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An Oxford Outing

Last month NMLA’s Balliol College team went on a celebratory excursion to Oxford to mark an important project milestone. We visited selected buildings by the office and by others, called at the site to observe demolition-in-progress, and finally hid from the rain for festive beverages.

All aboard the 9 o’clock train from London Marylebone. The sky is grey and the clouds are heavy.

One hour later, two taxis crawl up the hill to Ripon College. Ten excited people are deposited on its driveway.

We enter the chapel. Two people to pull the entrance door wide. Eyes up; iPhones out; pause to pose for photo.

Outside, driver’s thumbs drum-drumming against the steering wheel. Doors open; it’s time to go. Heart FM for the drive into town.

Students mill around Somerville College. Camouflaged amongst them we enter NMLA’s housing block. Up the stair tower, peeking into bedrooms and kitchens, we debate the merits of bathroom pods.

Herzog and de Meuron’s Blavatnik School of Government stands next to Somerville, glittering. Like magpies we are drawn through its doors.

On the roof terrace Oxford is laid out beneath us, dreaming spires etc., but next: lunch.

Heavier and happier, we walk to Worcester College’s Nazrin Shah Building. Heads pressed to the glass we stare greedily inside.

Later, eleven sets of PPE are donned and rainclouds assemble as we tour the site. Mud, glorious mud. Three years till ribbon-cutting.

The rain starts, the pub beckons. Cheers to Balliol!



The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre Royal Opening

On Wednesday the 18th October the Nazrin Shah Centre for Worcester College in Oxford was officially opened by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and HRH Sultan Nazrin. The opening ceremony included musical and theatrical performances by Worcester students in the Tuanku Bainun auditorium, a speech by the Sultan and the unveiling of the dedication plaque by The Duchess.