This fascinating collection of over 200 old photographs illustrates, in heart warming detail, the traditional working holiday of London EastEnders which was known, affectionately, as the 'Annual Hop'. As a welcome escape from the poor working and living conditions of the city the annual trip to Kent was for many families an important event.
It was a chance to earn some extra money in the hop gardens but was also a 'community event' to be enjoyed for its opportunity to breathe country air and share open space for a while with friends and neighbours.
The work was hard, especially in the extremes of weather, but most of those who went hopping remember those times fondly. The early part of the book sets the scene by showing examples of the working and living conditions that were typical of some parts of inner London in the first half of the century.
The stark contrast between these views adn those taken in the fields of Kent in summer illustrates clearly why the Annual Hop was such an attractive prospect. The author has collected the stories of Hoppers from London and across Kent and has borrowed photographs from family albums as she travelled.
The unique collection she has assembled forms a timely record of a traditional way of life that is gone forever. This intimate record of the hop-picking tradition will appeal to all ex-Hoppers and anyone who would like to see and hear more of this once important annual event.