I did my apprenticeship with Earnie Davey, he trained where Julie Camacho is now, I started at 15 and worked for him until I was 21. I went to Ireland for a bit to Dermot Weld’s and rode for his father Charlie Weld then came back to Malton and worked for Pat Rohan. Pat went to Dubai for a while so I went to work for Keith Stone who used to be head lad at Easterby’s.
The coffee mornings are once a month and bring everyone together, I think it’s a brilliant thing. There’s a lady who has lost her husband, she never gets out unless she comes to the Racing Welfare coffee morning. There’s always a good turnout, around 30 people there. It helps people with loneliness, when you sit down and have a natter, one minute it’s ten’ o clock and the next it’s half past three, we talk for hours. I usually pick a couple of people up on the way who can’t drive and make sure they’re alright, we help one another.
We also have Sporting Memories at the end of the month where we have quizzes or we put pictures up so you have to guess what horse is it or what racecourse it was – it keeps your brain ticking over.
“It helps people with loneliness, when you sit down and have a natter. We talk for hours.”
Pat Rohan’s bungalow burnt down over ten years ago now. I went round all the lads who worked for him and I collected all their pictures and put them in a book for him. I gave it to him when they had the yard rebuilt. I had the same idea for Racing Welfare’s Sporting Memories events. I’ve done a bit on every trainer who has trained in Malton so I have been asking everybody over the years for photographs, I’ve put them in a book and I’ve got six folders full now, including photos from Easterby’s, Albert Cooper’s and Captain Elsey’s. I keep adding to them. I’m going to do one on all the stallions at Norton Stud too.
That’s about sixty years ago so it’s nice to see all the old photographs and share memories. I tried to do my best to do a bit on each yard.
I saw people I haven’t seen for donkey’s years, it was brilliant and everything was done really well. I’ve put some of the photos in the book from when we went. John my mate saw someone he hadn’t seen in 30 years on that. The following year some people went to Spain and some can’t travel so went to York for a weekend.