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Abbey Street and Hop Pickers

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Ann Cureton    27 Oct 2008
My great grandmother Julia Louisa Hyland died 7th June 1915 at 2 Providence Place, Abbey Street, Faversham Within, at the age of 34. This left her husband Mark Hyland, fFarm labourer, to look after their six children, the youngest being only 2.  In 1912 they were living at 17 Wallers Row, Faversham Without. 

My grandfather was born in 1906 "in a tent" on South Ash Farm, Ash. I understand from family talk that Mark and Julia were hop pickers and therefore I was very interested to see on your website a couple of photos of hop pickers.
I am surprised to see the standard of dress of these people.  Are there photos indicative of how hop pickers dressed at the time?  

There are so many unanswered questions about the family, what their life was like etc.  Also I am wondering where Julia might be buried. 

I live in Australia and I hope one day to visit Faversham and walk down Abbey Street and Wallers Row and perhaps even visit South Ash Farm if it still exists.
Meanwhile I am very keen to make contact with a local person who might have hop pickers in their family and or who might be able to tell me a bit about what life was like for those people. I am not able to find this family on the 1901 census.
chris faerber    24 Feb 2009
My grandmother Hilda Glady Wade lived at number 3 Providence Place.  I have only just started research on my family.

On the census I have for 1901 it only shows number 2 as unoccupied. Very interesting doing all this though!
Arthur Percival    29 Oct 2008

A further response, pending possibly an email from you, as suggested in my earlier posting.   This is in the light of information received from my Faversham Society fellow-volunteer, Peter Stevens, whose family had a shop on the corner of the entrance to what was generally known as Oyster Court, comprising both Providence Place and Cobden Place.

Records show that a family called Hyland were at No 1 Providence Place in 1915 and that by the time a 1916 Directory was published (probably late in 1915) an M (doubtless Mark)) was at No 2 Providence Place.   Jesse (sic) Louisa Hyland was buried in Plot D 352 at Faversham Cemetery, Love Lane, on 6 October 1915 (seemingly an unduly long time after she died on 7 June).

Hop-picking was seasonal work in late August and September and the family would have had to try to find other employment for the rest of the year.   The normal wear while actually picking was a sacking apron.

No 2 Providence Place was one of a terrace of 8 tiny cottages, with no bathrooms and just an outside toilet.   All were demolished in the late 1950s and no photographs seem to have survived.   Likewise you are out of luck with Wallers Row, which was a long terrace of Georgian or early Victorian cottages which has since been demolished and replaced by what was Council housing.    Again there are no photographs, except one distant aerial one.

This lack of survival and photographic evidence is against trend in Faversham, where hundreds of buildings have survived from the 15th to the 19th centuries, and the town centre would probably still be recognised by Shakespeare, who acted here in the late 16th century.

I think your great-grandmother was really Jesse (as in the Cemetery burial record), not Julia, as indicated by you.   This is because in September 1916 a Julia Louisa Hyland, aged 16 years and perhaps her daughter, was convicted of stealing a coat from Mrs Jessie Miles, with whom she was lodging.   She was bound over for two years, and, the Court said, 'more to be pitied than blamed.'   She was then working at one of the town's three gunpowder factories.   Perhaps she was Mark's oldest child, trying to be the family breadwinner?   At least a job in one of the gunpowder factories would have been steady and quite well paid.

I hope in due course you get to Faversham, if only because I think you'd like it, and its people, who are friendly.

Best wishes

Arthur Percival    27 Oct 2008

As far as dress is concerned, there was often a tendency for pickers to put on their 'Sunday best' if they knew they were going to be photographed.    If they didn't, they'd still be reasonably well clad.

I think probably your enquiry is really a family history one.   If you would like us to help, and we'd be pleased to try, I think your best course is to send an email to the Faversham Society at, repeating the information in your posting and preferably also including a family tree, if only in embryo form, with all dates and places of birth/marriage/death of which you're already aware.    This should preferably in simple Word, or some such.

Arthur (for The Faversham Society)