Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/359

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MEANS OF SAVING OPEN SPACES

such immediate hurry; and I thought of seeing a member of the Commons Preservation Society, with whom I have been in communication, learning what they are doing, and what they see before them of definite work. Also whether they would care to enlarge their work, so far as to appoint some one to examine into the provisions for every part of London, district by district,—the possible central small open spaces, the nearest available larger ones. If they won't do it, I will, or will get it done, and then bend my energies to whatever direction help is most needed. Isn't this best? Then, please God, we shall get that silly clause repealed, which prohibits the proceeds of the grain dues set aside for open spaces from being applied in the district of the Metropolitan Board of Works. And, if that is done, we shall have a fund yearly coming in, and may buy and buy as opportunity serves. Last year it came to £10,000, and was spent in a Park at Stratford; but, on most sides, except the east, the Metrop. Bd. of Works has jurisdiction for fifteen miles round London. Fancy debarring the City money for open spaces being spent in that area! In short, Janey dearest, I will assuredly go and see your farm. But I must, I think, review the whole area, and see where and how space will tell most. And I ought now at once to go and finish my holiday in Ireland. I go with a tenfold lighter heart for the love and generosity and sympathy of your letter; and you need not fear that nothing will be done, because we don't act at once. For the moment I am a little broken by the loss; and it would be difficult to begin just at once to work again; but, please God, if I live, I will see something efficient done, if power of mine, first or second hand, will do it; I promise you that.