From The Pall Mall Gazette - Thursday 12 September 1901


The Hoppers' Parson, the Rev. Richard Wilson, of St. Augustine's, Stepney, is original in his ideas. A case of smallpox having occurred in the hopfields, he has set to work to anticipate a general outbreak of smallpox and among other things is holding a series of 'vaccination concerts' every evening. The concert takes place in a large marquee on the village green at Five Oak Green, while in an adjoining tent the vaccination officer, assisted by the nurses from the 'Little Hoppers' Hospital', is hard at work vaccinating all of the audience who can be persuaded to undergo the operation. The 'Hoppers' Parson' himself led the way by being vaccinated last Saturday evening.

The idea has taken on immensely amongst the hoppers, who return from the vaccination tent proudly displaying their wounds and were then very energetic in persuading the unvaccinated to suffer with them, with the result that the doctor is being kept hard at work until ten past ten every evening.

Large numbers of children have been vaccinated, as the proportion of unvaccinated children in those districts from which the hoppers come is now very large. Mr. Wilson has also provided a large hospital tent in order to isolate any suspicious cases that may occur, and has, in fact, regardless of expense, made every possible preparation in case of an outbreak of smallpox. This has, of course, involved considerable outlay, and he will be very grateful for any contributions that may be sent to him at Five Oak Green, near Tonbridge.