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

How did the pickers get to the farms?

Video clips © BBC

For many children this was their annual holiday and the trip down to Kent was an adventure. They saw cows and fields which were never seen in London.

Families would get themselves to London Bridge station then catch one of the special hoppers' trains. The trains ran at unusual hours so they didn't interrupt the main service. They often had to stop to wait for other passenger trains to pass through the stations. The journey would usually take several hours.

Do you think the people in the video enjoyed going hop picking? Do you think everyone felt like this? Why do you think the children found the train journey exciting? Would you?

When the pickers arrived at the other end, farmers would send down wagons to collect them and their belongings and bring them to the farms.

In groups, act out the train journey. Set up chairs as if they were a train carriage. One person should be the ticket collector and the others sit in family groups. Some children could hide under the seats. How do you think the pickers are feeling? What do you think the atmosphere was like on board the trains?

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