#3 Gwen Lansbury (WGH 70-73)
It is 50 years since Russell and I lived at ‘Willy G’ and I have the warmest memories of some of the happiest years of my life. We came from Melbourne, Australia for Russell to undertake his PhD at LSE. We were newly married and Russell was absorbed and distracted in his studies.
Even though I was busy working as a physiotherapist and then a computer programmer and teacher, I could have been very lonely and isolated if not for the community in William Goodenough House (WGH).
We were fortunate to live on the first floor of one of the terraces outside at no. 45 overlooking the lovely Mecklenburgh Square. I frequently sat reading in the garden enjoying nature, having BBQs with friends, playing tennis and also squash at London House, attending the many interesting and entertaining talks and concerts and watching TV with others in the community rooms. One could never be lonely. We also enjoyed two Christmas celebrations with friends at The Burn, which was so memorable with the wonderful food and environment.
At WGH, we made many lifelong friends from various countries with whom we are still in contact after all these years. We have exchanged Christmas letters for almost 50 years following our careers, family, health, and occasionally visiting each other. We are now writing about our grandchildren after having followed the birth and progress of our children! Without WGH, we would not have made such wonderful, enduring friendships. A very significant event for us whilst living at WGH was the birth of our first child, Owen, at University College Hospital. When I returned home to WGH with our new baby, our wonderful friends had put a huge banner across our balcony announcing “It’s a boy, Owen, 7lb 7oz.” Being a first time mother, it was very supportive to be in contact with experienced parents living at WGH.
We will be forever grateful to the College, and for us to have been able to afford to live in such comfortable and nurturing accommodation in such an expensive city when we were on a low income. Being in such close proximity to the West End, we were able to enjoy the many theatres, music concerts and museums enriching our experience of living in London.
I am well retired now from my lectureship at University of Sydney in the School of Physiotherapy where I focused on Community Health Research. Russell, although officially retired from his professorship and head of department at University of Sydney, School of Work and Organisation Studies, still does research with his former colleagues and some teaching.