The little lad who was Corby's answer to Evel Knievel

He drew the biggest ever crowd to Corby's Old Village Fete

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 7:06 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 11:02 am
Jarno, with the outline of Corby Steelworks in the background

In the summer of 1978, Juno Barratt's mum and dad bought their toddler a tiny bike. Here, in an extract from his regular local history newsletter, Lodge Park Academy history teacher Mike Murray tells the tale of how the youngster became a household name in Corby.

"Little did Lionel and Helen Barratt know when they bought their son Jarno a 50cc Italjet how quickly he would pick up the skills needed to emulate Evel Knievel,” writes Mike.

"The bike was purchased in the summer of 1978, but shortly afterwards Jarno fell off and for a while lost his confidence and wouldn’t ride it. When he again got into the saddle, Jarno quickly learnt how to complete a number of tricks and stunts including jumping over his trusting parents.

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Jarno doing a trick on his 50cc Italjet bike

"Jarno’s first display was on June 11, 1979, when the four year old performed for his classmates from the Exeter Nursery.

"Jarno would go on to perform at the Corby Old Village Fete attracting the biggest attendance that the Fete had ever seen.

"His love of motorbikes continued as he won the Northamptonshire schoolboy’s MotoCross championship in 1990 and went on to travel the country, competing in adult competitions becoming famed for the high jumps that he would attempt.

"Jarno, who is now in marketing, still lives in Corby and while he no longer owns a motorbike he would never say he has retired from riding for good."

Left: Jarno jumps over his trusting parents, Lionel and Helen Barratt. Right: Jarno and his dad

You can read more of Mike's local tales in his Lodge Park Academy Local History Newsletters.

Jarno and his younger brother Grant. Grant won the Northants Schoolboy’s MotoCross championship in 1989 and Jarno won the Northants Schoolboy’s championship the following year.