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3rd September 1908
Page 15
Page 15, 3rd September 1908 — Correspondence.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Letchworth and its Social Attractions.


[769] Sir :—In your excellent article in last week's issue on " Letchworth as an Industrial Centre," I think you do us a slight injustice in twice suggesting that the lack of social attractions at Letchworth will prevent manufacturers from settling there. Lei me mention the social and recreative facilities that are at present in full working order at Garden City.

There are two licensed hotels, with their bowling greens, etc., attached, four non-licensed hotels, two of them possessing billiard rooms and similar attractions, and included in these four is the " Skittles Inn," which has been built specially to meet the requirements of the workers employed on the estate. This inn has an old-fashioned bar. There the visitor can stop as long as he desires, whether he spends three pence or three shillings : be can play skittles, billiards, quoits, cards, dominoes, read the magazines and papers in the reading rooms, write a letter, etc., etc. The place is looked upon particularly as a workman's club, and is known locally as "The beerless pub." There is an open-air swimming bath and several swimming clubs, an open-air theatre, which is well patronised by the lovers of light (and some

times lurid) dramas. Then, there are the football and cricket grounds, with several vigorous teams representing both games; also hockey, tennis, golf, and bowling clubs. The amateur dramatic society and several musical societies cater for the more classical tastes of the community, whilst, from an educational standpoint, the literary society, the debating society, the public library, the girls' clubs, and (in winter) about so to 12 technical classes, provide what is required. Politically, the men will find that each of the three principal political parties possess active branches at Letchworth, and, for the militant minded, the local Territorial section and the rifle club give them ample scope. There is an excellent gymnasium, a capital reading room, and a large number of other organisations of a social, recreative, philanthropic, and religious character. We should he glad to know of any society we have neglected to form that might render the life of the ordinary factory worker more attractive. On the occasion of the recent Press view,

the heads of Messrs. W. H. Smith and Son, J. M. Dent. and Son, and the Heatley-Gresham Engineering Company, plainly told Pressmen who enquired that their employees all liked living at Letchworth.

I. am sure you would not like to do us an injustice, or to give any suggestion that Letchworth was not a desirable place for manufacturers, and that explains the necessity for this somewhat lengthy letter.—Yours faithfully, HAROLD CRASRE, Secretary,. First Garden City, Limited.

Letchworth, 28th August, 1908.

(We do not wish to do any injustice to the Garden City, but these matterof-fact days rendered our moderate criticism necessary, As to public-houses, whilst we believe that a few types of the British workman can he attracted by the societies and einhe enumerated above, and whilst we do not suggest that licensed premises are a sine qua non, we adhere to the view that the Le.tehworth estate will benefit if extreme views upon the subject of total abstinence are not mixed up with a professed business undertaking. Further, we are aware that the owners of the factories quoted are not averse to the granting of licenses upon Me estate. The average. skilled workman or labourer prefers to keep away from any excess of reforming zeal:-.-Eml

A New Duty for County Councils.


[no] :—Your short leading article on this subject ad

mirably supplements your earlier paragraph, and I hope the valuable suggestion which you have made will be taken up without delay. It is a pity that these fires have occurred during vacation, but steps ought to be taken to circularise the whole of the county councillors of the United Kingdom. The present attitude is one of apathy and pretended indifference, but county ratepayers have a claim for some measure of protection, now that self-propelled fire-extinguishing plant can be bought from several makers of reputation. It is not as though the cost of establishing such county fire stations would fall upon the rates for any particular year : the Local Government Board could not fail to sanction a loan for such a commendably useful purpose, and I believe that, in not a few counties, an annual rate of less than one penny in the ,4`; ought to be sufficient for maintenance and sinking-. fund purposes.—Yours faithfully,

" COUNTY MAGISTRATE." [We intend to circularise county councillors next month.—Ei:,1

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