The Hop Project

Exhibition Display System & Romany Traveller Movements

The Bennetts are a Romany Traveller family. They were involved in hop picking until quite recently. Although not involved in agriculture today, they still live a nomadic lifestyle around the Midlands and Wales, with many of these movements corresponding to former agricultural-migratory routes. The exhibition documents their annual movements around this area today. Mr Bennett has also built elements of the exhibition display structure for the touring exhibition from locally sourced hazel.

Romany Travellers

Historically, during the hop picking season in September/October, Gypsies, Roma and Traveller people were a key component of the temporary seasonal labour force needed to harvest the hops. Indeed, ‘hopping’ was a valuable source of income. Hopping was just one instance of how the movements of Gypsies, Roma and Traveller people corresponded to the agricultural season. They would move from farm to farm throughout the summer picking cherries, strawberries, black-currants, peas and beans. In September and October it was hop picking, followed by top fruit and finally potato picking before finding a place to stop for the winter.


Image credit: Malcolm Scott

The Bennett Family have a caravan for sale built by Mr Bennett.

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