Saturday, 24 December 2016

Peasant Christmas

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.  Next year I hope to return to writing this blog and finishing my research!

from the Haslemere Educational Museum, Peasant Arts Collection

Thursday, 25 August 2016

On the Arthur Romney Green Christchurch trail - the Priory

Walking out of the former 3 Bridge Street, Arthur Romney Green's (ARG's) workshop, showroom and home, it is only a few metres further down the road until you reach the bridge over the River Avon.  ARG "loved the symmetry of the five arches...describing the built arch 'so gracefully suspended over empty space by virtue of its weight' as one of the miracles of human art like the sailing shop and the bicycle."  (Life to the Lees, Elkin, Susan, 1998).

View of Prezzo, formerly 3 Bridge Street, from the bridge,
Christchurch, Dorset

The bridge over the Avon by 3 Bridge Street,
Christchurch, Dorset

From the bridge you can see the Priory, the remains of the great tower of Christchurch castle and the Norman House.  You have to walk past the Norman House and castle remains to access the Priory.  English Heritage describes these buildings as "the mound top-keep or great tower was a part of a large Norman castle that once dominated the town...Nearby is the 12th century riverside chamber block known as the Norman House, one of the few remaining examples of domestic Norman architecture in England.  Built in about 1160, it provided grand and comfortable living quarters for the lord of Christchurch.  The tall circular Norman chimney is a particularly rare survival."
The view from the bridge across to The Priory,
Bridge Street, Christchurch
The Priory approach is particularly impressive.  Following the description of the ARG furniture in the  Priory by Elkin (ibid.) we were aiming to go to the Lady Chapel at the far end of the building, but we stopped to see the main features on the way.

It was a good job we did because the nice surprise was that the ARG chairs are now placed at the front of the nave altar and choir stalls.   Elkin describes only one of these chairs in her book, the one of the right below, although surely they are both by ARG and are displayed opposite each other as "a magnificent ceremonial chair".  The geometric designs on the chairs are classic ARG, the mirror of the cut-out pattern on the left opposite the other carved with various Christian symbols.

the nave altar at Christopher Priory,
the ARG chairs facing each other either side of the altar

There 'IHS' at the top, and a star of David below it on the right, with another star of David below on the far left.  A circle with a cross in them are I think referred to as a 'solar cross' or 'sun cross'.  The fourth row of symbols are two 'X's.  The final row, that can be seen at least from standing as a visitor, seems to have the initials HRX.  These symbols by the side of the altar which has the large altar cloth symbol of the triquetra reflects an interest I suspect by someone at the Priory in Christian symbolism.  Wikipedia explains the triquetra as representing "the Holy Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The unbroken circle represents eternity. The interwoven nature of the symbol denotes the indivisibility and equality of the Holy Trinity. It symbolizes that the Holy Trinity is three beings of power, honor, and glory but is indivisibly one God".

ARG ceremonial chair engraved with Christian symbols,
Christchurch Priory
Walking further into the Priory, looking at the High Altar, we saw the two prayer desks opposite each other.  Elgin describes these as "Instead of a ball shape for the hand to grasp at the top of each upright, there is a truncated octahedron.  It's a mathematical idea typical of Green.  He had the same shape carved in stone for eventual use on his tombstone." (ibid.)

High altar, with ARG prayer tables opposite each other
Christchurch Priory

The positioning of the chairs at the nave altar and the prayer desks at the High Altar is all the more remarkable for the story behind ARG's commission, as Elkin explains "She and Green were still unmarried, and although most of their London friends had been away of their position, they saw little need to advertise it on arrival in Christchurch.  When, however, the Vicar of Christchurch, Canon Gay, decided to order some pieces for the Lady Chapel in the Priory, Green thought that he had better 'own up'.  And his honesty cost him the order.  It wasn't until several years later, when Gay's successor saw Green's and Bertha's dog, Fanny, clad in a cosy jacket, that he observed that a man who looked after his dog so well couldn't be all bad, so he placed an order." (ibid.)

ARG prayer table, high altar
Christchurch Priory

ARG prayer table, high altar
Christchurch Priory

ARG prayer table, high altar
Christchurch Priory
I could not find the moveable altar rails which Elkin had also identified as at the Priory, but I think that the chairs and prayer tables are more distinctive and pleasing to the eye.  ARG's memorial stone is shown on the Dorset Life website here.

Head of ARG's memorial stone,

Saturday, 20 August 2016

On the Arthur Romney Green Christchurch trail - the workshop, showroom & home

Today we decided to visit Christchurch to see the Arthur Romney Green pieces and his old workshop.  I have been meaning to visit for about 5 years since I was given Life to the Lees (Elkin, Susan, 1998), 'A Biography of Arthur Romney Green'.   It took less than 90 minutes to reach from Haslemere which was a pleasant surprise and made me wonder why we had not visited earlier.

First we passed what had been 3 Bridge Street, Arthur Romney Green's (ARG's) workshop, showroom and home.  The road still retains some character, being a single lane as it passes the former 3 Bridge Street.  Although I had seen this on the map, visiting in person I was surprised by the proximity of the Avon Bridge and the nearby Priory.

25 Bridge Street, Christchurch

It is always fascinating to see an old photograph and the present day view.  Whilst the outside has inevitably changed a great deal in the passing of almost century, the bow windows lend a constancy to the scene.  Elkin describes the scene "An old Victorian grocer's shop, 25 Bridge Street, lay a few yards over Avon Bridge heading out of Christchurch in what was then Hampshire.  With the river so close and the muddy creek running down to the Avon along the back of Green's and other properties, he effectively had river access just as he had had at Strand-on-the-Green.  Although the creek sometimes dried out in summer, for much of the time Green could, and did, swim or sail away from the bottom of his own garden into the Avon, past its confluence with the Stour and towards the open sea." (ibid)

25 Bridge Street, Christchurch, August 2016

A. Romney Green's workshop
3 Bridge Street, Christchurch

The blue plaque to the right of the right hand window is almost hidden behind an olive tree.  It reads "ROMNEY GREEN 1872-1945 Master craftsman lived and worked here from 1920 until his death", "donated by friends".  It is interesting that the plaque dispenses with his first name 'Arthur'.

Blue plaque to Arthur Romney Green,
Bridge Street, Christchurch
When we returned to Prezzo for lunch and went inside the building it was fascinating to see what a comparatively small space was occupied by the workshop and showroom.  According to Elkin "The right-hand shop, nearest to the Avon Bridge, was the low-ceilinged workshop containing several work benches.  Green liked the fact that passers-by could look through the window and watch the work in progress, some of which went on in here and some in the converted apple loft outside.  Finished items were displayed in the left-hand shop which served for many years as Green's showroom.  Some of the heavy work was done in a converted tool shed which the men called the 'article' shed because is contained such 'articles' as a circular saw and a band saw, driven b hand or foot power." (ibid.)  Now, the right-hand side of the shop is almost totally taken up by the serving bar for the restaurant.  

interior of 25 Bridge Street, Christchurch
A. Romney Green's old workshop and showroom

Sitting in-between courses, with a treasured swan feather found from the riverbank, it was nice to read the poem that Elkin prints of ARG describing "his beloved home":

"And so we come by an old-world street, through a modern thoroughfare
To our river-skirted home in the poignant borderland;
Past whose ancient front the tide of painted automobiles flows in fury,
But whose posterns open to the cry of the redshank,
Hyacinths beneath the mulberry
And the music of the flight of the swan."

When we used the toilet, it was interesting to note that "When Green took over 25 Bridge Street its only sanitation was what Graham Castle describes as a 'midden' in the garden.  Inevitably, it wasn't long before Green was compelled by the authorities to install adequate sanitation for all the people using the premises.  This he did - with a certain amount of wryly amused resentment.  Two flush lavatories, one for the men and another for Green and Bertha, were put in the back of the building.  Only Green, lover of 'rural hygiene' and forward-thinking environmentalist would then pen a sonnet 'To a Water Closet'." (ibid)  The sonnet contains the lines:

"The sea, once blue, now foul'd, on which our sway
Declines, our fields, once green on which it grew"

There are only two toilets downstairs at the property still, could these be in the same place?  Hopefully we used the right one.  ARG's sonnet reminds me of the tale of the Blount's gardener from Therese Le Chard "When taking tea on the lawn, the stately old gardener could occasionally be seen passing slowly by with two buckets of human excrement on their way to remoter fertilizing duty.  In nature nothing was held to be unpleasant or unclean." (A Sailor Hat in the House of the Lord, George Allen & Unwin, London, 1967).

We looked outside in the garden for the mulberry tree which of course was not to be found.  There was no prospect of a swim from the end of the garden.  Elkin explains "Today the geography is different.  Bridge Street was re-numbered in the 1930s and the French restaurant which now occupies Green's former premises, and sports a commemorative blue plaque, is No.3.  The back garden behind it is quite short, the creek has been filled in and there are newish buildings behind.  Christchurch Marina, built after Green's time, has altered the views."  

The French restaurant of 1998 has now become Prezzo, an Italian restaurant.  The kitchen occupies the back of the building, maybe in an area that had been used as a tool shed!  The restaurant takes over the adjoining buildings also, maybe what was 2 further properties in ARG's time.  Whilst the non-solid wood furniture in the restaurant would not have met with ARG's approval, it is interesting that the old showroom and workshop are still full of chairs and tables almost a century on from ARG's time.  And the food was very nice.

No prospect of swimming to the sea from 25 Bridge Street
in August 2016

The back of 25 Bridge Street, Christchurch

Sunday, 10 July 2016

"Come and reason" with Godfrey Blount by Edwin Herrin, Part 2

The July 1937 newspaper appreciation (Part 1 is here) continues:

Godfrey Blount, 3rd from left, a family snapshot
from Haslemere Educational Museum's press cuttings,
July 1937

"Nothing paved the way to his respect and sympathy so infallibly as the honesty and sincerity of the truth-seeker and an enquiring mind was the one qualification for admission to his heart.

"There is more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in half the creeds"

"was with him no mere aphorism, to be framed in gilt, and forgotten.  He knew no distinctions of class or status.

from Arbor Vitae, Blount, Godfrey, A.C. Fifield, 1910

"Spiritual difficulties were as real in the humbler walks of life as in the ranks of the more sophisticated, and, accordingly, postman, gardener and railway servant as often resorted to his aid in the solution of difficulties, and were as sure of sympathy and understanding and "the warm touch of the mediator's hand to interpret for them the mysteries of existence," as visitors of greater distinction who had also discovered the road to Saint Cross.

"On the day of his last fight with mortality (a fight of which I was quite ignorant) I was reading from "Science and Symbols" (perhaps the most irresistibly simple and convincing of his many literary efforts in that direction) the chapter on "Life, Light and Love."  I venture to claim that in this chapter he succeeds in achieving the very acme and apex of elevation of thought and clarity of statement.

"May I quote one paragraph with is an expansion of the saying of Jesus.  "I am the Light of the World," and in which the Founder of the Christian Faith is represented as saying: "This glistening pearl: the leaven in those loaves set to rise; this tree ready to shoot out new leaves; the wine in that cup you will drink; this mustard seed, smallest of things, are divine in their natural use: does not God shine in them as well as through them?  These clouds, do they not close this day as well as foretell the last of all?  This corn, does it not prove the truth of sacrifice, as well as prophesy my own, because, like me, it must be bruised for your food, since I am it and it is I?  This bread, sown, grown, reaped, thrashed, ground, mixed, baked: this is I, my body; eating it, you eat me.  This wine, crushed from the grape with the sun in it, fermented, inspiring, refreshing, is my blood: drink it and you drink Me.  I am the way, the road you walk along: walk it then with a purpose.  I am the field you work in; work while it is day.  I am the door, the gate you pass, the home you enter, the fire you stir.  I am, your Father, your Mother, your Friend.  I am the Shepherd that cares for his sheep; the Ploughman, the Carpenter, the Mason.  I am the Cripple, the Prisoner, the Beggar, the Leper, the Child: see Me in these, the Man of infinite sorrow and infinite joy; of infinite power and hope."

from Arbor Vitae, Blount, Godfrey, A.C. Fifield, 1910

"Paganism?  Possibly, but surely paganism touched with divinity.  And I venture to think that this paragraph serves best to illustrate the scope and purity of his thought and the brightness of his vision.

Branksome Dene Hotel,
July, 1937."

Sunday, 3 July 2016

"Come and reason" with Godfrey Blount by Edwin Herrin, Part 1

The Haslemere Educational Museum holds a number of press cuttings about the Peasant Arts movement.  One is this 'appreciation' published in July 1937 by Edwin Herrin, but it is not clear what newspaper the article was published in.  I am not sure who Edwin Herrin was.

from Haslemere Educational Museum's press cuttings,
July 1937

"In the passing of Godfrey Blount, Haslemere loses one of her choicest spirits and one of her most gifted citizens.

from Arbor Vitae,
Blount Godfrey,  A.C.Fifeld,
"Godfrey Blount was essentially an artist, an unsatisfactory term no doubt, but no other describes so comprehensible the scope and nature of his faculties.  I do not know any other person to whom the term more aptly applies since, in his case, art, in the widest meaning of the word, was not an end in itself: it was entirely a means to an end.

from Arbor Vitae,
Blount Godfrey,  A.C.Fifeld, 1910
"Why was that end?  The answer to that question would, perhaps, afford the clue to his whole life and character.  Whether as painter of pictures, designer and maker of toys, designer of fabrics, or writer of books, he was always the artist, employing the particular medium of colour, line or words for the one purpose - the purpose of interpretation.

"It would be trite to say (none the less I will say it) that, had he so designed, it lay easily within his power to achieve fame and wealth, whether in the role of painter of pictures or in that of a literary craftsman.

"Why, then, did he turn his back on both?  Why did he, of set choice, refuse to work for money or renown, neither of them contemptuous, neither ignoble, neither such as men are called on to renounce as a condition of moral or spiritual achievement?  Here is another question, the answer to which would throw a flood of light upon a character of singular gentleness and charm, of rare elevation of spirit and simplicity of life (a simplicity bordering on poverty deliberately espoused) and allied to those intellectual and artistic endowments to which I have already referred.

from Arbor Vitae,
Blount Godfrey,  A.C.Fifeld,
"It would be out of place in me to attempt here an answer to these questions.  Those who knew him will have no difficulty in supplying the answers for themselves.  In the brief space which I feel justified in taking up, I prefer to emphasise those qualities which have endeared him most, which will keep his memory green and, for those who were so fortunate as to enjoy his friendship, serve as an inspiration for the remainder of life's span.

"It was, I would venture to say, as the apostle of "sweet reasonableness" that he was most beloved.  "Come, let us reason together" was his method, and in the unfailing zest with which, to the very end, he pursued his task of attempting the reconciliation of reason and faith, this was - to use a modern but unattractive term - his technique: "Come and reason - come and reason".

from Arbor Vitae,
Blount Godfrey,  A.C.Fifeld,
"In this task all his varied gifts and powers were mobilised and subordinated.  Though ranking the transcendental first, no man yielded homage more whole heartedly and unstintingly to the force and value of reason.  In the hierarchy of the faculties imagination may be supreme, but divine reason occupies a scarcely less exalted throne.  And in Godfrey Blount's invitations to "come and reason" no tickets were issued: none was preferred and none was excluded: a convinced sceptic was more welcome than unthinking believer.  In the pursuit of truth, enquiry and intelligence must no more be subject to affront than intuition and faith; each is equally the gift of heaven.  And "Come, let us reason" was extended to cynic and saint alike, to agnostic and converted, to the scientist, and the free-thinker, as well as the devout; in fact, the term "free-thinker" in his estimation enjoyed a distinction - a distinction which was in precisely inverse ratio to the reception accorded to the term when I was a youngster, when all respectable folk were expected to re-act from the word with inexpressible horror."

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Haslemere Peasant Arts article, Country Life 11 May 2016!!

The Haslemere Peasant Arts has featured in Country Life magazine twice:

  • 27 August 1910 an article featuring Sandhouse the home of Joseph and Maude Egerton King c.1910-1922 
  • 15th April 1982 when the plasterwork in the attic at the Tapestry Studio in Kings Road, Haslemere was re-discovered - which I blogged about here - and they described Hill Farm, Camelsdale the home of Joseph and Maude King c.1923-1930 - which was included in this post
So I am quite surprised but excited that this week's Country Life magazine features a 5 page spread on the Haslemere Peasant Arts movement.  It provides a current view of the Haslemere Peasant Arts movement and the activities underway at the Haslemere Educational Museum to recognise the status of the collection they hold.

Country Life, 11 May 2016

Part of the 5 page spread in Country Life, 11 May 2016,
resting on Arbor Vitae

I wonder what Maude would have made of it.   Her grave was looking more cheerful last week although I fear that a number of daffodils have been strimmed away, and the brambles are re-sprouting fast.

Maude Egerton King's grave,
St Bartholomew's cemetery, Haslemere

Friday, 8 April 2016

Maude Egerton King - A Portrait in Miniature - Part 5

Greville MacDonald continues in his memories of Maude Egerton King:

"She began writing long before she was eight years old.  I have before me, pencilled when seven in childhood on odd scraps of paper, a ballad in almost perfection.  The Knight of the Golden Shield:

"What news, what news from the war?" she cried,
"What news from the battlefield?
What news, what news of my own true knight
The knight of the golden shield?

Well might she ask what news from the war,
What news from the battlefield,
Of the handsome knight who loved her best,
That knight of the golden shield.

There's woe! there's woe in the battlefield!
The knight whom she loved best
Lies cold and dead beneath the moon,
An arrow in his breast."

from Arbor Vitae, Godfrey Blount, 1910

Thence till she was eleven, she rote many things which were unquestionably more than imitative - a claim that rarely if ever holds good in the early effusions of even greater poets.  These poems already reveal her tender imagery, her keen sense of humour, her delight in the ludicrous, her profound pitifulness.  But then came a few years in which perhaps something of sentimentalism obscured her young-eyed genius.  In my own copy of a volume comprising this early verse and printed by her father for private circulation (One of these poems, "Jo", appeared in Good Words in 1884), she has pencilled some uncharitable condemnation of what she wrote in her adolescence - a period, I take it, that has in very few writers given earnest of their nascent genius.  But barely was she eighteen when her gifts began unmistakably to declare themselves.  Wedded to Joseph King in 1887, he secured the publication in 1893 of the little volume My Books of Songs and Sonnets.  In one poem, "Looking Back" (Unpublished volume, 1885, p.31), written when sixteen, she thus spoke of her childhood's wondering outlook upon the world:

"Lo! a field first-daisy dotted
In the freshness of the spring
And a child a-laughing, singing
All the joy of everything.

Then to me, was ever rainbow
Arching up the dome above,
Half a mystic ring of beauty
Wedding Earth to God's great love."

And Wordsworth in his maturity kept fast hold upon the truth therein suggested:
"Our childhood sits,
Our simple childhood, sits upon a throne
That hath more power than all the elements." ("The Prelude", bk v.1, 507)

from Arbor Vitae, Godfrey Blount, 1910
Indeed throughout all Maude King's subsequent work her childhood's pure outlook upon the world and its people, human or four-footed, winged or rooted in the Mother Earth, remains, though always widening and deepening, quite unspoiled.  A pitifulness driving to instant action; a longing for close fellowship with everything she loved; the pathetic devotion to her home; a conscious hoy in her humour and imagery; a rare curiousness in observation and its accurate, facile retention; a satirical mockery of her dolls, as if refusing to be fooled by their sentimental appeal to her dormant sense of motherhood; even the gift to see

"among least things
An under-sense of greatest;" (Ibid, bk vii 1, 735)

there are outstanding points in her childhood.  And they remained, I repeated, dominant throughout her life.  They accounted no less for the ardent support of her husband in his political work than for her unswerving belief that the restoration of the hand to its crafts and arts especially when used for home-service - and in home service alone did the peasant-arts originate and excel - offers more hope of social and personal salvation than any betterment of the standards of living and education as they are understood by our Parliaments.  As her dolls were never believed in, neither were the extravagant claims of politics.  Though she gave herself up to them with something more than an assumed happiness, they should not mislead her innermost convictions, her transcendent hopes.  On the other hand, the spiritual worth of spinning and weaving, the fashioning and carving of vessels or crucifixes for the home, was absolute: her perception that such things of service of naturally and unselfconsciously take lovely form, was but the outcome of there childhood's trust in beauty.  And as

"the flowers
Out wearied with the glare and heat of day
Put up their petals prayer-wise, for the cool
And hush of night..." ("Eternal Stride", a poem in the unpublished volume p.54)

so the humblest home was to her more sacred than any church or shrine or altar, deeply though she accepted these as outward signs in beauty of an inward and spiritual grace.  All she did in her home was creative ; whether feeding with her own hands a peevish sufferer, weaving at her loom, helping her maids at their spindles or spinning-wheels, or setting a child from country cottage or city slum to dance and sing; whether singing herself with pure and peculiarly childlike voice, or playing her pain with a touch freely found in the more highly trained.  Indeed herself was the home.  Hardly ;less was it so even when she was travelling abroad, in Switzerland, Germany, France or Italy; for she would delight, recreate all her party with her irresistible fund of sparkling gaiety, her ludicrous mimicry, always kind even when absurdly true, or by rapidly jotting down vivacious thumb-nail sketches of travellers gormandizing at the tables-d'hote.

from Arbor Vitae, Godfrey Blount, 1910

But nowhere was her artistry more astonishing than in her Christmas Nativity Tableaux, whose beauty could never be forgotten.  Like a conjuror she would transform the most heterogeneous of gay-coloured derelicts, remnants, and strays into royal robe, shawl or turban, and the village-folk into Madonna, Shepherds, Kings and Angels.  A certain painter of renown and intimate with stage-craft, vowed that no London manager, with all his command of money, could produce such spectacular effect; while another man of the world and its wealth must weep for the sheer loveliness of these devotional tableaux.  To myself, one among many, the news she brought of the Kingdom was just revelation: it came in her personal grace, in every article or story or poem she wrote for The Vineyard, and in an unremitting giving away of her self and her energies - vicarious suffering indeed, which, I think, and with some technical understanding of the facts, was largely responsible for her crucifixion at the last."

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Idealism & Labour, A Visit to Haslemere 1902

The London Daily News 11 April 1902 had an article titled "Idealism and Labour, Hand-Weavers at Work – A Visit to Haslemere"

“The Haslemere district is remarkable for many things.  Tennyson lived there.  So did Professor Tyndall and Mr. Grant Allen.  Many well-known people reside there now.  It was the scene of a murder which Dickens mentioned in “Nicholas Nickleby”, and which provided the plot of Mr. Baring-Gould’s “Broomsquire”.

Inside the Weaving House, Kings Road, Haslemere
from The Craftsmen, January 1902

"Haslemere has another title to fame.  It is the scene of an interesting industrial experiment.  Yesterday (writes a representative of “The Daily News”) I travelled nearly ninety miles to see seven persons working fro wages varying from 3s. 6d. to 13s. per week.  It is easier to commend the work than to defend the wages.  These seven women are hand-weavers of beautiful linen and cotton fabrics.  They have been established in their picturesque and comfortable little workhouse as a “protest and a prophecy” – to quote the words of the wife of  the founder.  The spirit of Ruskin, Carlyle, and Tolstoy is behind the wages.  To tell the truth, the memory of that maximum of 13s. per week continues to recur, as an obstacle to my train of thought, at every fresh effort to explain and commend the experiment. 

"Before me lies an account by Mrs Joseph King (the lady previously referred to) of the Haslemere Hand-Weaving Industry.  This article is divided into parts, severally entitled “Its faith” and “Its facts and figures,” the former awakening sympathy by its denunciation of the tyranny of machinery over human souls and bodies; and we read: “The idealist claims that the power-machine should never be allowed to attempt such work as fills the heart of the hand-worker with sense of creation, and depends for its beauty upon the intimate touch of his hand; but only such work as iot can more fitly and healthily do than the hand-worker.  If it could be proved, he asks, that the machine could paint our pictures, write our poems, grow our floors, do our love-making, or rear our children, must we therefore allow it do so, and slavishly submit to our souls’ and bodies’ irreparable loss of these divine difficulties and lovely labours?  Can we delegate the purpose of God in man’s free spirit to steam or electricity?”  Then, in Part 2, we read: “The wages of our weavers range from 3s. 6d. to 13s. per week.  If a girl is quick, she can begin to learn within a week or so, and by the end of a year can make 10s. per week.  As the working week for weavers is only forty hours, this is good pay as women’s work – barring domestic service, which is far the most remunerative – goes at present.”

"This modest little Haslemere enterprise is, I am sure, inspired by the most worthy motives – yet must I plead guilty to losing my mental balance in the attempt to reconcile those two paragraphs.  “Can anybody regard 13s. a week as a living wage?” was an inquiry I addressed to the manageress.  “Well,” she replied thoughtfully.  “one of our girls has to keep herself, but certainly she increases her income by doing extra work.”  “Does the establishment pay its way?” “Yes, and there was a profit of £106 last year.  That was on the comparison of expenses and sales, but more than that amount had to be out into the business by way of additional capital.”

"The seven workers were manifestly healthy and happy.  Hand-weaving is an enjoyably occupation.  It is exhilarating to work the treadle, throw the shuttle, and see the soft surface swiftly grow.  The tiny factory has its own designers – an admirable one – and the colours are chosen with rare taste.  Before me stood a spinning wheel  with its airy tangle of flax ; but for the most part the Haslemere weavers use thread that comes from Ireland, Scotland, and a firm at Cockermouth recommended by the late William Morris.  A man, and no authority on coverlets and pinafores, yet even I could see how far superior, in texture and beauty, were the Haslemere goods to those made by machinery.  Also was it easy to perceive that if in one sense they are dearer, in another sense they are cheaper.  They cost more money, but, besides being more beautiful, they last much longer.  In linen goods, I was greatly pleased by portieres, towels, sideboard cloths, table centres, dressing table covers, sofa backs, tea-table cloths, curtains, and summer carriage rugs.  Among admirable things in cotton, were coverlets, aprons, curtains and pinafores.  Dress materials and stouter fabrics for upholstery were also to be seen in delightful tints.

"Ladies wishing to buy goods made by the hand-weavers of Haslemere can do so at the London depot and agency, Peasant Arts Society, 8 Queens’ Road, Bayswater, W." 
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