10 MAY 1930, Page 18


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR,—For the last_ ten years I have spent most of my week- ends, walking on the Sussex Downs around Lewes. I have got to know their outlines intimately ; Fide Beacon and Coeburn, standing up against each other like the two guardians of the weald ; the velvety curve of the Kingston ridge ; and the magnificent stretch of Downs froth Lewes to Mount Harry, Blackcap to Pit.Ailing Beacon.

Last week-end, filled with curiosity and trepidation, I walked up to see, the new pylons, which have been put up under the Rural Electrification Scheme, from Brighton as the crow flies to Offham, on the London Road, and so on to Eastbourne. The cables are now in process of being hung. -

Cutting across the smooth age-worn curving surface of the Downs in a dead straight line, these- pylons boldly assert that we are living in the twentieth century. The effect 'is stag- gering: it is also staggeringly beautiful. For beauty to-day is to a greater and greater extent-synonymous with perfect utility, with the elimination of all unessentials, with the, perfect fitness of form to purpose. And these pylons, which we hope may in time bring untold benefits to the country people, are relentless- in their purpose. There is no attempt to cam9ufler them, and it is this direct crudity of bearing which seems to me to justify their existence, and which makes them enhance rather than detract from the grandeur of this stretch of country.

There seems to me to be little justification for the complaints that I heard from most people whom I met. Beauty is surely not