31 MAY 1957, Page 35

Country Life


Tun proposal, recently announced, to have mill- stones as boundary markers in the Peak Park was being criticised in my paper the other day. The writer found something quaint or 'folksy' in the suggestion, but, to my mind, the millstone is a more fitting symbol to mark the rural boundary than most forms of signpost, let industrial areas be posted by gravel or clay excavations and the smog belt by kilns and slag heaps! Millstones are not nearly as common as horse ploughs today, for the local mill, wind, water- driven or otherwise, has long since rumbled to a stand- still. There is, I think, only one remaining (and that electrified) of the many that once operated in my part of the world. Ydt there was a day when this industry patterned the countryside and cartloads of good corn used to be exchanged at the mills for so many bags of meal and flour, The millings were not always of the grain delivered, but that mattered very little for the miller's business was trading flour and meal, and he counted his wages mainly in sacks of corn or flour. If the setting up of millstones in the Peak District strikes some people as 'folksy' it never- theless leaves a mark or sign of an honest and whole- some trade that has passed, while easier, more efficient, but not worthier things remain.