Visiting Hop Pickers

Cathie's Story

    Cathie Stephens contacted me earlier this year (2008) asking if I had any photos or archive material about hop pickers.  Her family came from Bermondsey in South East London and went hop picking on the Guinness Farms at Bodiam from around 1920 to at least 1959.  Cathie's mother remembers a farm manager called Jarvis who rode a big white horse.  This is almost certain to be Frank Jarvis who managed Udiam Farm.  [He is in the photo of an oast gang at Udiam Oast]

    Cathie has sent me a photo of her grandmother, Jane Chandler and her Aunt Eileen (nee Davis) taken at Park Farm in 1955.

Jane Chandler and Aunt Eileen

    This photo looks to have been taken outside the entrance to a hop picking hut.  Note the corregated iron construction and wooden door.  One of many personal touches that pickers added to the huts is shown by the "curtains" at the door.

    Cathie's relations lived in Tooley Street which is very close to London Bridge Station and she remembers them travelling by train from there.  They would have probably gone on a "hop picking special".  These specials often left very early in the morning and would have been a through train all the way to Bodiam.  For park Farm they would have probably alighted at Udiam Halt.