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John Barton

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  1. John Barton

    Who Is Lenny Middleton?

    Its interesting to read about Len Middleton and what people know and what people think they know, a bit like chinese whispers. Len lived with me and my wife in 1970 and lived close by us until he died. We met as Falconer's, oh did you not know he was a Falconer in the 60s/70s he had never caught a carp! I remember the day he told me about his idea, it was 1973 we were Barbel fishing on the river Lee at Kings Wear. Hertfordshire. He had not met Kevin Maddocks at that point, in fact Kevin at that time used to fish a carp lake...but only for Tench, he couldn't catch the carp! It wasn't that Len didn't want publicity, he just loved to fish. he was a great innovator and a very good taxidermist, first to make ready made boilies, and not just fishing. He was NOT a good business man, he was too nice, unlike others who took his ideas and made a lot of money. It was not Len's wife's hair (he did not have a partner until about 1978) but Kevin's first wife, Brenda who's hair was used in the tank experiment. In the beginning there were only 4 people who knew about Len's "hair rig" Kevin, who had the tank in his house, a guy called Keith Gillings and me. We caught a lot of fish, I mean a lot. Everybody thought it was the bait, it was hilarious, at Darenth they used to hide in the bushes they had binoculars on Len. We had it our own way for about 2 years. Dont get me wrong Kevin was a good angler, but meeting Len (at my house) was his lucky day. Len died in my daughter's arms, at Lister hospital, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, he was my best friend.