Bell News - Request for Info

Hoppie(s) jhopwood at
Mon Oct 19 21:48:39 BST 2009

Hi All

Firstly, sorry for cross posting and the fact that some of you will
get this more than once. I doubt this subject will result in any sort
of conversation and replies are best kept to me personally unless
anyone wants to take it up.

Does anyone happen to have Bell News 1900 p317?  According to Roger
Bailey's wonderful site, within the Obituaries Index there
is an obit for a John Hopwood of Ashton-u-Lyne.

Long reasons follow - you don't have to read this but you may find it

Fast forward now unless you need to sleep early!

I noticed the obit file some time ago now but thought nothing of it
even though I was born in Ashton. Hopwood is quite a common name there
(John even more so) and the likelihood of a ringing relation I thought
was low.

However, my interest was heightened when the Ashton history was
published (also referred to on and I found that the man
rang peals, up to Cinques and Max.  Even so, no huge extra interest.

Three weeks ago by an amazing twist of fate (via Facebook AARRGGH- I
supposedly deleted my profile 18 months ago. It obviously didn't
work), I had an email from a long lost Cousin. I haven't been in touch
for 38 years despite my efforts - divorces and name changes thwarted
that. There are three of them, two girls in France and a lad in Aus.
My Uncle lives in Paignton and is 89 and with what would seem to be
terminal cancer.

One of the girls was over here this weekend so we pulled out all the
stops to go to Paignton this weekend.  My 87 year old Mum also managed
to make it by train from Salisbury (only 3 Hrs for her on the train -
6 for us by car).

You can imagine that long conversations re the old family ensued
(lubricated by much wine I hasten to add). [Long family gossip section
missing here]. My Uncle (also a John Hopwood) is an accomplished
organist (even in his state he is still excellent) and has, although
never a ringer, taken a keen interest in bells. He happened to mention
that his Grandfather was a ringer in Ashton and also called John!
Imagine my surprise!

So, it seems that this chap who rang peals at Ashton in the late 1800s
is likely to be my Great Grandfather!  Little did I know, when I rang
my first peal there, that he had rung one on the same bell! Different
rope probably!

So, there we go, the reason for my request.

You can wake up now.

Regards and thanks for help in advance.

John Hopwood


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