Yesterday in London I saw the University mace in the early stages of its construction. (A ceremonial mace is the centrepiece of university ceremonies, for instance carried at the head of the procession that starts graduations. In a sense it is a symbol of the Universityâ€™s authority to award degrees.) Making the mace will be a six-month project, involving countless hours of painstaking work. Noted silversmith Clive Burr was selected for this project earlier this year, following an evaluation of some of the country’s top craftspeople. It was fascinating to visit his studio, where the latest Mac can be found next to a 150-year-old engraving machine, while his team work by hand on various intriguing and beautiful items. Although it is early days it is possible to see the mace taking shape. One nice detail that has been completed is a tiny rose, based on those carved at the front of the main building.