We applaud the rise in state-sector intake across Oxford University and are glad to see individual colleges praised (Report, 16 January). Perhaps Mansfield College deserves a mention. In a quietly radical fashion, we have led the way in Oxford access for 20 years. Our state intake has been over 80% for 10 years and over 90% since 2016. And more than 90% of our state-sector intake this year is from non-selective schools – a meaningful statistic for Oxford University.
Senior tutor, Mansfield College, Oxford
• Some years ago I attended a clergy conference in Wales, where an American visitor was using air purification processes as analogies for how parish priests should safeguard themselves in particularly toxic situations (Letters, 17 January). “It is vital,” he declared, “to ensure you have quick access to the right sort of scrubbers.” The laughter that followed was memorable.
Rev Canon (Retd) Adrian Copping
• In his 1951 revue number Don’t Make Fun of the Festival (Editorial, 16 January), Noel Coward was far from defending the Festival of Britain, but rather, like Evelyn Waugh, caustically attacking it. The song’s final lines are “We believe in the right to strike / But now we’ve bloody well got to like / our own darling Festival of Britain.”
• The headline on Gaby Hinsliff’s article (Journal, 15 January) is “Driving in cities should become as antisocial as smoking”. Surely it already is; the point is for it to be recognised as such.
King’s Cross, London
• In St Albans in the 1950s, my sister and I hammered on the back door of the King Harry pub to buy Marmite-flavoured crisps (Letters, 15 January). Our treat of the week.
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