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More Hop Picking Pictures

September 14, 2013
by the gentle author

Celebrating Hop Picking Season and the opening of the new Truman’s Brewery today, it is my pleasure to publish more favourite Hop Picking Pictures selected from the archive of Tower Hamlets Community Housing. Hopping was hard work, yet it was an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy time together with plenty of high jinks, drinking and even the potential for romance.

Taken in September 1958 at Moat Farm, Five Oak Green, Kent. Sitting on the bin is Miss Whitby with Patrick Mahoney, young John Mahoney and Sheila Tarling (now Mahoney) – Sheila & Patrick were picking to save up for their engagement party in October

Maryann Lowry’s Nan, Maggie ,on the left  with her Great-Grandmother, Maryann, in the check shirt in the hop gardens, c.1910

Having a rest in hop gardens at Whitbread’s Farm, Beltring, Kent in 1966. In the back row are Mary Brownlow, Sean Locke, Linda Locke, Kate Milchard, Chris Locke & Margie Brownlow with Kevin Locke and Terry Locke in front.

Margie Brownlow & her Mum Kate Milchard at Whitbreads Farm in Beltring, Kent in 1967. These huts were two stories high. The children playing outside are – Timmy Kaylor, Chrissy Locke, Terry Locke, Sean Locke, Linda Locke & Kevin Locke.

Chris Locke, Sally Brownlow, Linda Brownlow, Kate Milchard, Margie Brownlow, Terry Locke & Mary Brownlow at Whitbread’s Farm, Beltring, Kent in 1962

Johnno Mahoney, Superintendant of the Caretakers on the Bancroft Estate in Stepney, driving the “Mahoney Special” at Five Oak Green in 1947

The Clarkson family in the hop gardens in Staplehurst.  Gladys Clarkson , Edith Clarkson, William Clarkson, Rose Clarkson & Henry Norris.

John Moore, Ross, Janet Ambler, Maureen Irish & Dennis Mortimer in 1950 at Luck’s Farm, East Peckham, Kent

Kate Fairclough, Mrs Callaghan, Mary Fairclough & Iris Fairclough at Moat Farm, Five Oak Green, Kent in 1972

A gang of Hoppers from Wapping outside the brick huts at Stilstead Farm, Tonbridge, Kent with Jim Tuck & John James in the back. In the middle row the first person on the left is unknown, but the others are Rose Tuck, holding Terry Tuck, Rose Tuck, Danny Tuck & Nell Jenkins. In the front are Alan Jenkins, Brian Tuck, Pat Tuck, Jean Tuck, Terry Taylor & Brian Taylor.

Nanny Barnes, Harriet Hefflin, “Minie” Mahoney & Patsy Mahoney at Ploggs Hall Farm

In the Hop Gardens at Jack Thompsett’s Farm at Fowl Hall, near Paddock Wood in Kent in the late forties. Alfie Raines, Edie Cooper, Margie Gorst & Lizzie Raines

The Day family from Kirks Place, Limehouse, at Highwoods Farm in Collier St, Kent in the fifties

Annie Smith, Bill Daniels, Pearl Brown & Nell Daniels waiting for the measurer in the Hop Garden at Hoathley’s Farm, Hook Green, Kent

On the common outside the huts at at Hoathley’s Farm, Hook Green, Kent – you can see the oasthouses in the distance. Rita Daniels, Colleen Brown, Maureen Brown, Marie Brown, Billy Daniels, Gerald Brown & Teddy Hart , with Sylvie Mason & Pearlie Brown standing.

The Outram family from Arbour Sq outside their huts at Hubbles Farm, Hunton, Kent. Unusually these were detached huts but, like all the others, they made of corrugated tin and all had one small window – simply basic rooms, roughly eleven feet square

Janis Randall being held by her mother Joyce Lee andalongside her is her father, Alfred Lee in a hop garden, near Faversham in September 1950

David & Vivian Lee sitting on a log on the common outside Nissen huts used to house hop pickers

Gerald Brown, Billy Daniels & Dennis Woodham in the hop gardens at Gatehouse Farm near Brenchley, Kent, in the fifties

Nelly Jones from St Paul’s Way with Eileen Mahoney, and in the background is Eileen’s mum, “Minie” Mahoney. Taken in the fifties in the Hop Gardens at Ploggs Hall Farm, between Paddock Wood and Five Oak Green.

At Jack Thompsett’s Farm at Fowl Hall, near Paddock Wood in Kent

Ploggs Hall Farm Ladies Football Team. Back Row – Fred Archer, Lil Callaghan, Harriet Jones, Unknown, Unknown, Nanny Barnes, Liz Weeks, Harriet Hefflin, Johnno Mahoney.  Front Row – Doris Hurst Eileen Mahoney & Nellie Jones

John Moore, Ross, Janet Ambler, Maureen Irish & Dennis Mortimer in 1950 at Luck’s Farm, East Peckham, Kent

The Outram and Pyburn families outside a Kent pub in 1957, showing clockwise Kitty Tyrrell, Mary Pyburn, Charlie Protheroe, Rene Protheroe, Wag Outram, Derek Protheroe in the pram, Annie Lazel, Tom Pyburn, Bill Dignum & Nancy Wright.

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, today Saturday 14th September 2pm – 10pm with Opening Ceremony at 4pm

You may also like to take a look at

Hop Picking Pictures

Cockney Beanos

16 Responses leave one →
  1. Ruth Slavid permalink
    September 14, 2013

    I went hop picking in the late 1970s as a student, in Goudhurst. It was very different, with most of the work done by students and by gypsies. But there was at least one elderly lady working there who had been one of the East End hop pickers. I remember her reminiscing about what nice boys the Krays had been! The gypsies were always in trouble for starting late. They were meant to start at 7am but since they had no watches they had to wait until the radio said it was seven. There was a horse fair in Horsmonden while we were picking.
    The money wasn’t bad for students, and after the picking finished we went on to apple packing. But it cost me two pairs of jeans, since I could never get the smell of hops out. We had spent all our time indoors, in the loading sheds. Nothing as bucolic as working in the fields.

  2. Libby Hall permalink
    September 14, 2013

    What a marvellous photograph that last one is!

    We had friends who did house clearances and had a second-hand shop. By the late 60s had made a great deal of money. They had fancy holidays abroad – but what the wife really longed for was to go hop picking again – so finally they did go hop picking again, and our friend said she enjoyed it far more than any of their expensive holidays to Mediterranean sunshine.

  3. Annie permalink
    September 14, 2013

    More brilliance. I would love to read an entry about life as a hop picker – surely there are plenty still surviving – because it looks such a happy time. My mother (brought up in Peckham) regarded hop-pickers from London as very low forms indeed. But it must have been such a relief from London in the summer heat. Pubs look fun too. Any chance, dear Author?

  4. Bee permalink
    September 14, 2013

    My husband, Harry PARIS and his father, George PARIS, used to take Poplar hop-pickers to the Kent fields in their lorry.

    Bee

  5. September 14, 2013

    Lovely pictures, as a child I used to go with my mother hop picking, good happy days to remember, the farm was called Cherry Garden Farm, in a village called Rolvenden, during the year my father who worked on the farm would string the hop garden and look after the young plants, so wish my parents could see these pictures.

    Alan

  6. Jacqueline permalink
    September 14, 2013

    They all look so happy, although in those times people did not have much it really did not matter. No wonder people call them ‘the good old days’.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Cherub permalink
    September 15, 2013

    Isn’t it lovely to see families enjoying themselves. We take too much for granted now. My husband is an East End boy but his roots on his father’s side are in Kent and he spent many holidays there at his grandfather’s. Thank you for this wonderful pictorial record of happy days. Up here in Scotland it was all about potato picking and “going to the berries” – picking raspberries at Blairgowrie in beautiful Perthshire.

  8. john cooper permalink
    September 15, 2013

    great picts i have lots of hoppicking i would love to had on here

  9. may mumford (nee stevenson) permalink
    September 17, 2013

    We went to Goudhurst in the 1950s I thought it was terrible the entire family went filled the lorry up with everything. Aunts uncles cousins, grandparents everyone and everything.
    Hated the time off school also..

  10. laura tester permalink
    September 17, 2013

    reminds me of what good times we kids had in the late 40′s on the fields , we missed them so much with the family , canning town lee’s……. we left for aust in the early 50′s….missed them so much and not understanding why they never had hop fields here ,

  11. Grace Jones permalink
    November 18, 2013

    I went to Paddockwood Bell common,from the age of 6 months old.Met my husband down there, so sorry it all came to an end.We have been married 61 years now we still talk about it. love it,Grace Jones.

  12. Billy Keefe permalink
    January 28, 2014

    I remember these times well and I also remember Kevin and the Locke family from the east end and St Mary’s and St Michael’s School and St Bernards.Happy times indeed all the best to whoever remembers me and brother Mick and sister Christine.

  13. Richard manser permalink
    February 28, 2014

    I can also remember going hop picking with my mother at Cherry Garden Farm at Rolvenden and I also remember Alan Johns , I went to school with his brother Ken and knew his mum and dad. Great times we all miss them.

  14. Angus Campbell permalink
    April 19, 2014

    Fascinating set of photos and all the more interesting for me as I have recently taken ownership of some of the land that was on the Ploggs Hall Farm. I have some hopper huts and a cookhouse still standing on the farm but they won’t be around for ever. They have suffered due to the weather over the years and are getting to the stage where they might be safer if knocked down.
    In one of the huts, I have graffiti from members of the Mahoney family and, for many years, in the cookhouse it was possible to read ‘Minnie the Moucher’ chalked on the fireplaces.
    I would love to be able to get in contact with some of the families that stayed in my huts, especially the Mahoneys, to find out more of what was there.
    Editor – if there is interest in my post, please pass on my email address.

  15. Eric Ryder permalink
    July 22, 2014

    To
    Angus Campbell,
    Hi Angus, we stayed in your hoppers huts from when they were built, on a trip to Ploggs Hall in Sep 2012 I took the liberty of finding a way to take some picks. I saw that the cookhouse made a good chicken run.
    We had two huts that were the first two on the left as you came through the gate, I have a picture of my mother and two sisters outside the first hut. I can send you the pics if you wish.
    Eric Ryder.

  16. marion bloomfield permalink
    November 17, 2014

    Great times down hopping Forge Gate Farm, East Peckham. Uncles, Aunts, Cousins.
    An old hopping song.
    Some say hoppings lousy
    I don’t believe its true
    We only go down hopping to earn a bob or two
    with an e i o, e i o, e i, ei, o.

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