Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Progressing Backward

In 1925 Gertrude Jekyll remarked about the roads…

The road was a kind of world in itself, full of personnel incident and human story. Now nearly all of this is swept away: much that went by is now carried by rail and the roads are rendered offensive and unsightly by the petrol traffic and its needs.

Our roadsides, formerly beautiful with wild flowers and grasses, are now defiled with heaps of rank-smelling tarred stones and collections of empty tar barrels, the roads themselves are offensive with a half-stiffing tar, and their edges are harshly defined by a pitiless line of cement blocks. So much for modern improvement everything for haste and hurry – nothing for peace and quiet enjoyment and use of life. Surely there was truth in the mouth of the wise man who said we were ‘progressing backward’!

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