Please hold whilst we prepare Hops...

Hop Picking

Derek's extraordinary images of life in the hop fields in the 50s and 60s have evoked many fond memories, including those of Claston Farm hop pioneer Peter Davies, and Instone Court's Barry Parker, whose stories were recorded before their recent deaths. The early autumn period of high intensity, sweat, toil and laughter, changed with the appearance of the Bruff machine (a mechanised hop picking machine), bringing to an end the annual migration of pickers from the Black Country, South Wales and the Gypsy communities. Of those farms that have survived, some are several generations strong, and, with a fresh crop of new farmers investing in the business, there is renewed vigour in the industry.

A requisite of British beer, with their evocative aroma, hops have been an integral part of county life for centuries. Listen to stories of days past and present, from pickers, farmers, traders and brewers; from families arriving for a working holiday by train, cattle lorry or charabanc; dinners cooked over open fires; children picking hops into upturned old umbrellas, while mothers worked at the cribs.

Photo Gallery

Explore these wonderful photos of hop pickers and their children in the fields in the 50s and 60s. See new work from Hereford College of Arts students, who went out into today

Hop pickers the Jones Family at Larport Farm
Hop picking at Withington 1968
Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington
Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington
Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington
Hop pickers the Jones Family at Larport Farm

Hop pickers the Jones Family at Larport Farm

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Hop picking at Withington 1968

Hop picking at Withington 1968

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Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington

Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Hop pickers the Jones Family at Larport Farm
Hop pickers
Hop picking at Withington 1968
Hop picking at Withington 1968
Hop pickers the Jones Family at Larport Farm

Hop pickers the Jones Family at Larport Farm

Tag: Cribs

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Hop pickers

Hop pickers

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Hop picking at Withington 1968

Hop picking at Withington 1968

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Hop picking at Withington 1968

Hop picking at Withington 1968

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Hop Picking 20.09.67
Kids in hop field
Kids in hop field
Hop pickers
Hop picking at Withington 1968
Hop picking at Withington 1968
Kids at Claston Farm Dormington
Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington
Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington
Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington
Hop pickers 24.09.66
Kids at Claston Farm Dormington
Kids at Claston Farm Dormington
Hop Picking 20.09.67

Hop Picking 20.09.67

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Kids in hop field

Kids in hop field

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Kids in hop field

Kids in hop field

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Hop pickers

Hop pickers

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Hop picking at Withington 1968

Hop picking at Withington 1968

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Hop picking at Withington 1968

Hop picking at Withington 1968

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Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

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Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Hop pickers 24.09.66

Hop pickers 24.09.66

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Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

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Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

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Hop Picking 20.09.67
Hop pickers
Hop picking at Withington 1968
Hop picking at Withington 1968
Kids at Claston Farm Dormington
Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington
Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington
Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington
Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington
Hop pickers 24.09.66
Kids at Claston Farm Dormington
Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips
Kids at Claston Farm Dormington
Hop Picking 20.09.67

Hop Picking 20.09.67

Tag: Hop Picking Field

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Hop pickers

Hop pickers

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Hop picking at Withington 1968

Hop picking at Withington 1968

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Hop picking at Withington 1968

Hop picking at Withington 1968

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Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

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Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington

Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Hop pickers 24.09.66

Hop pickers 24.09.66

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Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

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Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips

Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips

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Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

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Kids in hop field
Kids in hop field

Kids in hop field

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Hops in hand c. Emma Pritchard
Worker at Brook House Farm c. Steven Fratson
Workers at Stock Farm, Suckley c. Alex Thimm
Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips
Hops in hand c. Emma Pritchard

Hops in hand c. Emma Pritchard

Tag: Modern Day Hop Picking

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Worker at Brook House Farm c. Steven Fratson

Worker at Brook House Farm c. Steven Fratson

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Workers at Stock Farm, Suckley c. Alex Thimm

Workers at Stock Farm, Suckley c. Alex Thimm

Tag: Modern Day Hop Picking

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Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips

Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips

Tag: Modern Day Hop Picking

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Worker at Brook House Farm c. Steven Fratson
Workers at Stock Farm, Suckley c. Alex Thimm
Hop pickers 24.09.66
Worker at Brook House Farm c. Steven Fratson

Worker at Brook House Farm c. Steven Fratson

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Workers at Stock Farm, Suckley c. Alex Thimm

Workers at Stock Farm, Suckley c. Alex Thimm

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Hop pickers 24.09.66

Hop pickers 24.09.66

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Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington
Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington
Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington
Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington

Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips
Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips

Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips

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Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips
Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips

Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips

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Hop pickers the Jones Family at Larport Farm
Hop Picking 20.09.67
Kids in hop field
Kids in hop field
Hops in hand c. Emma Pritchard
Hop pickers
Hop picking at Withington 1968
Hop picking at Withington 1968
Worker at Brook House Farm c. Steven Fratson
Kids at Claston Farm Dormington
Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington
Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington
Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington
Workers at Stock Farm, Suckley c. Alex Thimm
Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington
Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington
Hop pickers 24.09.66
Kids at Claston Farm Dormington
Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips
Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington
Kids at Claston Farm Dormington
Hop pickers the Jones Family at Larport Farm

Hop pickers the Jones Family at Larport Farm

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Hop Picking 20.09.67

Hop Picking 20.09.67

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Kids in hop field

Kids in hop field

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Kids in hop field

Kids in hop field

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Hops in hand c. Emma Pritchard

Hops in hand c. Emma Pritchard

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Hop pickers

Hop pickers

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Hop picking at Withington 1968

Hop picking at Withington 1968

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Hop picking at Withington 1968

Hop picking at Withington 1968

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Worker at Brook House Farm c. Steven Fratson

Worker at Brook House Farm c. Steven Fratson

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Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

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Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington

Tea Break at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Workers at Stock Farm, Suckley c. Alex Thimm

Workers at Stock Farm, Suckley c. Alex Thimm

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Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Hop pickers 24.09.66

Hop pickers 24.09.66

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Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

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Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips

Caravans Reflected over Hop Yard, photograph by Rhys Phillips

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Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

Picker at Claston Farm, Dormington

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Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

Kids at Claston Farm Dormington

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Interviews & Videos

View teasers for Stories from the Hop Yards film, interview extracts and more

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