Three factories received and then processed the crop in Lowestoft; Co-Op, Mortons and Bird’s Eye, but it was only the last mentioned company that survived into the 21st Century, and even they pulled out in 2010.
Back in the 1940s the job was done much more by hand before the advent of machines such as the mobile pea viner and, thorugh the use of fascinating archive footage shot for Anglia TV’s Farming Diary programme in the 1960s and 1970s, we get a glimpse of what these giant trailed machines were like in action.
The whole operation was very different in those days with lots of machines and men working as a team, and we then trace the history of the pea growing teams in the area as they gradually move over to much larger self-propelled pea harvesters and how these then changed the job itself.
The job and equipment changed but pea harvesting was still a 24 hours a day task come rain or shine, and this we filmed over the years. In fact we carried on filming the harvesting operation right up to the final days of the 2009 harvest which turned out to be the last!
Then, in 2011, peas made a return to Lowestoft and a new customer. Three brand new PMC 989 harvesters arrived representing the very latest harvesting technology and the story continued. This DVD programme shows the ups and downs of the pea growers over the decades, the advances in machinery used to harvest the crop and, above all, pay respects to the men and women who have harvested the most easterly peas in Britain!
RUNNING TIME 80MINS APPROX