Kingsley Wood Visits Kent Hop Pickers (1935)

Categorised as Kent
Sir Howard Kingsley Wood

In 1935 the Minister of Health, Sir Howard Kingsley Wood, visites families working as hop pickers in Kent.

Sir Kingsley Wood Amongst The Hoppers News In A Nutshell (1935): British Pathé

This vintage footage was originally part of News in a Nutshell, a series of brief international news stories. It records the visit of the Minister of Health, Sir Howard Kingston Wood, and his wife Agnes, to a hop picking farm in Kent.

The Hop Pickers Of Kent

It was a tradition at the time for entire families to head down to Kent for a working holiday. 

Mainly from cramped accommodation in places such as London, the adults and children spent a fortnight picking hops by day and socialising at night. Children too young to work as pickers looked after the toddlers.

The farmers provided rudimentary accommodation next to the productive fields, and enough money for the hop pickers to buy food and alcohol. It was a break from the dirty air of overcrowded streets.

The Kingsley Wood Visit To The Hop Pickers

Here in 1935, the hop pickers in Kent have a surprise visitor – the Minister of Health, Sir Kingsley Wood. His wife Agnes arrives too.

In his speech to a somewhat restless crowd (which includes a large number of children), Sir Kingsley Wood talks of his previous visit to the hop fields in 1927.

They are all standing in a courtyard outside a row of huts, which provides accommodation to the families.

He apologises that the weather that day was not forecast to be good. He is wrapped up in his coat, and several people hold umbrellas.

After his speech, the narrator tells us one family asked if he would like a cup of tea, and that he accepted the offer.

Find out more about Agnes and Sir Howard Kingsley Wood

Categorised as Kent

By Debbie Death

I love learning about history, and for the past 30 years have enjoyed books, films, and documentaries on the topic. On days off from work my favourite destination with friends and family are museums, historic buildings, and archaeological sites, or just walking around interesting streets with old buildings to admire.