#7 John Osborne Clark (LH 1937)

Reproduced from The World in a London Square: A Portrait of Goodenough College.  General Editor: Janet Sacks Published 2011

In 1937 I was staying in a little village pub in Roydon, Essex, and travelling to a job in a solicitor’s office in Moorgate every day by train to Liverpool Street. My mother came over from Adelaide in that year to visit me. She read a paragraph in a London paper about London House (then very new) and “got me in” there; a very good move! What would one do without one’s mother?

I was given a room in an old house in Caroline Place. The first part of the new LH was then in the course of being built. It was a very solid piece of construction (to withstand air raids?), I was present when Queen Mary opened the new building and I moved into a brand new room there. During HM’s visit, a small Guards’ Band played at the foot of the stairs leading up to the dining hall. It reminds me of the story about the then Prince of Wales writing in his diary “Father has gone out in one of his damn tempers, and Mother has gone out in one of her damn toques”.

The best friend I made at LH was Robyn Crossley, and Englishman studying banking. We used to play table tennis downstairs from the landing on which Guards’ band played. Robyn was taken prisoner by the Germans early in the war and after the war went to South Africa to work in Barclays Bank. On brief visits to South Africa I saw him there, once before his marriage and once afterwards. We wrote letters to one another every Christmas until he died. I have since kept up this correspondence with his widow, Lyn.