Archive for the ‘Kent’ Category

Finchcocks Oast House episode of The Restoration Man

Monday, December 10th, 2012

We have had the following note from a TV production company

A number of BHS members, including Peter Tann and Peter Darby, have helped with this


I hope you are well. Just to let you know that it has now been confirmed that the Finchcocks Oast House episode of The Restoration Man is transmitting on Thursday 27th December, 9pm on Channel 4. Do please spread the word.


Many thanks for all your help and I do hope you enjoy the programme!


Best wishes,


Book on Hops

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

The following flyer has come into the ‘office’. I repeat it here as it’s likely to be of interest to readers. I have not seen the book and can offer no comment on its merits.

Out of the Hay and into the Hops

Hop cultivation in Wealden Kent and hop marketing in Southwark, 1744-2000

by Celia Cordle

“utterly fascinating” Journal of Kent History

“As an insight into an iconic rural landscape, this an excellent guide.” Rural History

Out of the Hay and into the Hops explores the history and development of hop cultivation in the Weald of Kent together with the marketing of this important crop in the Borough at Southwark (where a significant proportion of Wealden hops were sold). A picture emerges of the relationship between the two activities, as well as of the impact this rural industry had upon the lives of the people engaged in it.

Dr Cordle draws extensively on personal accounts of hop work to evoke a way of life now lost for good. Oral history, together with evidence from farm books and other sources, records how the steady routine of hop ploughing and dung spreading, weeding and spraying contrasted with the bustle and excitement of hop picking (bringing in, as it did, many itinerant workers from outside the community to help with the harvest) and the anxious period of drying the crop. For hops, prey to the vagaries of weather and disease, needed much care and attention to bring them to fruition. In early times their cultivation provided work for more people than any other crop.

The diverse processes of hop cultivation are examined within the wider context of events such as the advent of rail and the effects of war, as are changes to the working practices and technologies used, and their reception and implementation in the Weald. Meanwhile, in the Borough, an enclave of hop factors and merchants, whose interests sometimes conflicted with those of the hop growers, arose and then suffered decline. A full account of this trade is presented, including day-to-day working practices, links with the Weald, and the changes in hop marketing following Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community.

This book provides readers with a fascinating analysis of some three hundred years of hop history in the Weald and the Borough. Hops still grow in the Weald; in the Borough, the Le May façade and the gates of the Hop Exchange are reminders of former trade.

Celia Cordle studied English Local History at the University of Leicester and was awarded her PhD in 2006. Her doctoral thesis won Kent Archaeological Society’s inaugural Hasted Prize in 2007.

Studies in Regional and Local History, Volume 9

ISBN 978-1-907396-03-8

February 2011, 200pp

Hardback £35.00 / US$80.00

ISBN 978-1-907396-04-5

September 2011, 200pp

Paperback £18.99 / US$37.95

Roger Marples

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

I was very saddened to hear that Roger has passed away. Although not a BHS member he was well known to many and was very active and much respected in his corner of Kent. We send our condolences to his wife Pauline, his family and many friends.

GENTLEMAN:  CAMRA stalwart Roger Marples died on August 28

Faversham Hop Festival & Talk

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Peter Tann has sent me the following note about his forthcoming talk and the Hop Festival weekend:

When we met at that very good day out in Oxford and Witney, I mentioned that I was giving a talk entitled ‘The business of hops in the 19th century’.  This is to be part of the annual Hop Festival in Faversham.  The festival itself takes place over the weekend of 4-5 September.

My talk is scheduled for Thursday 9 September at the Drill Hall, Preston Street, Faversham, starting at 7.30pm.

Austen’s Regent Brewery, Ramsgate

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

I am researching my family history, and trying to add to any information existing regarding Austen’s Regent Brewery in Ramsgate. We have a fair bit of information regarding its history, but would love to discover more photographs or labels / documents regarding the brewery. To date we have one photograph of the original Brewery building which was purchased by Fleets brewery circa 1900.

The information we do have is that the brewery started in the late 1700s in Broad Street, by 1850 the brewery moved to new premises in Belmont Street, which was called Regent Place, and for the next 70 years the building was known as the Regent Brewery. The brewery had two pubs the Golden Ball and King of Denmark but supplied many more.

Gardner’s of Ash first leased the brewery buildings and finally bought them in 1927 but concentrated brewing at Ash and the brewery site was converted into a large hall for concerts and dances before being demolished in the 1950s. The Golden Ball remained until the 1960s and the King of Denmark traded up until the 1990s when it became a Noodle Bar.

Gardner’s of Ash continued the Austen link when Claude Austen was head brewer up until the brewery was absorbed into the Whitbread/Fremlins empire and demolished.

If anyone knows anything more that would be great

WESTERHAM ALES: A Brief History of the Black Eagle Brewery, Westerham

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

WESTERHAM ALES: A Brief History of the Black Eagle Brewery, Westerham

Authors: Peter Moynihan and K R Goodley
ISBN 1 873966 00 8     A5 Paperback


This book is available from the BHS postal book shop – see the main web site or email for details. 

Enquiries to: The BHS Bookshop, Long High Top, Heptonstall, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire HX7 7PF.

Woodhams Brewery, Rochester, Kent Established 1750

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Does anybody know where to find more information about Woodhams Brewery, apparently active in Victoria Street/East Row, Rochester from 1750-1918? Especially interested in what kind of beer did they brew, anyone who has old Woodhams bottles, any old pictures of the brewery and when was the brewery built and rebuilt?