Enjoy a celebration of hop picking at Bodiam station
The sights, the sounds, smells and even the feel of hop season are all being celebrated this month (10-30 September) at Bodiam station through a series of free activities and displays. Throughout the month, starting on Saturday 10th September, visitors to Bodiam station will be able to take a trip back in time to learn about the local area’s rich hop picking history.September was the traditional start of the Kent hopping season. From Victorian times up to the 1950s whole families would travel out by light railway from London to take part in the six-week harvest and hop drying: the origin of the phrase ‘hopping down to Kent’.
One of the station’s replica Hoppers Huts will be open for visitors to see how visiting pickers would have lived during their annual ‘holiday’ in the countryside.
Original films and sound recordings will bring the story of the harvest to life, while wall displays in the station waiting room tell the story of the hop growing year and the use of the hops in the brewing industry.
An original grey Ferguson tractor, which would have been used in the hop gardens, will be on display on Sunday 11th September.Children can get up close and personal with the hops themselves by visiting the station’s hop garden where they can touch as well as smell the hops. They can also dress up as hoppers and take a photo in the garden or in front of the hut. Bodiam station’s volunteer Station Master will also be giving weekend talks about the Hoppers Huts and local Hop Gardens throughout the day on Saturday 10th,
Sunday 11th, Sunday 18th and Sunday 25th September..With all that accumulated knowledge, completing the onboard activity sheets on the train journey back to Tenterden should be a breeze!