'A Survey of a Rural Parish'

In 1931 Evan Llewelyn Harry submitted a dissertation to the University of Cardiff entitled 'A Survey of a Rural Parish'. The work is based entirely on his observations of Badsey in the late 1920s. Maureen Spinks discovered the existence of the dissertation, which is now held in the Library of The University College of Wales at Aberystwyth.

Listening to the wireless in 1928 is a short extract which gives some idea of the style. Although the writing is sometimes a little pompous, the dissertation is full of interest and information. Below we reproduce the Summary and Table of Contents.

A Survey of a Rural Parish

Evan Llewelyn Harry, B.Sc., (Wales).
June 1931.
M.Sc. Dissertation.
Held in the Library of The University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. 229 typed pages.

Summary

An economic and social survey of the parish of Badsey, Worcestershire, in which the population is engaged in an intensive form of agriculture.

Part I which is the foundation of the study, is a description and analysis of the evolution and present day nature of the land system of the Vale of Evesham with special reference to Badsey.

Part II is a description of the social life of the people of Badsey - which life is built up on the foundation described in Part I. Emphasis is laid on the quantitative and qualitative nature of the people as it emerges in this part of the work and the relationship between the nature of the population and the land system is brought out.

Part III which forms the conclusion of the study, brings to a focus the salient features of the life and work of the people. And the question of providing practicable means of introducing improvements into the social and economic life of the village is fully discussed.

The object of the study is threefold:-

(a) To form a background for studies of a more detailed nature.

(b) To bring out the urgent necessity of studying the land and its people when seeking to solve the problem of rural society.

(c) To discover a method of approach to rural, social and economic, problems.

In this country too little attention has been given to the study of rural social problems in their entirety; it is demonstrated that the right approach to rural problems must be through social channels if success is to be achieved; that approach cannot be made to-day as the various strands of village life are loose and unco-ordinated and the scheme of village life lacks purposiveness. A suggestion for rectifying this trouble is put forward, which, if adopted, would bring in a much needed change of emphasis in village life and work.

Contents

PART I. THE LAND SYSTEM OF THE VALE OF EVESHAM WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO BADSEY.
Preface.
Chapter I. The Development of Market Gardening in the Vale of Evesham.
Chapter II. The Parish of Badsey.
Chapter III. Ownership of Agricultural Land and Size of Holdings.
Chapter IV. The Evesham Custom (Historical).
Chapter V. The Evesham Custom (Descriptive).

PART II. THE SOCIAL LIFE OF BADSEY.
Introduction.
Chapter I. Population and Housing.
Chapter II. Government.
Chapter III. Village Politics.
Chapter IV. Religion: (a) Society of Friends; (b) Church of England.
Chapter V. Education.
Chapter VI. Reading and Wireless.
Chapter VII. Associational Life of the Village Population.

PART III. CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS.

Notes edited by Maureen Spinks & Richard Phillips.


Updated 10 March 2004. Contact email: History@Badsey.net