Rural Regeneration – April 1917

Our able correspondent, Mrs Blair, has sent for my perusal two leaflets on Women’s Institutes, issued by the Agricultural Organisation Society, a body “which has been formed for the purpose of advocating the principles of co-operation amongst agriculturists in England and Wales.” They have arrived too late for me to give the subject any consideration in this week’s page, as I am late with my MS., and it is only two hours until this must be in the post.

Four years ago, I wrote at some length and in some detail on the subject of these institutes in Canada, their original home, but since then they have been formed in certain counties in England, and now Mrs Blair is desirous of extending their usefulness to Scotland.

The great drawback to rural life, as civilisation advances and nations become more industrialised, is the social isolation of it. Not only is country separated from town, but the women in farms lying far apart often lead a very lonely life. It would be difficult for any kind of institute or club to come in touch with the loneliest, but the idea that there should be in each district some central institution which would draw together the farmers’ wives, the cottars and the women servants is a fine one worthy of a patient trial.

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