Do you remember hop picking in Kent?

Katherine Johnston (10 September, 2018) Culture

Eden Valley Museum wants to hear pickers' memories

25039Eastenders in a hop field in Kent, c.1890/1899

A museum in Kent is looking for south Londoners to share their memories of Eden Valley hop picking for a new exhibition.

Eden Valley Museum, in Edenbridge, Kent, is putting on a hop picking exhibition in 2019, and says it wants to hear from News readers who remember travelling to the countryside to take part in the seasonal work in decades gone by.

Villages where readers may have picked hops include Edenbridge, Chiddingstone, Cowden, Crockham Hill, Toys Hill, Four Elms and Penshurt.

According to historians, hop growing was widespread in the Eden Valley during the 19th century and early 1900s, with the flowers from the plant used to make beer and herbal medicines.

Many seasonal pickers came from London to ‘twiddle’ newly sown hops and stay in ‘hoppers huts’ during the harvest with their families.

Picking season was a huge social event with Londoners arriving on foot and by horse and cart before trains.

Any past hop pickers should contact the museum on 01732 868102, email curator@evmt.org.uk or write to Eden Valley Museum, Church House, 72 High Street, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 5AR to share your memories.

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