Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

19 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT.

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT. The re-assembling of Parliament this week after the Whitsuntide holiday gave the chance for immediate speculation as to when the autumn recess will commence. This may seem strange to those innocent folk who take as gospel the solemn statements of their members at market ordinaries or other public functions that the House of Commons is a place of per- petual hard work. The fact of it is-as all well acquainted with Westminster are aware- that the only perpetually interesting topic there is when the next holiday will commence, and how long it will last. In the present instance, no one is able to make a definite guess at this-not even the chief Government whip, who is earliest in a position to do so. There is much more business than usual, and that of a highly contentious kind, to be done before the promulgation, and speculation among politicians is rife as to whether it will not be necessary for an autumn sitting to be held in order to complete the work of thy Session. If such a course is ultimately decided upon, the Houses would adjourn at the end of July and resume opera- tions sometime in October, sitting then for about six weeks; and this is a plan which com- mends itself to many members rather than any attempt to pass important legislation through a jadixl House at the fag-end of August. Observation has often been made of the way in which English folk, when Colonising in some distant land, have carried their most dis- tinctive habits into the most varied parts of the world and a curious example has been supplied of this in the manner in which the Duke of Cornwall has been received at the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney. At each institution the under-graduates behaved precisely in the same good-humouredly uproarious fashion as if they had been at Oxford or Cambridge instead of the land of the Southern Cross but there was the quaint variant in this instance that the rivalry between the two great Australian cities showed itself in the manifestation. Those who had watched the demonstration at Melbourne considered it sufficiently noisy for all purposes of personal emotion or patriotic display; but, when they went to the adjoining colony, they found that Sydney was determined "to go one better." The unruly chaff and the din of voices at Sydney are declared to have completely eclipsed the corresponding ebullition at Melbourne: and one wonders now what a similar manifestation will be like when London possesses a teaching university of her own. Since it became housed a few years ago in the splendid Banqueting House of Whitehall, the Royal United Service Institution has gone on steadily enlarging its museum, which is now one of the most interesting semi-national col- lections we possess. Scarcely a week goes by without the number of objects on view being 'increased; and this week, for instance, there was first to be seen a curious relic of the cam- paign in South Africa, in the shape of one of the late Queen's chocolate boxes, in the lid of which a bullet is deeply embedded, this having been carried by a Colonial trooper in his breast pocket, and thus being the means of saving his life in action. This is a touch of actuality which comes home to every observer, and another field of warlike operations in which we have just been engaged is illustrated by another relic hard by, this being a gun taken from the Chinese. The continuity of our history is illustrated by the fine plan of the battle of Waterloo, which gives an idea of that great fight not otherwise to be obtained, not even in these days by a visit to the famous field itself, which has been very much altered Bince the immortal Sunday which witnessed Wellington's victory. Visitors to town who desire to see for them- selves what London looked like in the old days of narrow streets and overhanging houses may be advised to make haste, for the demolition of Holywell-street has at last begun. That ancient thoroughfare, with the contiguous Wych-street, almost equally picturesque and interesting, will be closed, it is understood, in August, and the whole of both will then be swept away. This, it may be explained, is part of the scheme of the London County Council for driving a fine new street through from the Strand to Holborn. That, when completed, will be the finest-and it certainly will be the most expensive-public improvement that has been effected in London since the construction of the Thames Embankment; but it had been talked about so long, and had been postponed so often, that it seems difficut even now to realise that it has been actually begun, and is being steadily pushed forward towards comple- tion. It has been, perhaps, inevitable that the motor-car should become associated in the public mind mainly with racing, because of the prominence given to that phase of its work; and the result has been so far unfortunate that it has prejudiced many persons against this form of vehicle, because of their keen dislike of the idea of racing along public roads. But an endeavour is just now being projected to show that "motoring" has a very practical side, and that ig tQ supplement the railway service between LOndolf{nd TunbrRlga W ns by means pI § special motor-car service for goods purposes. This would carry eight tons of goods-five on the motor-car itself and three on the trailer- and, leaving London overnight, would deliver in and around Tunbridge Wells next morning. Already, of course, there has been some sort of pioneer of this in the special parcel-post van v hich is nightly run between town and Brighton but, if this new idea can be made to succeed, it will mean that a new field for motoring" has been opened up which may have very far-reaching results. The river, as all Londoners talk of the Thames, is evidently going to prove as popular this summer as ever, though, early in the season as it is, one can note that cycling con- tinues to keep from the banks a number who, but for that pastime, would have become votaries of the oar. The number of launches, however, is, obviously on the increase and it is declared by competent observers that the public taste inclines to the smaller craft, the honours being held by electric power, petro- leum motors being less and less liked, because of the smell which seems inevitably inseparable from them. There it, said to be a constant demand for small electric launches to seat only two passengers beside the engineer; and it is in the direction of providing craft of this size that the direction of launch- builders is directed. Meanwhile, note is taken of the fact that artistic metal work is in much request for this class of craft—croco- diles as tiller handles, fish devices as* cleats, fantastic ship lanterns, and the like; and the growingly ornamental appearance of the launches distinctly adds to the picturesque- ness of the living side of the river, by night as well as by day. Mention of the Thames suggests remem- brance of Henley, and Henley at once recall a the idea of regatta, with international contests thrown in. But, in addition to such of these as will take place at the coming Henley Regatta, others are being arranged for in the case of our own universities, and these not only in regard to boating, but to a wider field of sport. The Oxford and Cambridge Uni- versity Athletic Clubs have received invita- tions from the great American institutions of Yale and Harvard to participate in a series of contests. Like prudent folk they have sat down to count the cost; and, finding that the sum required must amount, under the closest supervision to one far in excess of the resources of the clubs, they have followed a precedent set five years ago, and have issued an appeal to all old Blues and others interested in international athletics of this character to subscribe to a guarantee fund, which would indemnify the University Athletic Clubs against any eventual loss, and there seems little doubt of the appeal's success. R.

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