CHARITY MATTERS: Don takes the high road

thisisoxfordshire: Dr Ian Finlay Buy this photo Dr Ian Finlay

AN OXFORD Don was inspired by a former student to cycle from Glasgow to Oxford.

Dr Ian Finlay, 60,  from Littlemore, was inspired by the story of Ralph Glasser, a young man from the Glasgow tenements who won a scholarship to Oxford in the late 1930s and, unable to afford the train fare, bought a second-hand bicycle instead and cycled the 363 miles.

The story struck a chord, as Dr Finlay’s father also grew up in the Glasgow tenements and even studied at the same college as Mr Glasser, Ruskin.

Dr Finlay, a fellow of Harris Manchester College (HMC), made the journey in aid of HMC’s Junior Common Room (JCR) Trust, and was joined by his son, Ross.

On day three, speaking just outside Penrith, he said: “It is going very well, it has been a nice opportunity to spend time with my son.

“I have been training for the last six months, going on 60-miles rides. I turned 60 in January, and a lot of things came together to make this trip something I wanted to do this year.”

He has raised more than £650 in sponsorship, but the final total has not yet been calculated.

Father and son arrived just in time for lunch on Monday, September 3.

In another nod to Mr Glasser, Dr Finlay stopped off at the local library of every town they visited and dropped off a prospectus for the college.

HMC is the only college in the university offering undergraduate and graduate studies exclusively to mature students, and Dr Finlay thought that Mr Glasser would have approved.

The HMC JCR Trust was created in 2001 to provide modest cash grants of up to £500 to students who have a pressing short-term need for extra funds.

 

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