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Hop Picking Time

September each year the village would come alive with the smell of Hops being picked and dried.

Until the 60's the hops were picked into a bin by hand, then the Mill Farm introduced a Hop picking machine. I can remember the working Oast Houses at Mill Farm and the farm behind the Post Office, there are also Oasts in Cannon Lane farm and Pelican Farm but I am not sure when they stopped being used. Tractors would be seen running from the Hop Garden to the Oast Houses constantly.

This is a photo of my Mum & her Mum Hop Picking at Mill Farm in the 40's. Behind them is a large Victorian greenhouse installed by  Richard  Fremlin who lived in the house then called May Lodge, later Broomsdown.   By the 1940’s  I think Canon Keys lived there.
My brother Brian Gilham and Elizabeth Marchant Hop Picking in Wateringbury around 1967/8

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