Alec Hopson (General)

by sherriebaby63 @, Sunday, June 23, 2019, 11:38 (417 days ago)

Hi, Just wondered how can I find out which collieries my Grandfather Alexander Hopson worked in, he died in 1964

Alec Hopson, miner 1930s, but where ??

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Sunday, June 23, 2019, 15:54 (416 days ago) @ sherriebaby63

Hi Sherrie,
to assist anyone with this query, this prior thread shows that Alexander (Alec) Hopson was playing football for a Ruspidge team in the 1930s.

FreeBMD shows he was born in Cheltenham area in 1908.
GlosBMD has;

Marriage Details
Groom Surname Groom Forename Bride Surname Bride Forename District Parish Building Year Register Entry
HOPSON Alexander MORGAN Lydia Forest of Dean Westbury-on-Severn (FoD) Register Office 1927 20 104

He was buried at the local church Cinderford St John in 1965, helpfully the PR states he was then living in Victoria Street Cinderford.

Record_ID: 69665
Entry_Number: 413
Year: 1965
Month: Mar
Day: 16
Surname: HOPSON
Forenames: Alexander
Residence: 129 Victoria Street Cinderford
Age_at_death: 57 years
Officiating_Minister: C C J Brick
Event: Burial
Notes: 9/65 written in margin
Register_Reference: P85/1 IN 1/17
Page_No: 52
Parish_Chapel: Cinderford St John
Soundex: H125

So it seems likely he was working at one of the local pits around this time, eg Lightmoor or Eastern United, altho it must be remembered it wasn't unusual for miners to walk some miles thro' the woods to their work.

Sherry, do you have his entry in the 1939 Register, that might help narrow it down ?
It MAY possible state where he worked, just as earlier Census records occasionaly did, or failing that would give more clues re home address etc.

This forum's seen several enquiries like yours, but sadly there's no easy answers, databases etc. Indeed even in the C20th with National Insurance numbers etc the employment records are rather patchy. Sadly even for the "modern" pits many of these paper records haven't survived the closures, for example I recall reading about the bonfires of such paperwork when Northern United (northwest Cinderford) closed in the 1960s.
I strongly suggest contacting the Dean Heritage Centre at Soudley who will know what records exist to be searched thro, they've helped other forum posters with similar queries in the past. See here

PS He died quite young, I wonder if this was work-related ? Perhaps there might be a mention of this in the local papers, for example ?

Good luck !

Alec Hopson, miner 1930s, but where ??

by MPGriffiths @, Sunday, June 23, 2019, 16:28 (416 days ago) @ Jefff

On the 1939 Register,

Alexander HOPSON born 7 November 1907 - Colliery Hewer Below, was living at

114 Valley Road, East Dean

his wife Lydia was born 29 March 1907

Ancestry also has Find A Grave (photo of Grave) (on the Contributors webpage)

Alexander HOPSON

Birth Date: 1907
Birth Place: Cinderford, Forest of Dean District, Gloucestershire
Death Date: 1964
Death Place: Cinderford, Forest of Dean District, Gloucestershire
Cemetery: St John The Evangelist
Burial or Cremation Place: Cinderford, Forest of Dean District, Gloucestershire

Alec Hopson, miner 1930s, but where ??

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Sunday, June 23, 2019, 17:46 (416 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Thanks MPG for the 1939 Register lookup, shame it didn't name his precise place of work.

Regarding one of his possible pits, Lightmoor, I recall reading it as on the run-down since the 1920s so checked Ian Pope's excellent pages to confirm when that mine shut. I found this was 1940, and by coincidence the preceding paragraph states;

"One rather startling statistic for 1933 was that a Mr. Alfred Drew, who had started work at the pit aged 13 years, had walked 140,000 miles to and from work over a period of fifty years from his home at Viney Hill, about four miles as the crow flies. In all that time he had never lost a shift through illness."

Eastern United in Ruspidge was one of the Forest's major employers with upwards of 900 miners, it didn't shut until 1959.

Alec Hopson, miner 1930s, but where ??

by sherriebaby63 @, Monday, June 24, 2019, 11:27 (416 days ago) @ Jefff

Thanks Jefff
Alec was my paternal Grandfather, he played for Ruspidge Corinthians football team ( of which I have a couple of photos ) Yes he died quite young, 56/57 I think, he died from stomach cancer but my Dad always believed he " Had" something on the lungs " from working down the pit, my Dad said that when he himself wanted to "go down the pit" to work Alec told him "over my dead body no son of mine is going down the there" I already know all the information posted on here except the post from the newspaper about the court appearance in Cheltenham which was an eye opener, still it's always great to have people take the time to try & help you out
Thanks again

Alec Hopson, miner 1930s, but where ??

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 00:32 (415 days ago) @ sherriebaby63

You're very welcome Sherrie, glad to have helped in some small way - I realised you'd know the dates n places but I posted it to try to guide other forum users as your initial post was a bit minimalist. Yes the old newspapers can be very rewarding indeed, especially for mentions of sportsmen, I recommend you search the BNA site yourself, by local standards Hopson is a very rare surname indeed so should be easy to find your relatives if they're there.

My Dad was an asthma sufferer as a kid near Lydbrook in the 30s, when he got old enough to work his mum took exactly the same stance as your Alec did, she'd seen the damage the pits did to her husband's health (lungs) and her brothers too, and refused to let her only son go down the pit as well. Mind you desoite living a healthy clean life he still died relatively young, brain cancer, but his mum never knew that thanks goodness.

I still recommend you contact the Heritage Museum in case they have records for Eastern United.

Good luck, J.

Alec Hopson

by probinson @, S. Oxon, Sunday, June 23, 2019, 17:05 (416 days ago) @ sherriebaby63

From Cheltenham Chronicle - Saturday 21 August 1926

Also similar in Gloucester Journal - Saturday 14 August 1926

"INTIMIDATING MINERS. Prosecution Follows a Scene at Cincferford. Defendants Convicted at Littledean. Eleven colliers, all of Cinderford. and two wives of colliers, were summoned under the Trades Disputes Act for besetting James Hill, Littledeau Petty Sessions on Friday, before Major Peuberthy and other 'magistrates. The defendants were Win. Butt, Jack Harris. Harry Watkins, Edgar Watkins, Edwin F. J. Hopson, Harold Rudge, Alexander Hopson, Richard "Worgan, John Jones, William Cook, Reginald Worgan, Chlotida Bullock, and Ivy Adams. The court was crowded, and many were unable to obtain admittance. Mr. Harold Langley-Smith (Gloucester), appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. G. A. Slade, barrister-at-law. London, instructed by Mr. G. Frevor Wellington, Gloucester, for the defence. The date of the alleged offence was July 26th. Mr. Langley-Smith stated that about 50 or 60 persons assembled near Hill's house in Valley-road, Cinderford. Later, as many of the defendants possible got into the kitching. The solicitor detailed the conversation alleged to have taken place, in which the name "blackleg" was used. James Hill, collier, said he resumed work at Eastern United Colliery on July 22nd. Four days later, he was approaching his house, he saw lot of people about. A police-sergeant made a way for him and told him to home. After the police left he received a message, and a result he went into the back kitching. Butt, Harris, Harry Watkins. Fred Hopson, Rudge, Edgar Watkins. Cook, Alec Hopson, Jones, Reg Worgan and Dick Worgan gathered there. was asked if he was going to work any more, and he. said, Yes." Harris said, Well, we shall have to try some other method to stop you." Butt said witness wanted chucking in the brook." Persuaded by his landlady and his wife, he stayed away from work till Tuesday after Bank Holiday, and he had had to leave the house. The crowd shouted, "Blackleg." Evidence was also given by Mrs. Florence Rulli Hill, PS. Bullock, and S Bull. Mr. Slade then called Harry Watkins, one of the defendants, who said they were not lying in wait for Hill the Monday Witness intended to and fetch some tools, and had no intention of besetting Hill. Hill asked him to go into the back kitching. They were talking about why he went back to work instead of staying with his comrades in the struggle. The conversation was perfectly friendly. There were about 50 others there, including all the defendants except Butt, Harris, and Edgar Watkins. It was absolutely untrue to say that any threats were used. Edgar Watkins said he was not at the cross-roads, nor was he the wash-house at. all. The magistrates dismissed the case against Edgar Watkins and bound the other defendants over in £10 and one surety of £10 for 12 months. They also ordered the court fees and something towards the cost of the prosecution be paid, amounting in all £24 18s.. which meant that the twelve defendants paid £2 Is. 6d. each. Ivy Adams, Commercial-street, Cinderford, was also summoned for intimidating Florence R. Hill; and William Butt, Woodside-street. Cinderford; Jack Harris, Hawkwell-row; Harry Watkins, Valley-road; and Alexander Hopson, Valley-road, were summoned for intimidating James Hill. Each of the defendents was fined £2 for intimidation."

NOTE for ADMIN. This post was prevented due to the word which describes the room of a house used for cooking ????? Hence my deliberate mispelling of the word as 'kitching'.


Alec Hopson

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Sunday, June 23, 2019, 17:45 (416 days ago) @ probinson

Hi Peter, fear not I've also had problems trying to post seemingly harmless words like "kit-chen". Indeed, in my earlier post on this same thread, I inadvertantly included another forbidden word, I had a word ending in "s" immediately before his name "Alec", the system read it as "Sa-le". The understandable reason is the forum's very tight spamware protection, in this case I believe to try to prevent adverts for kitc-hen furniture. Being a public forum the site is a target for attacks like this including potentially damaging malware.

Moving on, thanks for looking up the newspaper report, as per my earlier post I hoped such an article might help. Looking like he was at the main Ruspidge area pit, altho of course the article does not specifically state Alec himself was there. However it does seem highly likely that this was the case !

atb J

Alec Hopson

by sherriebaby63 @, Monday, June 24, 2019, 11:17 (416 days ago) @ probinson

OMG !!! Alec Hopson was my paternal grandfather & Fred Hopson was his father ( I think ) always knew Alec didn't shrink back from a fight but didn't know about this, I suppose they were just being loyal to the cause , would like to share this with my Sister but don't know how,
Thanks for finding this, it's a revelation Lol

Alec Hopson

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, June 24, 2019, 12:48 (415 days ago) @ sherriebaby63

I can remember my Dad being called a 'Blackleg' because he walked through the picket lines - but with 4 kids to feed he had no option.


The event in 1926 was not long after the 12 day General Strike by the coalminers.


There is an interesting project here involving the list of other Miners involved - for example

William BUTT

His death 12 November 1955 - Address: Forest Road born 1879

There is a Public members Tree on Ancestry which includes his WW1 records - address, Forest Road, he was a Collier, but wanted to became an R E Tunneller.


Chlotida BULLOCK is listed on Ancestry as living in Market Street, Cinderford 1957

On the 1939 Register, her name has sticky tape over it, and is transcribed as Chlolda (born 9 July 1883) - and is living in Market Street, Cinderford. Her husband, William BULLOCK, born 20 August 1778 is a Colliery Roadman Underground. Again living in Market Street.

Along with them is their Son, Ronald, born 1918 - his baptism is on this website - 10 March 1918 - parents William , occupation: Collier .... & Clotilda (Ronald's mother's maiden name: STERRY) whom he married in 1901 Westbury on Severn Register Office (Christian name spelt as Chlotilda)

Alec Hopson

by probinson @, S. Oxon, Monday, June 24, 2019, 15:14 (415 days ago) @ sherriebaby63


If you want a copy of the original you can download it from (open in new tab or window).

Otherwise, just cut and paste the text from the message.


Alec Hopson

by HarryBrook @, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 12:26 (414 days ago) @ probinson

Alec Hopson's last employment was as a builders' labourer for W. F. Giles & Sons Ltd., Cinderford. I believe he was there when I started with the firm in 1962. It is quite possible that he was at Eastern United Colliery until its closure in January 1959 (although most of the employees were made redundant in 1958) when he may have then sought employment at W.F.G.

If you would like an image of the report of his funeral as published in the Dean Forest Mercury on 19 March 1965 send me a personal message with your email address (I notice your forum profile does not have the facility for me to send you a p.m.).

Alec Hopson

by nimrod, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 14:37 (413 days ago) @ HarryBrook

Frederick Paul Hopson was born on 10 October, 1867 to Edwin and Emma Hopson (nee Hopson)in Great Torrington, Devon where his father was a photographer.


Alec Hopson

by sherriebaby63 @, Monday, July 15, 2019, 04:22 (395 days ago) @ HarryBrook

Hi Harry,
Sorry for the late reply but haven't logged on here for a while,
I would absolutely love a newspaper report on Grancher Alec's funeral, any information I can get on my ancestors is very gratefully received.
thank you once again

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