Title ID 13716Collection ID1
TitleMoving History - A Year in a Kentish Hop Garden
DateJune 2016
CollectionScreen Archive South East Productions
Genre/TypeProfessionalScreen Archive South EastNon-fictionPromotional/Publicity
ThemeRural Life
KeywordsWinter Spring Summer Autumn Children Farming Rural Areas Mothers Social Class
LocalBoughton-under-Blean Biddenden
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionScreen Archive South East
EditorNicholas Clark
MusicNina Humphreys
FormatBlack & White Sound
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details.


A lyrical film that chronicles a year in the hop gardens of Kent - featuring fields being ploughed in January, hop poles being erected in March, plants growing in Spring, harvesting in August by legions of hop-pickers and the hops being finally dried in oast houses in September. The film ends with scenes showing charcoal production for the oast houses' furnaces.


The film begins in January with scenes of horse-drawn ploughs being worked across fields. Hop poles are made in February and erected in March. Men on stilts wire up the poles in April and throughout May and June the growing hops are tended, sprayed and protected with nets. August sees the arrival of families of hop-pickers and the hop harvest. Men, women and children are seen working in the hop fields as well as cooking meals, shopping and relaxing in their campsite accommodation. September sees the sacks of harvested hops arriving at oast houses. These have the distinctive white cowls that make them such a recognisable feature of the Kent countryside. Inside the oast houses we see hops laid out in the drying kilns, warmed by fires in furnaces. Dried hops are seen being loaded into very large sacks for despatch to breweries. When the growing season ends we see men dismantling the hop fields and gathering the poles for burning in charcoal kilns. Skilled men gather the poles, assemble them into a mound and cover the kiln with earth before lighting the fire. The resulting finished charcoal is shown before we end with a thirsty charcoal burner taking a swig of beer from a bottle. End Credits


A black and white still image taken from TID 13716, showing two men stood in a field surrounded by neat vertical rows of tall strung hop vines. The men are spraying the hops with water part way down the vines, from long poles attached to hoses.