Husband reunited with missing wedding ring 20 years on
- Credit: Tyrone Holman/Christiane and and John Hewitson
A couple who say they had “given up” trying to find their lost wedding ring have been reunited with it 20 years on thanks to a Suffolk metal detector.
John Hewitson, who lived in Occold for more than two decades with his wife Christiane, lost his engraved wedding band in 2000 and never thought he would see it again after endlessly retracing his steps.
But now, John has been reunited with his ring with the help of metal detector Tyrone Holman, who discovered the gold band while searching 300 acres of land which belong to the Hull family who own Church Farm in Occold.
Tyrone, a lorry driver from Debenham whose passion is unearthing history, cleaned the ring and noticed a date engraved in the band along with the message ‘With love, Christiane’, and asked farmer Chris Hull for help to reunite it with its owner.
The Hull family knew it must belong to their former neighbours who moved out of the Suffolk village more than six years ago to their new home in Gooderstone, Norfolk, as the spelling of Christiane was so unique.
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“We couldn’t believe it,” said Christiane, 72.
“I received a very puzzling email completely out of the blue from Leslie Hull, who used to be our neighbour many years ago whose family own the farm. Myself and Leslie were both on the WI together and were close friends.”
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The email was very brief and asked Christiane whether the date 9/9/1967 meant anything to her. Immediately Christiane knew it was about the ring as it was their wedding anniversary, and it was the only item they had ever engraved with the special date.
John had always believed he had lost the ring on his daily commute to London. He searched but eventually admitted defeat and accepted he would never see it again.
Christiane said: “It was very upsetting at the time, but we just had to let it go and never did we imagine that we would get it back.”
Back when the Hewitson’s first moved to Occold, Chris’ father Brian helped them create a wildlife pond in their garden, digging out the rough shape and spreading the soil and material over his farmland – a process known as dredging.
John’s ring must have fallen off in the garden and was dug up and spread over the farmland by mistake.
On Thursday, Tyrone was out metal detecting and dug around four inches deep to retrieve the ring.
Speaking of his find, the 50-year-old said: “I’ve been metal detecting about 10 years, but I’ve never found anything quite like it.
“There is lots of history in the ground and I was so pleased to be able to return it to John and Christiane, they were chuffed to bits.”
Chris Hull, whose family has owned the farm since the 70s, said it was nice to put a smile on their faces.
“You just can’t replace something like that with a sentimental value,” he said. “It really is such a lovely story.”