Title ID 1017Collection ID1027
Title[Kent Hop Farming Part 2: Making Charcoal]
Date[ca. 1930s]
Genre/TypeProfessionalFilm/Video companyNon-fictionActuality/Factual
ThemeWorking Life Rural Life
KeywordsFarming Labour Landscape Rural Areas Trades Workers
LocalBiddenden (?)
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionNot known
Format35mm Black & White Silent
Duration15 min. 23 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This film documents part of the hop growing process including spraying the hops and tilling the soil. The second half of the film follows the manual processes involved in the building and firing a kiln for charcoal burning.


This first half of the film shows an early part of the hop growing process, focusing on the overhead lattice required for hops to grow. As the vines grow, men spray them with chemicals from canisters carried on their backs. A small tractor is driven between the hop poles, pulling a plough and tilling the ground.

The second half of the film then turns to capturing the charcoal making process. Straight coppiced wood for burning is piled up and stacked into a dome shape to form the kiln. This is then covered in a layer of straw and then earth. The charcoal maker tips hot embers into a hole at the top of the kiln, thus beginning the slow process of charcoal making (pyrolysis). The man sits under a basic shelter and waits for the wood to turn to charcoal. Raking the kiln reveals the charcoal.


A still from [Kent Hop Farming Part 2 - Making Charcoal] (1930s) showing a charcoal stack