THE PICKING MACHINE
This photo shows the trailers being
unloaded at the picking machine.
The trailers are specially designed to carry the hop bines to the
picking machine. As can be seen, they are open with angled
to prevent the bines from falling off the side. At the front
the trailer is a slot where the bottom end of the bine (the bit nearest
the ground when growing) is put with the main part of the bine with the
hops spread length ways down the trailer.
The hop bines are hung on to hooks which are on a continuous chain
which takes the bines through the picking machine.
"Hanging on" was a strenuous job as to ensure the efficiency of the
picking machine, as many as possible of the hooks needed to be filled
with bines. As the hooks rose up on the chain the hops were
pulled out of the trailer. Care needed to be taken that feet
firmly on the floor of the trailer with no bines wrapped around them.