Home What was hop farming? What was hopping down in Kent? Pictures, maps & games Teacher's notes

What preparations were made for the annual trip?

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Each summer farmers would send letters out to the regular pickers in London to invite them to come down to work. Once they had received the letter, people with jobs had to get time off work (this often involved going to the doctor's for a sick note) and start preparing for the trip.

Families would pack up food, crockery, clothing, bedding and everything possible to make their stay in Kent more comfortable. They would often take curtains to hang over the doors of the huts for privacy.

Why do you think taking all these supplies was necessary? Do you think everyone took a hopper's box? Do you think everyone was excited about going picking?

The farmer's letter would include train tickets. When the day came, families would carry their hopping boxes to London Bridge station so they could catch the special hoppers' trains down to the farms in Kent.

What would you take in your hopping box? What do you think are essential items for a 6 week trip away from home? Draw an outline of a hopping box and all the items you would take inside it.

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