From the Archive: June 1951


Could cellists eventually be supplanted by machines? That’s the fear of writer M.B. Stanfield as the 20th century enters its second half

This is the Festival of Britain year and the first of a new half century. It stands, therefore, as a kind of crossroads. If we are wise, as we reach it, we will imagine that we come to a “halt” sign, and pause for a survey before proceeding on our way. There are the problems of the main highway to be considered––these represent the general trends and tendencies of our times––and there are those of our own subsidiary road, such as all travellers encounter, when coming from the past and going onwards, towards the future. It is very important that before crossing the highway we should be quite clear in our minds how its traffic will affect that on our own route: to what extent it is advisable to match its pace with ours, when and where it is better to let it pass us and preserve, for ourselves, a more leisurely gait which enables us to see more of the countryside…

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