About this time of year, I always find this pic a bit of a sad reminder of what was a huge part of life when I was much younger.
My Dad was the chief engineer for the largest hop grower in the country, and his work meant that he researched, designed, and eventually built the state-of-the-art machines and oasts which picked and dried the hops.
Up to the fifties, the traditional way to pick hops had been to bring folk - mainly from London in this area - and install them in hopper huts on each of the farms. It was a riot, great fun, and without touching on 'social' issues, most people who came down made a few quid, and enjoyed a working holiday in some great countryside.
Because the farms were so spread out, the 'guvnors' had early versions of radio telephones installed in their cars, vans and Landrovers, and I, and a few other sons were paid £2 a week to take messages on these things. It was very important (!), and drew gasps from other kids who thought that such space age kits only worked in police cars!
But driving round Kent these days is a bit nostalgic, as 'farm quotas' and general interference from the usual suspects who detest farming, have all but driven the UK hop growing business away for good.
I can't really get to grips with seeing bare wirework like this, especially if a few solitary bits of bine are still blowing in the breeze...