“It must be confessed that the English population is lacking in the primary instincts necessary for the creation and maintenance of agreeable surroundings to a greater extent than any other nation in Western civilisation”.
This was written by the “Roads Beautifying Association” in their Roadside Planting book of 1930, published by Country Life. It was said in reaction to wanton destruction of most of the trees and shrubs planted by the roadsides in the 1920’s.
Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister, said in 1927 “There ought to be an unwritten code that to defile any of these great roads, either by ugly surroundings, by hoggish behaviour along them, or by upsetting or spilling litter on them, should be a bar to a man from entering any decent club or any decent home circle”.
There is a very interesting history surrounding the RBA and its precursor the Roads of Remembrance Association. They make for fascinating reading and it makes you wonder if the 1930 quote I began with, contains an element of truth.