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Reverend Donald Hinton was first seen in October 1977 when he took over as the vicar of Beckindale and moved into the vicarage. His son Clive turned up in early 1978. Hinton married Matt Skilbeck and Dolly Acaster in 1978 and soon became a good friend of the Sugdens. In 1978 he helped in the investigations into a dead body which was found underneath The Woolpack when the boilerman was doing maintenance. Hinton and Mr Moeketski found the skeleton was of a woman who was the ancestor of Sam Pearson.

Hinton returned in October 1993 as a special guest at Annie Sugden's wedding to Leonard Kempinski. This was his final appearance in the show and final visit to Beckindale. He has not been seen or heard from since.