How green was my valley? Very - thanks to watercress

JPNS-27-05-11-117 RW watercress REP CO''Meon Valley, 1929
JPNS-27-05-11-117 RW watercress REP CO''Meon Valley, 1929
A pod of dolphins.

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This is the Meon Valley in 1929 featuring an elderly couple involved in the backbreaking work of picking watercress at the New Cheriton beds.

Cress has always been an important part of people’s diet because of the rich vitamin and iron content.

Originally, gypsies would gather cress from roadside ditches and sell it in the towns.

The advent of the railways meant a large market became available and large-scale growing was encouraged.

Much of the Meon Valley was used where slow, pure streams of even temperature were to be found.

Often beds were created by laying faggots under clay and gravel until a solid surface was created.

The cress was packed into cane baskets, called chips, each containing about 60 to 70 pounds weight of cress.