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History of The Hop Exchange

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Tuesday 8 January 2013 1.33am
I am new to "London SE1" forum. I have have joined to ask for some help into my family's History.

Most if not all of you will know the beautiful Hop Exchange Building in Southwark Street. You will also know That it was built in 1869 for trading in Hops where dealers brought and sold consignments of Hops. Just like the Corn Exchange and the Stock Exchange.

Although the area was the centre of the brewing industry in the later half of the 19th century the Hop exchange was not very successful; mainly due to trade only being active for about two months of the year around the hop harvest.

What is not so well known is that the Hop Exchange building was also used by "The Egg Exchange" where consignments of eggs were traded.

This is where my family comes in. My Grandfather Samuel Klein aged 20 came to England with his father Joseph from Budapest Hungary in 1904. In Budapest Joseph was a dealer on the Hungarian Egg Exchange. He set up his son as a dealer on the Egg exchange in Southwark Street and then returned to Budapest.

I learnt that my Grandfather's first Office was 5, The Hop Exchange. Today I had the great pleasure to be shown round the Building by the manager Mark Phillips. We saw the office from which my Grandfather worked 108 years ago. Quite an experiance for me. Enough about my family.

I have been attempting to search for records of the Egg Exchange. So far I have had no success. Neither the GLC Archives nor the Museum for London have any known records of this exchange.

I am therefore posting this request on your site to enquire if anyone knows anything about the History of the Egg Exchange or the whereabouts of their records.

From my Mother I was told that my Grandfather went every day to the Exchange in Morning Suit and Top Hat, as they would have done in those days. This would have been in the 1920's as she was born in 1913. In my family research I have found one embarrassing truth about my Mother's stories. They were much exaggerated to the extent of being untrue. As we have records of his first Office [see above] the Exchange was trading in 1904. Mark Phillips [current manager] tells me that there was a fire around 1920 that destroyed the top two floors. If Exchange stopped trading and ceased to exist from the time of the fire then my Mother's story is doubtful!

If anyone can throw some light on the history of the Egg Exchange and/or the whereabouts of any records I would be most grateful to hear from them.

My Grandfather lived in the Borough until 1940. His son Dan also lived in the borough until he retired in the early 1970's. In 1908 Samuel left his father's employment and set up on his own. In the same year he married Nelly Perry from Smethwick nr Birmingham and moved to 170 Camberwell Road SE5 and traded under the name Parry & Co. incorporated around 1920. [No it is not a typing error: the difference between the "a" and the "e" caused me considerable problems !!] At its height the company had some 50 shops mostly in SE London close to the Thames. Again if anyone can remember or knew of this business I would be very pleased to hear from them.

Do you have - Photographs
- Newspaper articles
or even know that you parents or Grandparents worked for the company or traded with them?

I eagerly look forward to hearing from as many people as possible.

Many thanks.

Tuesday 8 January 2013 12.27pm

Your post is very interesting and I wish you luck in your research. I have had a very quick trawl around on the internet without much luck but did find mention of the London Egg Market being in the Hope Exchange on this list from 1921.
Tuesday 8 January 2013 12.37pm
... and another quick search revealed a mention of the Egg Market in the Hop Exchange in this link

Maybe the author has more info.
Tuesday 8 January 2013 12.49pm
There used to be a great local history section in the John Harvard Library.

I'm ashamed to say I haven't been in there for some time, but I *think* the lcoal history archive has moved.

Someone will doubtless be along to tell you where it is now, or I suppose you could try Southwark Council, Libraries dept.

Good luck. Sounds like there's some interesting stories to be uncovered.

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 8 January 2013 1.07pm
You mention using London-wide archives. Have you tried
Southwark Local History Library and Archive? Here's a link to an old post on this:

Meanwhile the website of trade body the British Egg Information Service mentions resources for teachers. You could see if it has an archivist:

Finally in discussing the Hop Exchange Richard Tames' book Southwark Past doesn't mention the Egg Exchange. However in a passage on the importance of victualling in The Borough (and addressing an earlier period) the author makes a general point about the source of farm produce consumed in local inns which may be of general interest - see p. 90.

At this point I was tempted to say er, get cracking (sorry!).
Tuesday 8 January 2013 1.10pm
Really interesting.

Not much help but there used to be an egg "factory" in Sanctuary st during the late 60s early 70s that looked like it might have been there for decades,wonder if it might of been Parry & co originally,I couldn't find any further info online.
Tuesday 8 January 2013 4.11pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
There used to be a great local history section in the John Harvard Library.
I'm ashamed to say I haven't been in there for some time, but I *think* the lcoal history archive has moved.

The Southwark Local History Library and Archive occupies a purpose built space at the back of the John Harvard Library. They've just completed a re-indexing exercise.

Local History Library and Archive
Tuesday 8 January 2013 4.45pm
Thank you everyone for the info. You have produced many more sources than I found. Maybe it was lack of effort on my behalf. In mitigation I would say that the Egg Exchange is just one small part of my searches. I have been in touch with the Southwark Historical Library and I need to visit to search their records.
As I said in my original am off to Hungary next week to research the Hungarian side of the family. Joseph Klein [Great Grandfather] purchase a farm in a Town called Hódmezvásárhely [pronounce that if you can] in SE Hungary. How much Hungarian do you speak? Mine is limited to 3 or 4 words. However The Council's Archivist to whom I was introduced by the Tourist Office writes perfect English and has found vast numbers of records of the family. At the same time I am in touch with three Historical Libraries in the Midlands re my Grandmother [the English side].
The research will eventually be recorded in a book which may only be of interest to the family but will in around two to three years time be made available generally. My most important delving is to find out stories and amusing antidotes - a number of which are coming to light. Hence my request to anyone who knew of a relative or friend who worked for Parry and Co or the family.

Many thanks again to you all.

Anthony [Berend]
Tuesday 8 January 2013 11.53pm
I worked there in 1963 Anthony, a beautiful building, complete with a lift that I am sure that your Grandfather must have used, with the doors that you pulled back like window shutters and a lift attendant; a small bald man who in his younger days took photos of a very young Diana Dors! My friend and I went to his tiny flat and he showed all the photos of a brunette Diana!

When the manager shewed you around, did you see if the old lift was still in situ?
Wednesday 9 January 2013 11.34am
Anthony Berend wrote:
My most important delving is to find out stories and amusing antidotes - a number of which are coming to light. Anthony [Berend]

Antidotes to what? (Sorry, couldn't help it!) Anyway, this sounds very interesting, I love delving in family and local histories, so the best of luck with your project!
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