28 AUGUST 1926, Page 27


Have we really come to this, at a time when houses in the country are too few, that we must_ accept the uselessness of such " places " and be content to see them tumble into slow ruin ? Are they of no use at all to the community ? If the question is put locally, the usual answer is that they might serve for a country club or a school. One such house stands within a few hundred yards of an elementary school much too small for its company of children, awkwardly suited to the purposes of education in most ways, ill-equipped in a sanitary reference, and almost without a play-ground. Would it not seem strange to that visitor from Mars, of whom we used to -hear, that so ugly a block of buildings should be grossly over- crowded while so Paradisiac a house and garden next door should be quite tenantless ? He would comment severely on our social organization ; and he would be right. There must be some use even for a white elephant; and as the cult of the country grows some use will one day be found. But it is lamentable in the meanwhile that the appearance of other white elephants is threatened. Many of the clergy are now asking to be relieved of the burden of their large rectories ; and the one thing that prevents the migration is the fear that the ex-rectory or vicarage would not sell. Has no one a

solution ? *