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The Lea Valley Nursery Industry

Harris Digital Productions starts work on a film about the history of the Lea Valley Nursery Industry. From as early as the 18th century the Lea Valley was famed for its market gardens, producing plants, fruits and vegetables which were sold at London markets and beyond. The skill of many Lea Valley growers was to become legendary as they grew produce which rivalled the best in the world. Exploring... 

The Great Eastern Railway

The Great Eastern Railway was formed in 1862 having amalgamated with the Eastern Counties Railway and a number of smaller railways. Its development would have a profound effect on three main types of traveller; the commuter, the agriculturalist and those going on holiday. London was now more accessible than ever and villages such as Tottenham quickly developed into bustling suburbs. Whilst this sudden... 

Clay flower pots

Many other trades grew up in association with the nursery industry. Clay flower pots were made from clay dug up on the spot by Tuck’s at Woodgreen Lane, Waltham Abbey, and by Samuel South at Tottenham. Some of South’s men could produce 1,400 pots a day.  Read More →

Land Girls

A shortage in strong, male workers was one of the many problems faced by the nurseries following the outbreak of war. A number of companies solved this issue by hiring Land Girls, those trusted female recruits from the Women`s Land Army who were willing to step in and do the jobs usually reserved for men. These determined women helped to ensure that life on “The Home Front” was as normal as possible,... 

Appeal to contributors

The producers of the Lea Valley Nursery programme are eager to hear from anyone who has cine film or photographs that might be of interest. Alongside interviews with a number of nurseries and Thomas Rochford himself, we will also be including the memories of former nursery workers. If you are happy to speak on camera and have a story to tell we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact John...