'They all had a Hawkers license'

Mum? She was a hawker, she used to go to Brighton, sell pegs, flowers. 

We’d all go in the woods over Ditchling Common and pick the flowers, primroses and that, take them to Brighton on the Saturday, get our shopping and come back. The men would go out, get all the sticks and make the baskets. It seemed hard work at the time. When you look back - it was hard work, but it was very pleasurable and laid back.

Lily Smith

Black and white picture of three women sat on a horse cart
Great Aunts - flower sellers c1920
Picture of two men in waistcoats
My great grandfather, John Walter, his son John, and my father John Walter...

They all worked in what you might call quite a flourishing little business and it was legitimate because they all had a Hawker’s Licence. It’s got restrictions where they can do, where they can go, where they can sell, so it’s not quite as free and easy as you’d think.

John Stanley

In the summer holidays I used to go over with my mum to work. 

Pea-picking, bean picking, everything, potatoes, all the veg you could mention. At the time you’d think ‘Oh this is boring’, but then when you look back you remember how lovely it was. We were out all day; really lovely… everybody was out there...

Lily Smith

Picture of three adults hop picking
George Lizzie and Marie - hop picking c1960

Audio Clips

Susan talks about Romany women's working lives

John Stanley talks about family members who ran their own businesses

John Butcher talks about his mother collected rags to make ends meet

Avril talks about her uncle who was an antiques dealer

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