The Nursery Industry

Harris Digital Productions is producing a film about the Lea Valley Nursery Industry.

The Lea Valley Nursery Industry

From at least the eighteenth century the lower Lea Valley was noted for its market gardens. Their continued growth during the nineteenth century owed much to a plentiful supply of water from wells, the access by rail for the delivery of the coal they used to heat the greenhouses. By the 1930′s the Lea Valley contained the largest concentration of greenhouses in the world. We look back on the Nursery Industry, from its beginnings in Cheshunt, to its peak in the 1950′s, and the present state of the industry today. The programme features a fascinating collection of old photographs, as well as archive film footage of the Lea Valley Nursery Industry during the 1950′s, which includes an interview with Thomas Rochford, Rochfords, Stevens and Pollards nurseries, the Queen Mother’s visit in 1959, and clay flower pot manufacturer Tuck’s of Waltham Abbey, together with aerial film-footage over the Lea Valley and London’s Covent Garden Market. We also visit two nurseries in the Lea Valley, one that produces 5 million lettuces a year without the use of soil, and a nursery that grows peppers and cucumbers.

Dedicated website:

Did you work for Rochfords, Stevens, Pollards or a nursery in the Lea Valley during the 1950s -60s and would like take part in the programme, please contact John Harris

We are also looking for any old cine film or photographs, which might be of interest.