Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/535

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This period, while including great developments in the movements in which Octavia was specially interested, was also marked by public discussions, which greatly affected her work. She was much interested in the controversy between General Booth and the Charity Organisation Society, about the General’s huge scheme of centralised, and despotically managed, relief; and in this, as in so many other matters, she warmly approved of the efforts of Mr. Loch, Secretary of the C.O.S., to produce wiser views of administration of charity.[1] The same friend also assisted her in discussions with the poorer municipal voters, on the best method of distributing the payment of rates between landlord and tenant, and the most economical method of providing houses for the poor.

This time was also marked by another of the many proofs of Octavia’s desire to connect her interest in art with her efforts for moral and physical progress. The fine hall in Red Cross Garden, was used by the neighbourhood for entertainments; and, on Sundays, very good music was performed there by numerous friends, to large gatherings of the people. Among other friends, who helped, was Mrs. Julian Marshall, who

  1. Mr. Loch, on his part, was impressed with her way of seizing the point that was “eternally important;” and he has, since her death, expressed a wish to use the influence of the C.O.S. in the direction of those more positive reforms in which she was specially engaged in Notting Hill.