The Little Hoppers Hospital, now known simply as Hoppers, has re-opened after suffering severe flood damage in February 2020 and then Lockdown restrictions on venues.

The building with its distinctive entrance and courtyard has long been a jewel in the crown of Five Oak Green but was badly hit in February's downpours.

Once drying-out work and plastering were complete, followed by flooring being replaced, professional decorators were able to work on the downstairs.

They were aided by a small team of volunteers who gave up much of their time to concentrate on the upstairs.

Susannah Strawson, caretaker and Susie Paddock, trustee have been the driving force behind the repair and restoration. Susannah says: "We were devastated by the flooding back in February, but we have been blessed with a good work force and volunteers, who have committed to supporting us through the refurbishment project and now we have a 'new' Hoppers.

Of course due to the flood and then Covid-19 we haven't been able to welcome groups to come and stay, but now we can! In line with the government restrictions lifting, Hoppers is once again able to welcome groups, however initially this will only be for family bubbles until restrictions are lifted further."

Dave Thompson, a Capel History Society member, says: "Many parts of the village suffered in February so it's a great boost to the spirits to have this much-loved building back in business and looking so good."

Hoppers with its distinctive beams and low ceilings dates back 400 years and was originally a row of farm cottages.

It was transformed in 1910 when the Rev. Richard Wilson, a vicar in Stepney, felt an urgent need for a hospital to aid the large numbers of hop-pickers from London who descended on the parish each season.

Trained nurses were in residence day and night and facilities included a children's ward established after the Rev. Wilson's death in 1927.

Hoppers comprises the old main house with 13 beds and a newer cottage with six. The ground floor is accessible to wheelchair users. 

Bookings can be made through hoppersbookings@gmail.com

For more detail on Hoppers and its history see: https://www.hopperskent.org/