‘Cows about Cambridge’ sculpture donated to Hills Road in memory of former student, Jack Merritt

A life-sized cow sculpture which featured in the ‘Cows about Cambridge’ art trail has been donated to the College by the parents of former Hills Road student Jack Merritt.

‘Cows about Cambridge’ sculpture

Dave and Anne Merritt generously donated the creation to Hills Road Sixth Form College; a place where Jack spent his sixth form years and where his father, Dave, worked as the Estates Manager. Following his time at Hills Road, Jack attended the University of Manchester and the University of Cambridge before going on to work as a course coordinator for the Butler Law Course with the University of Cambridge's prison rehabilitation programme, Learning Together. Jack was tragically killed at the Fishmongers' Hall terror attack in London in 2019.

Dave and Anne Merritt were gifted the cow by the organisers of an auction of the sculptures in aid of ‘Break’. Break are a children’s charity which works across East Anglia to provide a brighter future for young people and Dave and Anne made a very generous donation to this cause following the kind gesture and additionally have gifted the cow sculpture itself to Hills Road Sixth Form College.

The cow entitled 'Entwining of Two Worlds' was the brainchild of Tom Cringle: art teacher at HMP Warren Hill. Tom and Jack originally planned for inmates to decorate the cow for the art trail, but Jack died before the cow was completed. In memory of Jack, Tom and some of Warren Hill's residents followed the project through, incorporating thoughtful phrases and testimonials which reflected the impact of Jack’s work at Warren Hill and his belief in the value of education in prison.

Having been part of the popular art trail, the cow will now take pride of place in the College grounds. Dave Merritt was a member of the team responsible for the creation of a new tranquillity garden area for the College community, and the cow – known affectionately as Blossom - will be a lasting reminder here of Jack’s legacy.

We are extremely grateful to Dave and Anne for donating the 'Entwining of Two Worlds' sculpture to the College and extremely proud to have it here in memory of Jack. Jack has a really special place in the hearts of this College community and ‘Blossom’ will take up her place in the heart of our community. The tranquillity garden is designed to be a quiet place where students and staff can go to take time out in their busy day, to relax and unwind. This feels the perfect setting for such a special creation.

Jo Trump, Principal

Jack would be honoured and amused in equal measure to have a cow dedicated in his name. We hope it makes people think about the power of art to help prisoners on their journey towards rehabilitation and reintegrating in society

Dave Merritt