1-14th July 1950
Rolf Gardiner reported the
Early this year Lord Portsmouth, J. E. Hosking and the present writer … planned what we called a European Husbandry Meeting and invited four Germans, two Swiss and three Frenchmen, all of outstanding merit individually, to join us in a fortnight’s fairly leisurely journeying from point to point across southern England. In the end all the Frenchmen failed to appear. But three Germans, and a very redoubtable veteran Swiss, Konrad von Meyenburg, the inventor of rotary tillers, joined us. To this party came also, like Hermes, Dr. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer.
In order to welcome Pfeiffer to these islands a tour by charter plane and car was arranged for him (as President of the Bio-Dynamic Association) which bore him from Kent to Aberdeenshire and thence to the West Midlands and back to Wessex, Middlesex, East Anglia and London….
Meeting at Hosking’s beautiful manor home in Kent the group of friends began their tour, first across Sussex to Hampshire where a second sojourn was made in a delectable nook of Lord Portsmouth’s Hurstbourne estate, and then to Springfield where a fine week-end brightened a sodden summer. The luxuriance of England’s vegetation, the many closes and compartments of our folded, hedge-ribbed landscape, made a great impression on the Continental visitors two of whom had wide experience of the open monotonous steppes of eastern Europe and torrid southern Russia. They felt that the innumerable “islands, within the island” of Britain, gave England her ancient strength and repose, her unexhausted reserves of power and beauty.
Even the belching industrial areas of the midlands and the north, the concrete wastes of metropolitan London, the shoddy suburbs of our provincial towns, could not efface the stretches of deeply loved, variegated, carefully stored countryside where every tree seems to have individual personality and refuse regimentation, where order is natural and happily untidy rather than imposed. To our German friends especially, England is still Zauberinsel, the land of Shakespeare’s Histories and The Tempest, tenanted by historic ghosts and natural faeries. And these give England lasting strength and glory, only to be betrayed by cheap commercialism and parvenu State-Socialism.