John died in July at the age of 89, after a long and varied life both here in England, especially in Yorkshire, and overseas. John learnt to ring in 1937 at Holy Trinity Church in Hull. During WWII he was in a reserved occupation as a builder and repaired bomb damage in Hull. He was able to ring the bells at Holy Trinity to celebrate the victory at Al Alamein in November 1942 and also for VE day in May 1945. John met his wife Sue whilst they were ringing at Hull.

John joined the Yorkshire Association in 1944 and rang 33 peals for that Association. He also belonged to and rang peals for a number of other ringing Societies including the Kent County Association, Lincoln Diocesan Guild and Peterborough Diocesan Guild. He was a founder member of the Beverley & District Society and rang a total of 25 peals for that Society, including the Society’s first peal at Nunburnholme in 1947. Fifty years later John took part in the Society’s 50th anniversary celebrations by ringing another peal at Nunburnholme, with John ringing the same bell that he rang in 1947 to the same spliced minor methods.

YACR group photo
John Hobson (centre) with fellow YACR Octogenarians Jeffery Cooper (Guiseley), left and Bill Stoker (Hemingbrough), right

John worked as a building construction supervisor for the Ministry of Public Buildings & Works and his job took him all round Britain and all over the world, where he tried to ring wherever he could. He worked and rang in Kenya for instance. He also worked in Iraq where he had to speak in Arabic to the hundred- odd construction workers he supervised. John also worked for a number of years in Hong Kong. He really enjoyed his years working abroad, where he loved exploring different cultures and traditions.

When John and Sue retired they moved to the village of Empingham, sitting at the end of Rutland Water. In the village and surrounds they were very active ringers; Sue being Local District ringing master and John ringing at the newly installed 12 at Peterborough Cathedral. In 1998 their last move was back to East Yorkshire, to the lovely market town of Howden. Here they both supported and encouraged the local band and this was where John was to do his last ringing on the superb 8 bells until 2006, when his health deteriorated and the many steps became too much for someone in their eighties. However, he attended the YACR’s annual gathering of Life Members last year.

John had a reputation for being a blunt speaking Yorkshireman but he was also a man of great integrity and meticulous in everything he did.

A memorial service remembering his life will be held at Holy Trinity, Hull, on Saturday, 15th September (see Notices).


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