19 NOVEMBER 1921, Page 25

The Rural Industries round Oxford. By K. S. Broods. (Clarendon

Press. 7s. 6d. net.)—On behalf of the Oxford Institute for Research into Agricultural Economics, Miss Woods made last year a thorough inquiry into the small rural industries in the Oxford district. Her report is highly interesting both to the economist and to the ordinary reader. How many of us know that birch-brooms are the special product of the parishes of Baughurst and Tadley, and fmd their chief market in the ironworks of the Midlands and South Wales, " where they are used for brushing the slag from the pig-iron " ? Hurdle-making is another select and not unprosperous craft, practised by a few families. Rake-making is a third small and thriving trade, with its centre at Thatcham. Osier-growing and basket- making for the men and glove-making for the women are considerable industries. Miss Woods is despondent about the lace industry, as "lace of the best quality does not find a market " at prices which would repay the makers for their labour and skill. She discusses the economic position of the rural crafts- man fully and dispassionately, and not unhopefully. The village blacksmith, as she points out, is needed more than ever now that farmers are using motors and a great deal of costly machinery.