Odds and quads

This glass and steel cross, which now stands at the heart of the University of Chester's main campus on Parkgate Road, was originally created as an anguished response to the political climate of the 1980s.

September 8, 2011

Artist Frederick Starkey, who taught at what was then known as Chester College, had become deeply distressed by the nuclear arms race, which he feared would end in devastating destruction.

A retired naval officer, Mr Starkey was active in the peace movement and, when he heard that two Christian ministers were planning to hold a peace meeting in Wrexham, decided to make his own contribution.

The cross is built on a welded frame, to which tiles of amber glass have been attached. Each tile fuses together many small pieces of glass, forming a ragged surface that catches the light.

After acting as the focus of the meeting in Wrexham, where Mr Starkey read out the International Prayer for Peace, the cross needed a new home.

He was delighted when Arthur Poulton, the college chaplain at Chester at the time, offered to take it in.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to: matthew.reisz @tsleducation.com.

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