbury, with his next stop being the Meynell in Staffordshire under one of the best known Huntsmen of that time, George Gillson, who was born at the South Wold Kennels, at Belchford.
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