Jonathan Wilkinson obituary

Jonathan Wilkinson (known as Jono) learnt to ring at Northallerton in his teens and was a close friend of Mark Place and the Town family. He became known as our "adopted son" because he spent so much time at our house in the years before he went to university. Jono was very musical and played many instruments, including piano and drums, so he had an e.xcellent sense of rhythm and always struck his bell really well, although he was less interested in learning lots of methods.

Jono worked in IT and was always clever at sorting computer problems and generous with his time in helping friends if they got stuck. Through the years his interest in ringing fell away somewhat as it competed with his many other hobbies. He loved water sports: sailing, wind-surfing and kayaking; he took up long distance cycling and became very good at it. He was always artistic and became very interested in photography, particularly of wildlife or in wild places and he took some stunning photos.

He went to the Lake District on photography trips and this almost led him into serious trouble in 2010 when he saw a car hit another and just drive off and was so incensed that he gave chase. He found the car parked and walked up to it - beating a hasty retreat when he saw a window shot out and a gun in the footwell. The car had been driven by Derrick Bird, who had already killed 12 people but had abandoned his vehicle by the time Jono caught up with him. I dread to think what might have happened had he still been in the car.

Jono rang 17 peals in total, the last in 2015 and I rang in all of them. Sixteen were for the Yorkshire Asso,i~tion and one for SRCY and thirteen of them were Surprise Royal at Northallerton with the other four being at local towers.

Two of them stand out for me. The first was possibly his first of Cambridge Royal, called by the unforgettable Ron Warford. Jono went wrong and Ron shouted out: "You're 6ths place bell, Son", to which Jono replied: "I'm sorry - that means nothing to me!". Glint was in the band and told Jono what to do and then turned to Ron to say: "and he's not your son" which provoked a lot of laughter.

The other was an occasion when we met short - I can't remember why - and I phoned up Jono to ask what he was doing.

So, he rushed to the tower and rang the second to a very good peal. That was Jono - if he could help you out at any time, he would. He was always his own person - a bit unusual, but that was just his way - incredibly loyal and keeping close to his friends even if he didn't see them very often. He died after a short but severe illness, which he didn't allow to impede his activities in any way, at the early age of 37. He married Claire a couple of weeks before his death and I was able to spend some time with both in the final week of his life. We miss him very much- rest in peace.

Jennie Town