John Croker

John Croker

Winner of the North Devon Local Prize

sponsored by Broomhill Estate

Rondo's Rhythmic Rodents

John sent us this Biography

After a spell at GCHQ Cheltenham I joined the Devon Constabulary in 1965, and after a short spell at Totnes I was posted to Barnstaple and spent the next 29 years in North Devon doing various jobs and retired in 1995 as a Sergeant. Since then I have worked at a Bideford Shop. During my early days at Barnstaple on the beat I spent many hours walking around Pilton. In fact I used to live in the Police Houses by the Fire Station.

My hobby is music. I started playing the trombone at the age of 8, Yes 70 years ago!! and have had long spells with Bideford Town Band and Appledore Band both as a player and Conductor.I am also a past member of the North Devon Sinfonia. I currently play with South Molton Town Band and The Golden Coast Big Band. I recently retired after 25 years as Minutes secretary for the South West Brass Band Association.

I have been married to Maureen for 55 years and have 2 sons, Richard lives in Bideford with his wife and 2 sons, and Stephen lives in New Zealand with his wife and 4 children.  I have not written anything before but thought my two youngest grandchildren in NZ may enjoy this story.

The correlation between rodents and music. Not much about rats apart from the few I have seen in my garden one trapped up a drainpipe, and another came and sat with me a long time ago when I was on nights and eating my supper sat on the steps beside the River Taw at Barnstaple Civic Centre. The music part is easy both sons, daughters in law and the 6 grandchildren all play musical instruments, some of them brass, in fact all in NZ play brass instruments.