The Agony and the Ecstasy by John Hopkins Book PDF Summary
This is the true story of my life, born into a family who lived in poverty on the edge of Bristol. In the early 1930s the economy of England started to improve. This improved my life in that I had my own pair of shoes to wear and some new clothes instead of hand me downs but never enough food. I relate some of my experiences as a child and teenager, then my Stonemasonry story. My career in the armed forces in England and Malaya. When I entered the army I was 5foot 4 inches tall. Upon de-mobilisation I had grown to 6foot 3 inches due to being fed properly. I trained as an Alabaster worker and Stonemason. I finally was made the National President of the Association of Natural Stone Industries. This gave me the great honour of sitting down to a banquet with Prince Charles. I also had the privilege of meeting Princess Margaret, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Her majesty our present Queen. During my lifetime I have repaired many grand edifices and many Churches. It has been my good fortune to learn that from Saxon times onwards Stonemasons could do better work when their tools were made for them by Blacksmiths. This knowledge eluded most Masons but helped make me a much respected restorer in all periods of construction. I was appointed a lecturer at Bristol University and the Orton Trust in Northamptonshire. This was my real rags to riches story.