Tales from Houghton Street: Wendy Weinberg (Yates)


Wendy Weinberg (Yates)
Sue Donnelly
Relationship to LSE
1956 BSc Econ
Student life at LSE; LSE in the 1950s; Campus; London; Notable people; LSE Students' Union; Future of LSE; Life after LSE


Track 1 [19:59] [Session one: 17 June 2015] Wendy Weinberg [WW], Née Yates studied for BSc Econ 1953-1956 specialised in government. Born in Blackpool, Lancashire where she attended grammar school. [00:52] LSE was not recommended to WW; did A-levels in English French and History and became interested in history of trade unionism, the Webbs and GDH Cole; found out about LSE and applied for the Calendar, WW wanted to study Sociology but that required statistics and she did not have Maths O’level; applied for Economics. WW was advised either to attend a northern university or Exeter. [1:18] First impressions were vague but LSE was both scruffy and lively; received SU Handbook in advance. [3:26] WW discusses teaching arrangements for BSc Economics; main tutor was John Watkins, then in Government Department and later Philosophy; she wrote three essays for him in three years and they did not meet regularly; there were no exams for two years. [4:12] WW talked about the structure of BSc Economics; part one covered eight broad subjects including political history, economic history, applied economics, principles of economics, logic and scientific method, French and government; notes the great change from the in depth study of narrow topics in A-level studies. [5:54] Found all the lectures good and it was exciting to learn new subjects; she particularly enjoyed Karl Popper’s lectures on logic and scientific method, WW had never heard of Popper and had no preconceived ideas about the subject. [7:04] – WW lived at Nutford House, a University of London residence for women – there were a few other LSE students. [8:36] WW was involved with the Labour Society and Students’ Union, she was Secretary of Labour Society and General Secretary of Students’ Union, remembers meeting Herbert Morrison, Deputy Prime Minister for an speech to the Labour Society. [9:05] The campus consisted of the Old Building and then New Building (later the East Building), she used the Library. [10:56] WW notes the busy social life eg India Society inviting Madame Pandit, the Indian politician and diplomat to speak; advantages of being in central London. [11:40] WW did not attend her graduation ceremony as she went to the USA, married and entered Yale Law School in the September. Yale Law School was a three year degree which was more manageable as there were clear expectations and requirements. [12:15] Meeting with careers advisor Commander [D.Warren-Evans]; WW expressed an interest in working for the BBC or political research and the advisor suggested training as a secretary, went to Pitman’s on Kingsway to learn shorthand and typing, talks about the attitude towards women and work. [14:03] Talks about the future - LSE should not grow too large, maintain the balance of undergraduate and graduate students and home and overseas students, very exciting to know so many diverse people. [18:20]

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