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PAM ROYDS 1924 - 2016

Pam Royds on Grasmere , 1971 with Sally Christie, children’s author and daughter of Philippa Pearce. I was just twenty two when I fir...

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My blog is about writing and illustrating children's books which I have been doing since 1974. www.gillianmcclure.com has all my books. I also have another blog: www.paulcoltman.blogspot.com where I publish my father's poems.

Saturday, 30 January 2010


Here are some oast houses in Kent. They remind me of childhood holidays at my grandmother's house when we used to go hop picking. My sister and I didn't do much picking; we preferred playing among the hop vines.
But the families from the East End of London, who were picking hops alongside us, had hands stained brown from picking. 

Recently I gathered some visual reference on hop picking from the Museum of Kent Life near Maidstone with the view to doing a story set in 1940 when the Battle of Britain was taking place in the skies over the Kent hop fields:

I found out that the hoppers who used to come to Kent by train from London were known among the locals as 'the London bug-squashers'.

Perhaps the story I had in mind had too specific a theme for the picture book market today and might be better approached as a longer book with chapters and black and white drawings - a variation on the evacuation stories set in WW2.

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