John was born into a farming family in 1946 and despite being a keen fan of pop/rock music from about 1959 onwards somehow never got the opportunity to learn to play the guitar. In 1967 whilst working for VSO in Tanzania he met Keith and they decided to form a band when they returned home, which Keith suggested should be called ‘The Leaky Buckets’. However, on returning home ‘life got in the way’ and they both got married, had families and busy jobs and the idea was forgotten for 40 years.
Meanwhile John was running and developing the family farming business and taking an active role at local, regional and national levels of the National Farmers Union. On reaching the age of 61 he decided that if he was ever going to learn to play the guitar he ought to get started and he took a step back from running the farm, met up with Keith again who had moved locally and then by a series of chance and coincidence, Max, Steve and Reid also came into his life and together with his daughter May and sometimes Benna McCartney on vocals the ‘Leaky Buckets’ were born, and the rest, as they say, is history!