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History of Ash and Ridley from Earliest Records to 1957
Compiled by Dorothy G. Meager on behalf of Ash and Ridley Women's Institute           Page 65

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By far the largest proportion of the population is engaged on the land. A great deal of fruit is grown such as apples, pears, plums and cherries, and until the last year or two soft fruits were quite a feature but most of these have been grubbed up because they do not now pay, owing mainly to the wages bill. Strawberries however are still widely grown. Most other crops are produced. Quite often, for fruit and potato picking, the farmers have to import labour as well as employing all the women available in the Village. Dairy farming and sheep rearing are carried on in parts of both Parishes. A number of chicken farms grew up between the Wars, especially down Billet Hill, these have now largely disappeared although quite a lot of birds are kept for domestic use. Pig keeping is also a feature but not to such an extent as during the 1939-45 War. Several people go in for beekeeping, some on a fairly large scale.

   As well as the farmers there are the shopkeepers, inn keepers, a builder and decorator, a garage and haulage contractor.
   A small proportion of the population go to town daily, either to London or nearby towns such as Gravesend, Dartford, Tilbury etc. This section of the population include employers and employees in several different trades and professions. A few of the girls are doing nursing, one, Gwendoline Curling, has qualified as a Sister in Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Service. One of the boys, David Wise, is on the staff at Buckingham Palace. The tendency is for the young people to get employment in towns and that is one of the factors that has a marked effect on the formation of clubs etc. in the Village.

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