Every time Max walks me down Mansfield Road, we check out the construction at Harris Manchester College to see how they're getting on.
They started construction on their new bell tower and gate about a year ago and for months we waited patiently to see what would appear. It was hard to see the artist's rendition coming to life under all the scaffolding and behind the skips and the hubbub of workmen.
We had heard rumours that the weather vane was a surprise and was going to be very special, so every time we walked by, we held our breaths, hoping it would be there against the Oxford skyline. And then one day it was.
The copper dome had gone up the afternoon before and there at the top was the most iconic Oxford image of all--a cyling professor, flying on his bicycle, mortar board in place, gown billowing behind. It was gleaming in copper in the early morning light. It took our breath away and made us smile all at the same time.
The weathervane was designed and created by Gordon Green, Greens Weathervanes, Hertfordshire. It's large enough to see against the skyline, yet amazing in it's detail, right down to shoelaces, books, and the tassel on his mortar board.
I think the first time I saw it I even clapped a little clap like a schoolgirl and every day since, it brings a smile to my face--watching the cycling professor fly across the Oxford sky. So when you're in Oxford, walk down Holywell Street (if you sadly aren't staying with us), to Mansfield Rd. and look up. He'll be there with his gown flying and his head in the clouds.
|Lifting the copper dome in place, New College in the background.|