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STORIES FROM THE HOP YARDS


06/02/2018
 

The British Hop Association is pleased to announce the arrival of a new film, made possible by National Lottery players, charting the heritage and future of hop picking in Herefordshire.  It is being premiered on Saturday 3rd March 2018 as part of the Borderlines Film Festival at The Courtyard Theatre in Hereford.  The film has been inspired by Derek Evans’ photographic collection, which has recently been rediscovered.  In Herefordshire, Derek Evans was well known for his black and white photography, his reportage and his own experiences of Herefordshire where he captured many treasurable moments.  He was clearly passionate about the region and he wanted his pictures to lift people’s spirits.  His extraordinary images of life in the hop fields in the 1950’s and 1960’s have evoked many fond memories from pickers and local hop farmers including the late Peter Davies, a local hop pioneer and Instone Court’s Barry Parker who recently passed away.  There will also be a photographic exhibition featuring Derek’s photos of pickers, which will be shown alongside new work created by students from Hereford College of Arts.

‘Stories from the Hop Yards’ was filmed over a year and is brimming with archive photos, film and newly-recorded interviews from local hop farmers.  The early autumn harvest period of high intensity sweat, toil and laughter from the time of Derek’s photos changed with the appearance of the Bruff machine, which did the hop ‘stripping’ mechanically.  This put an end to the annual migration of pickers from the Black Country, South Wales and the Gypsy community.  Of those farms that have survived, some are several generations strong and with new farmers investing, there is a renewed vigour in the industry.

 

This project is part of a larger Heritage Lottery-funded project: Herefordshire, Life through a Lens, produced by Hereford based Catcher Media.  There will be screenings of the film at Ludlow Assembly Rooms on Saturday 3rd March and at Malvern Theatres on Tuesday 6th March following which it will tour the country and beyond.  To book tickets visit the Festival website: https://borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk and for updates of the project and future screening dates, please visit: https://herefordshirelifethroughalens.org.uk

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Ali Capper, Director of the British Hop Association said ‘This is an exciting project helping to promote the British Hop Industry nationally and internationally, which we are delighted to be involved in.  It is fascinating to watch the progression of hop farming through the ages and we look forward to progressing further in the future’.

 

The facts about British Hops:

  •  There are over 31 commercially grown British Aroma Hop varieties in the UK
  •    British Hops represent 1.5% of world hop production (to put that in context, British wheat represents about 1% of world wheat production)
  •        Over 40% of British Hops are exported, in the main to the USA

 
 
 
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