Sir,—The public has not been warned a moment too soon, and owes a debt of gratitude to Mr Grenall, Lingholme, Keswick, for having sounded the alarm. The question that the Select Committee of the House of Commons will have to decide is one of great interest, not only to us who are dwellers at the Lakes, but to all the thousands who crowd hither annually from stifling city and railway-haunted district to find peace and freedom from the bustle of their time. And the question simply stated is this—Are the contractors who work a certain slate quarry up in Honiston to be allowed to damage irretrievably the health, rest, and pleasure ground of the whole of their fellow-countrymen, who come there for needed quiet and rest, in order that they, the contractors or owners, may put a few more shillings a truck-load into their private pockets? And this, when it can be proved that all the slate required can be carted to the train, and that the public are either willing to pay the price for carting that particular slate, or can get as good elsewhere. Let the slate train once roar along the western side of Derwentwater, let it once cross the lovely vale of Newlands, and Keswick, as the resort of weary men in search of rest, will cease to be. Each year these public grounds of recreation and health are narrowed and invaded by private greed, miscalled enterprise. When will true public spirit awake, and, in the best interests of its age and the generation of busy England yet unborn, protest, and claim the State protection in a matter that concerns the State most nearly?
(London Evening Standard, 5 February 1883, p. 2)