For 400 years Kent was vividly associated with the cultivation of hops. The harvesting of the hop was done by an itinerant workforce drawn mainly from London's east end, and gypsies coming from as far away as Ireland. Whole families were involved for women and children were allowed to pick on the fields, the little ones picking into umbrellas or boxes; men who had jobs came down at weekends. For the east enders it was an annual working holiday in the countryside. This book evokes the bygone world of hopping through a fascinating illustrated selection of tales, songs, anecdotes and social records covering 400 years of local history, featuring both the 'rose-tinted' image and the harsher reality of a distinctive aspect of Kentish life.