Sunday, 15 September 2013

The River Wye, Hereford. (South of Old Bridge)

A very quiet looking Bishop's Meadow with John Douglas Hatton. circa 1890.
The Wye in flood, possibly the flood of 1899.
After the flood's August 1912.
Yet another flood.
The Hatton family taking tea in July 1894 with Parker's Steamer behind.
Lower river , near Putson.
Another early pic of Hereford in flood with the General Hospital in the background.
Only the fashion's seem to have changed.circa 1899.
A policeman on the beat in 1893.
The Hereford Lifeboat on Lifeboat Saturday launched from the Castle Green October 1908.
Another picture from Lifeboat Saturday.

This is a collection of old pics taken south of the old Wye Bridge in Hereford around the turn of the 19th century.
They have been very kindly donated to us by the Hatton Family for all to see.You may have seen some of these pics before in some of Anne Sandford's publications in the 1980s but sadly these books are no longer in print.
Once again a very big thank you to Ed Hatton for allowing us to use these wonderful pics for all to see.

Pleas feel free to leave any comments here or on our Facebook page.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Hereford River Carnival


Unfortunately we have very little information  regarding the Hereford River Carnival. Started in the 1960s it run through to 1973. The carnival was organised by the City Council to follow on from the Belmont Plate which was an amateur race for tub fours. This was run in the day whilst the River Carnival was run on the same evening, usually late summer. Lots of local companies had entries. Bulmers, Smart & Brown, Painters, Denco etc...
The Hereford Silver Band played and families turned out and lined the banks. Kids, water and darkness was a recipe for disaster but we don’t think there ever was one. All this was followed by the fireworks display on the Castle Green.

Many Thanks to John Baker, Bob Snowzell and John Ruck for the great pics.

If anyone has anymore information regarding this story, please feel free to contact us at  or you can leave comments on our Facebook page.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Hop Picking in Herefordshire

A couple of long lost pics of Hop Picking  in Herefordshire in the 1920s

Picking the Hops

The pickers' day would start early with many heading out at dawn whilst others waited for the foreman to blow his whistle at 7am. The early morning was the best time for picking as the hops became harder to pull when it got warmer in the afternoon. The early method of picking hops in Herefordshire was to spread a picking sheet on the ground and pick the hops onto it. From the 1700s onwards there are records of hop cribs. These were rough wooden frames about 7ft by 3ft with hessian strung across, and the hops were picked into them. When a field had been completely picked the pickers would move to another part of the hopyard and the quickest pickers were allowed to have first choice of where to set up.
After the hops had been picked they had to be measured and bushelled so that the picker could be paid for the day's work. The busheller would call out the number as he measured the hops into a sack, which had a mark inside giving a measurement of one bushel. The count would be kept by the tally-man who carried a number of tallies on his belt. Tallies were pieces of wood about 15 inches long, split into two pieces. One of the pieces would be given to the picker as a record of their total. The two pieces would only fit together in a certain way and the count was recorded by file marks across both pieces so the picker could not alter his or her total.
By the late 19th century Herefordshire hop growers had changed to the hop-check or token scheme. Tokens were coin-like metal discs of various sizes, all stamped with the farmer's name. The smallest represented a single bushel and these could be exchanged for ones marked 1, 3, 5, 10 and £1, indicating the amount earned by the picker in shillings and pounds. These tokens could then be exchanged for cash at the end of the picking season or, if strapped for cash, at the end of the day. The tokens could be spent at the local pub or shop and were accepted by most local tradesmen.
The token system was later replaced by the booking system whereby each picker and busheller was given a book and the amount picked was recorded by the busheller in both books. If you wanted to have some of your earnings early then the bushellers would enter the amount paid out in both books.
The rate of pay for hop picking was agreed between the farmer and the picker at the start of the season, and in the 1920s-30s in Herefordshire it varied between five bushels to the shilling for healthy, big hops and two bushels to the shilling if small and diseased. A fast picker could pick up to 25 bushels a day in fine weather. Often there were strikes by the pickers demanding more money, but these never seemed to last very long. The hop farms in the Little Frome area seemed to be prone to having strikes on Thursdays but this may have had something to do with the fact that Bromyard market was held on this day.
Of all the villages in the Bromyard area it was Bishops Frome that received the greatest number of pickers. During the 1920-30s the usual population of 700 would rise to about 5,000 during picking time.
During the afternoons various "shop" vans would visit the hopyards looking to entice the pickers into spending their hard-earned money. These included the butcher, the baker and the ice-cream man. Saturday afternoons meant time off for the pickers and many would walk into the nearby towns and villages to spend their money or visit the pub.
After World War II it became increasingly more difficult to find pickers as higher paid jobs could be found in the industrial areas with paid holidays and better standards of living. Workers were now moving out of the county to find work in the Black Country and South Wales. Education authorities in the Black Country and Herefordshire ruled that the school terms and holidays should fall in line with the rest of the country, and this meant that children were no longer available for picking in September.
There were attempts to use machinery after a picking machine was imported from America but it was not until the 1950s that machine picking became the norm. By 1955 there were 75 machines in operation in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and demand was high. The main problem with the machines was that they were not as gentle with the hops as the pickers and many of the hops broke up during drying.
[Original author: Miranda Greene, 2005]

A big Thank You to Herefordshire Through Time for above information.
A very special Thank You to Geoff and Patsy Lunn for the use of Geoff's Great Uncle
Fred Turner old photo's.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Hereford Cider Festival 1973

A short film showing us some of the many events that took place at Hereford's 1973 Cider Festival.
Please do not adjust your sound as unfortunately the film is old cine film and is silent.
Our thanks go to Malcolm Darke for these rare images of Hereford in the 1970s

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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Hereford General Hospital .

Aeriel View
The busy Accident & Emergency Dept 
The Restaurant Area
A view of the cramped Hospital
The view from Nelson Street
A & E Reception Area

Hereford General Hospital was built and opened in 1783 on the banks of the River Wye. The land had been kindly donated by the Earl of Oxford.
The hospital was built due to the inadequate facilities at the previous so called infirmary at No42 Eign Street which was more along the lines of a
Cottage Hospital and far to small.
The hospital opened with 55 beds which was considerably more than been available before.
Known originally as the "General Infirmary" it had grown to 100 beds by 1887.
In 1900 it became known as "The General Hospital". In 1927 "The Hewat Pavilion" was added (see Link Below) . Some years later in1930 it had 11 wards and could cater for 150 patients.
Unfortunately the hospital became to small to cope with modern demands and with no room for expansion it was closed on 4thJuly 2002 and all services moved to "Hereford County Hospital".

Many Thanks to Richard Maldwyn Jones for pics.