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The essence of hops captured on film

A film charting the heritage and the future of hop picking in Herefordshire, is soon to hit the screens. Stories from the Hop Yards brims with archive photos, film, and newly-recorded interviews.

It is part of a larger Heritage Lottery-funded project, Herefordshire Life Through a Lens produced by Hereford based Catcher Media, that has been inspired by the rediscovered Derek Evans’ photographic collection. His extraordinary images of life in the hop fields in the 50’s and 60’s have evoked many fond memories including capturing stories of hop pioneer Peter Davies and Instone Courts Barry Parker before their recent deaths. The early autumn period of high intensity, sweat, toil and laughter too changed with the appearance of the Bruff machine, putting to an end 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. The hop has confidently stepped into the 21st Century. We’ll say cheers to that!

‘Stories from the Hop Yards’: film and accompanying photographic exhibition will premiere as part of Borderlines Film Festival on Saturday March 3rd The Courtyard, Hereford.

The exhibition featuring Derek’s photos of pickers will be shown alongside new work created by students from Hereford College of Arts from 21st February to 2nd April.

There are additional screenings at Ludlow Assembly Rooms March 3rd and Malvern Theatres March 6th.

The film will then tour the county and beyond. Book tickets via the festival website and check for updates of the project and future screening dates.