15 DECEMBER 1944, Page 20

Farming Sixty Years Ago Thirty Years Forming on the Clifton

Park System. By William Lamin. (Faber and Faber. 7s. 6d.) Thirty Years Farming on the Clifton Park System tells of the experiences of a farmer's son- who, nearly sixty years ago, took over some poor sandy land near Burton-on-Trent, and by hard work and good management made his farm into one of the most pro- ductive in the district and succeeded in winning one of the prizes offered by the Royal Agricultural Society for well-managed farms. Mr. Lamin readily gives credit for much of his success to Elliott, of Clifton Park, whose teaching about ley-farming and rotational grasses largely helped to build up the fertility of a formerly un- productive farm. The book is written in a simple and straight- forward manner and gives a clear account of Mr. Lamin's methods and his views on farming in general. Particularly valuable are his sound views on the relative value of compost and artificial fer- tilisers, especially at a time when so many writers on farming matters are inclined to be excessively "compost-minded." The layman may find the accounts of his methods given in rather too great detail, while the student might wish for more particulars, but on the whole it is an interesting.book about an interesting way of farming, with a valuable foreword by Dr. C. S. Orwin.

Farming Memoirs of a West Country Yeoman is another farming

book by another octogenarian, but of a very different type from Mr. Lamin. Mr. Kendall comes from West Country farming stock, and he and his relatives between them seem to have farmed a very considerable portion of Somerset and Wiltshire in the latter part of the nineteenth cenury. In a pleasant and leisurely way he describes the pleasant and leisurely life of a prosperous farmer and a prosperous countryside. Happenings which to people in these days might seem unimportant are fully described by him, and must evidently have been among the outstanding events of a placid life. The technical side of farming does not seem to have interested him so greatly as other matters of local and rural importance. He tells of the great frost of 1894, and pays graceful tribute to such neighbours as Sir Charles Hobhouse and Mr. Arthur Long. He describes the building of the new railway down to the west and of the institution of local government in 1888. Among other outstanding events in a long life are the centenary visit of the Bath and West of England Agricultural Show to Bath in 1877 and Queen Victoria's state visit to Bristol in 1896. But the chief value and interest of the book lies in the picture that it gives of everyday life in the English countryside during the close of the