Education: Intolerable Intruder

For centuries, Britain's poets have sung of Oxford's "dreaming spires"; but they have done some worrying about them, too. Shops and factories have been creeping in upon the spires like jungle weed—"a base and brickish skirt," cried Gerard Manley Hopkins in 1879, that "sours that neighbor-nature thy grey beauty is grounded best in . . ." Last week the base and brickish skirt was creating a bitterer furor than ever. The center of the storm: the Oxford and District Gas Co.

Until last month, Oxonians thought they had got rid of the big intruder, after a four-year battle that began back in...

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