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Hop Picking Pictures

September 13, 2013
by the gentle author

Celebrating Hop Picking Season and the launch of the new Truman’s Brewery this week, it is my pleasure to publish this selection of favourite Hop Picking Pictures from the archive of Tower Hamlets Community Housing. Traditionally, this was the time when East Enders headed down to the Hop Farms, embracing the opportunity of a breath of country air and earning a few bob too.

Bill Brownlow, Margie Brownlow, Terry Brownlow & Kate Milchard, with Keith Brownlow & Kevin Locke in front, at Guinness’ Northland’s Farm at Bodiam, Sussex, in 1958. Guinness bought land at Bodiam in 1905 and eight hundred acres were devoted to hop growing at its peak.

Julie Mason, Ted Hart, Edward Hart & friends at Hoathleys Farm, Hook Green, near Lamberhurst, Kent

Lou Osbourn, Derek Protheroe & Kate Day at Goudhurst Farm

Margie Brownlow & Charlie Brownlow with Keith Brownlow, Kate Milchard & Terry Brownlow in front at Guinness’ Northland’s Farm at Bodiam, Sussex, in 1950

Mr & Mrs Gallagher with Kitty Adams & Jackie Gallagher from Westport St, Stepney, in the hop gardens at Pembles Farm, Five Oak Green, Kent in 1959

Jackie Harrop, Joan Day & George Rogers at Whitbread’s Farm, Beltring, Kent in 1949

Mag Day (on the left at the back) in the hop gardens with others at Highwood’s Farm, Collier St, in 1938

Pop Harrop at Whitbread’s Farm, Beltring, Kent in 1949

Sarah Watt, Mrs Hopkins, Steven Allen, Ann Allen, Tom, Albert Allen & Sally Watt in the hop gardens at Jack Thompsett’s Den Farm, Collier St, Kent in 1943

Harry Watt, Tom Shuffle, Mary Shuffle, Sally Watt, Julie Callagher, Ada Watt & Sarah Watt in the hop gardens at Jack Thompsett’s Den Farm, Collier St, Kent in the fifties

Harry Watt, Sally Watt, Sarah Watt holding Terry Ellames in the hop gardens at Jack Thompsett’s Den Farm, Collier St, Kent in 1957

Harry Ayres, a pole puller, in the hop gardens at Diamond Place Farm, Nettlestead, Kent

Emmie Rist, Theresa Webber, Kit Webber & Eileen Ayres  in the hop gardens at Diamond Place Farm, Nettlestead, Kent

Kit Webber with her Aunt Mary, her Dad Sam Webber and her Mum, Emmie Ris,t in the hop gardens at Diamond Place Farm, Nettlestead, Kent

Harry Ayres with his wife Kit Webber in the hop gardens at Diamond Place Farm, Nettlestead, Kent.

Richard Pyburn, Mag Day, Patty Seach and Kitty Gray from Kirks Place, Limehouse, in the hop gardens at Highwoods Farm, Collier St, Kent

The Gorst and Webber families at Jack Thompsett’s Farm, Fowle Hall, Kent in the forties

Kitty Waters with sons Terry & John outside the huts at Pembles Farm, Five Oak Green, Kent in 1952

Mr & Mrs Gallagher from Westport St, Stepney, with their grandchildren in the hop gardens at Pembles Farm, Five Oak Green, Kent in 1958

Sybil Ogden, Doris Cossey, Danny Tyrrell & Sally Hawes near Yalding, Kent

John Doree, Alice Thomas, Celia Doree & Mavis Doree in the hop gardens near Cranbrook, Kent

Bill Thomas & his wife Annie, in the hop gardens near Cranbrook, Kent

The Castleman Family from Poplar hop picking in the twenties

Terry & Margie Brownlow at Guinness’ Northland’s Farm at Bodiam in Sussex in 1949

Alfie Raines, Johnny Raines, Charlie Cushway, Les Benjamin & Tommy Webber in the Hop Gardens at Jack Thompsett’s Farm at Fowl Hall near Paddock Wood in Kent

Lal Outram, Wag Outram & Mary Day on the common at Jack Thompsett’s Farm at Fowl Hall near Paddock Wood in Kent in 1955

Sally Watt’s Hop Picker’s account book from Jack Thompsett’s Den Farm, Collier St, Kent in the fifties

You can download hop picking booklets published by Tower Hamlets Community Housing

Readers are invited to the opening of the New Truman’s Brewery, 2-3 Stour Rd, Hackney Wick, E2 2NT, this Saturday 14th September 2pm – 10pm with Opening Ceremony at 4pm

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Cockney Beanos

16 Responses leave one →
  1. Bee permalink
    September 13, 2013

    That was a lovely start to my day to see the hop-pickers photos.

    I have a treasured photo of my Dad, Len, aged about 4 years with his Mother, Ellen HUNT, brother Albert, sisters Martha [Pat], Winnie and possibly Nell. They all came from Poplar and the photo would have been taken about 1910, in Kent.

  2. Greg Tingey permalink
    September 13, 2013

    Ah, the days when Whitbread actually brewed drinkable BEER, & weren’t a rip-off property company …..

  3. John Woodman permalink
    September 13, 2013

    Fascinating. I was born in 1944, to a family from Forest Gate but living in Southend. Every summer we would travel to Dover by train through the hop gardens. I have vivid memories of the poles, the bines and the pickers.

  4. September 13, 2013

    oh my, wonderful pictures.

  5. Jean Forster permalink
    September 14, 2013

    Have you heard The Albion Band and ‘Hopping Down in Kent’ on You Tube? I recommend it to go with the photos.
    Congratulations to all involved in the New Brewery resurrected.
    Jean

  6. September 16, 2013

    Thanks for including these pics….

    If anyone has any photos or hop picking stories to tell, we’d love to hear them… Please email thch@thch.org.uk with your details and we will get back to you…

  7. Joan Williams (nee Harrop) permalink
    September 18, 2013

    Great pictures. How can I get copies. There’s one of my Grandad that I’ve never seen before.

  8. Jacqueline HEATH (nee Harrop) permalink
    September 23, 2013

    What lovely photos, brings back memories of happy times.
    I have never seen that photo of my Grandad,just like my sister Joan who posted above.
    Also not seen the one of me (although the name is Jacqueline not Jackie) with my Aunt and uncle.
    Where did the photos come from???

  9. August 10, 2014

    Went there every year from 1946 with my mum Mary &nan & all the family went fishing down the rainbow. Luscombe family

  10. August 10, 2014

    Great on the big common the shop opposite the orchard in the lane over the little bridge on to the common watts huts on the left we was on the far right side I new Sally &charlie and snowball. Who I used play games and go to the prince or woolpack

  11. Pip Field permalink
    September 13, 2015

    Just Wonderful…Thank You.

  12. Joe Norton permalink
    April 6, 2016

    I was born in 1944 and remember hop picking as the best days of my life, we had a ‘Hut’ on the Guinness camp site known as The Ridge. Can any one tell me why Sussex and Kent bins were different in construction?

  13. karen cushway permalink
    May 21, 2016

    I remember hop picking when i was a little one with my brothers, washing at the tap at the bottom of the field, swimming in the lake with the rats lol

    Great time
    karen cushway
    Charlie Cushway was my dad’s brother and lal outram was my nanny, lovely women can never forget her. god bless

  14. August 31, 2016

    I loved it too . My mum used to take my brother and I from London to a farm in Maidstone Kent on a steam train and we stayed the 6 weeks and lived in huts and cooked outside on an old army oven set on bricks.
    All of us kids went ‘scrumping’, it was great.

  15. Cathy Hillier permalink
    September 4, 2016

    Can anybody help me find the field where we stayed whilst hop picking in Yalding, I believe. My parents were (big) Cath and H Hillier my brother was Mark. I am also called (little) Cath. I remember Joan and George, Pat and Wolly who had a son Nicky and I think Pat and George. This was around the mid 1960′s. I remember swimming in a river and having the time of my life. There is only me and my brother left and do not know how I can find out what farm we worked for. I was told by my dad H (Harry), before he passed, that some of the huts were still there and I would love to visit? I remember something about driving down seven mile lane to get there?

  16. March 12, 2017

    O my God how I loved hop picking for all children it was a dream holiday at night two men came round selling cups of bovril I used to ride on the farmers tractor such fun.

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