Sunday, 25 June 2017

Joseph Hopper of Windy Nook

Another member of my Famous Felling Fellas Club

(Born: 2nd May 1856, Died: 17th Apr 1909...just short of his 53rd birthday)

Joseph Hopper
is famous for having taken a prominent part in social and political movements amongst the miners in Durham county for many years.
In early life he displayed an active interest in social and religious questions, taking a part in some of the political contests in North Durham, and being a local preacher in Gateshead circuit of the Methodist New Connection. He was also for some years a member of Felling Local Board and the Heworth School Board.
The provision of homes for aged miners in Durham was largely due to his initiative, and for some years he had occupied the post of secretary for the association who had in hand the provision and maintenance of the homes. He was also a member of the Durham County Council. He remained unmarried.



The early homes carry his name...like this at Birtley, built 1924...subsequent ones don't.

From DAMHA website

Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association grew from the vision of Joseph Hopper, a miner and lay preacher. Hopper believed that a man who had served in the coal mines all his life deserved better than to be evicted from his tied colliery home when he retired.
A small weekly levy voluntarily donated from miners’ wages, plus donations of land and materials from mine owners and others, allowed the homes to be constructed and let free of charge.
Although the Durham coalfield is no more, the Association has survived and prospered and continues to offer high quality homes for older people. Whilst you no longer need to have a mining background to have a DAMHA home, we have never forgotten our roots and are proud to have helped so many former miners find homes in or near to the communities where they grew up.

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