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Hop Picking

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:22 pm
by bermondseyboy

Sent in by Patrick Long

Re: Hop Picking

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:37 pm
by bermondseyboy
My Bruv and neighbours

I only have one photo of Opping, unfortunatley i'm not in it, but my Bruv. is with some of our neighbours.

I grew up around Hops, as my Dad was an Hop Tester, making sure we had good quality beer.
Every day he would come home from work, you could smell those hops on him (luvley)
My Mum would have to clean his turn ups in his trousers which were full of Hops.
The Picture shows my Dad right at the back.
My Dad at work testing Hops

He would take me to work with him some saturdays, he needed to feed the cat which was a bit wild but good at keeping the mice at bay.
I would run wild climbing over and up on the sacks of hops that were stacked 3 or 4 high. each sack about 8 feet high.
I think the name of the Hop Merchants was Hanbury & Jackson, they were near Leather Market Park.

Re: Hop Picking

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:40 am
by kiwi
Hop-Picking, someone said that you really cannot understand what it was like unless you had experienced it, there’s some truth in that.
In the early years, (1940s/50s) we would get the train from London Bridge Station to Paddock Wood. We would be up really early & walk from Pages Walk to London Bridge pushing a pram or two with some of our possessions, happy & excited to be going Down-Oppin’. The hustle & bustle at London Bridge Station before you got on the Steam train, trying to get near a window to look out, waiting for it to pull away, then the whistle & off you go so excited. The clickety click of the wheels on the rails, your eyes watering with the smoke from the train, then you’re out of London there’s green fields, Sheep, Cows & then you spot the hop-fields, I don’t know what heaven is like but in the next three weeks I think I may be in it. Paddock Wood arrives & we all go in different directions, us to Hunton Court Farm, Hunton on the back of a flat trailer pulled by a tractor, holding on in case you fell off. Then we arrived at our Tin Hut Home, light the fire first to make a cup of tea, that makes everything feel better (still does today). Stuff the paillasse with straw for our bed, collect the bundles of faggots (wood) for the fire, have something to eat then bed, what a great day. This is a hard-working holiday for the adults but to us kids it’s all about fun & sometimes not getting caught, yes, we helped with the hop picking sometimes but if we could sneak away we would. Scrumping, pennies on the railway lines, trying to fish with a bit of string & a safety pin, then on top of all this, covered in mud but boy were we happy no health & Safety in them days. At night, all the fires outside the huts the banter, jokes, Micky taking & laughter of those wonderful hard working people who for three or four weeks had escaped, some of the slums of London to make some money for Christmas. Yes, you really had to have been there to understand, thankfully I was one of the lucky ones.
What could be better than this

A nice old cuddle and kiss
All beneath the pale moonlight.
Then some Tommy Tucker [supper] and off to Uncle Ned [bed].
Oh what a luvverly night tonight. :D

Re: Hop Picking

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:53 am
by kiwi
Sorry about the quality of the picture, it was taken in 1959 at Hunton Court Farm, Hunton. Which is in between, Yalding & Marden. At the back is the tin hopping hut we lived in, my brother in doorway & his mate (can anyone recognize him) hanging up the wallpaper with flour and water to the left is another mate, next to him is my brother in law Georgy Hazell who work for Courage’s Brewery & lived in Rolls Road, in the front are Robert & Steven with their mum Joyce Hamilton
Hunton kent hopping.jpg
Hunton Court Farm.
(married to my brother) who's single name was Wilson and she actually lived in Wilson Grove Rotherhithe, then sister Jan & my mum, Sarah (most people called her Annie) to the right of the hut you can see the tents. The second picture same place same year but the posh huts, the ladies name was Doreen, her daughter was called Eileen, they came from Rayleigh/Rochford in Essex plus my sister, great times many memories.
jan hopping Hunton, Kent..jpg
Sister Jan on Right

What could be better than this
A nice old cuddle and kiss
All beneath the pale moonlight.
Then some Tommy Tucker [supper] and off to Uncle Ned [bed].
Oh what a luvverly night tonight.
;) Happy Days :D
1944,Ray 2 years old with his mum Annie.Hopping probable Goudhurst.   X.jpg
Hopping 1944, me as a 2 year old with my mum Annie Hamilton nee Oliver.
At that age it was probable the Goudhurst area, possibly Triggs Farm ?

Hop picking, Hunton, Kent 1959. Mum and Jan..jpg
Hop picking, Hunton, Kent 1959. My Mum and sister Jan.
Hop picking, Hunton, Kent 1959, George, Bob and Joyce. Happy times..jpg
Hop picking in Hunton, Kent 1959. Brother-in- Law George Hazell left and me, brother Bob in front with Sister-in-Law Joyce Wilson. Happy times.

Re: Hop Picking

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:59 am
by kiwi
Had a tour around the Tua Brewery in NZ last year with my golfing mates, this is before we played golf. On the tour, we come across some hops, which was really good & brought make some cracking memories. Anyway, the guide said if anyone can eat a hop they will get a free beer, no problem for me swallowed enough of them when I was young plus a free beer no contest. 15 people & only two got the free beer me & one other man & where did he come from Rotherhithe, come on you Poms. :lol:
Hops, I can still smell these.
Hop p[icking.jpg
Was this man called a Hop Stringer? Should know but I'm old.

Re: Hop Picking

Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:49 am
by kiwi
Two pictures posted by TINYF (MARK) , on old site.
A couple of photos of the Blue Bell Inn at Beltring. One taken by me with my trusty Brownie 127 in the 60s and the other by my brother in 2010 after the pub closed.
hops 1.jpg

Seeing the Blue Bell Inn looking like that when it was such a vibrant place and part of the hop pickers lives for so many years. Going hop picking in that area, and then living about ten minutes away from the pub for about thirty years, really saddens me to see it as it is to-day. I can remember the hop picking tours, they came down to see how the hops were coming on and if they would make enough money for Christmas. Not too sure if they would have remembered by the time they got back to London, only half of them were tipsy before they got to the hop fields, still they were happy good luck to them. Have I got some great memories of that pub, Kiwi.
blue bell2.jpg
The renovated house which was behind the Pub
blue bell.jpg
The sign to remind us, but the other side of the barn are another four houses. 2016.

Can anyone remember Neddy the Donkey and the caravan, behind the BLUE BELL INN?

Re: Hop Picking

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:04 am
by micky2horses

This is a picture of me as a baby, Mum and Sister both unfortunately no longer with us! I can remember all jumping on "Smitthys" van to go down to 'Opping. Grandads favourite chair was first on

Re: Hop Picking

Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:31 pm
by kiwi
Salvation Army with there Tea Urn down Hopping c 1942..jpg
Salvation Army with there Tea Urn down Hopping c 1942. Because of the mud this really didn't work so it was returned to London.

Re: Hop Picking

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:30 am
by kiwi
This brings back memories for me because this is how we loaded the railway lorries when I work at the Bricklayers Arms. I bet there are a few of you who remember seeing these lorries when you went hopping. This is a Bedford Truck, I would guess it is heading to the Hop Marketing Board at Paddock Wood.

Re: Hop Picking

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:09 am
by kiwi