26 MARCH 1927, Page 14

Country Life and Sport

Moan VILLAGE AcTivirir.

EVEN since last week great progress has been made by the Village Community Councils, which the Carnegie Trust is helping to finance. The movement is spreading from south and east to west. Herefordshire and Gloucestershire are just starting councils, making sixteen counties in all. Meetings are to be held by some of the councils at the end of next month, when it will be seen that much attention has been paid to rural drama—a rather surprising development. One council is very busy with the formation of " young farmers' clubs,'' with the Johnsonian idea that " much may be done with a countryman if he be caught young." All that is excellent, but the first job of a community council is the creation of the communal spirit. What the village most wants—and gets in the Women's Institutes only—is the combination for social and economic purposes of the classes that form these self- sufficing units. I once stayed for a few days with villagers in a small village in the Belgian Ardennes, and found that the whole village, through the agency of the schoolmaster, bought all its potato seed co-operatively and sold in the same way. That is one example of the communal spirit. Certainly the value of most village gardens could be doubled if the surplus seedlings from the bigger and richer gardens, now wholly wasted, could be made available. " Get the people together and find local leaders " : that should be the first article in the councils' creed. A good idea would be to institute a gardening week this month, when requirements might be pooled and steps taken to fulfil them at the appropriate dates.

* * * *