22 NOVEMBER 1930, Page 38

Country Life


England is so various that visiting another county may be almost like visiting another country : an East Anglian is no longer insular when he has travelled to the Welsh Marches. So it may seem as good as a liberal education to leave, say, Hertfordshire for Herefordshire. The words are as near in spelling, and as far in meaning as county and country. Now, in Hereford or thereabouts last week, in that lovely region (which one of our great men described as still socially mediaeval) I saw developments that all the world, especially dwellers in parts of more eastern England, should mark and digest. In town and village the roads opposite even the smallest houses are cut, or have just been cut, as if field drainers had been at work, with trenches for electric wires. The spread of the wires is astonishing. Now, a good deal of this beneficent work is being done without direct and immediate payment from tenant or landlord. It is found that where a house, even a very humble house, is provided with wires for light or power the boon is accepted. No one who has the facility is likely to reject it ; and the risk of loss on capital expenditure is negligible. The West, the unindustrial West, which has suffered much less from agricultural depression than the East, is likely to excel the cast also in the amenities of peasant life. And the chief of these is light. One of the greater pioneers was that fine engineer and, indeed, philosopher of the subject, Mr. Emile Garcke, whose praise was on every lip as he lay dying. There exist leaders of opinion in the West who hold that the best possible work to provide for the unemployed would be the digging of such ditches for wires and the building of transforming stations in any and every village.

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