Averil in is and is a retired vascular surgeon.

In spite of her working class background, Averil Mansfield was able to become an accomplished vascular surgeon and the first female professor of surgery in the UK. She remembers her career fondly: for her, surgery is “like opening a Christmas parcel”.

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Questions & Answers

  • What's your first memory of London? Festival Hall - singing there
  • What do you miss when you're away from London? All the things I don't like about London - all things that are so easily accessible - the galleries and concert halls
  • What's your favourite neighbourhood? I suppose it's where I live which is halfway between Paddington and Hyde Park- the little mews I live in that is wonderfully friendly and an unexpected neighbourhood in London
  • What's your favourite building? I suppose the Albert Hall - music is my other
  • What's your ideal day out in London? I think the river probably - heading up the river to Greenwich or Tate Modern . I quite like the river and wish it was a little bit more accessible - a close second would be somewhere like Kew Gardens or the Chelsea Physic Garden
  • What's your ideal night out in London? An orchestral concert
  • What's your most hated building? I don't think I've got a most hated building
  • What's the best view in London? The best view I think is if you just go up the hill north of London and look down over it, north of Regent's Park and see the tall buildings it's an amazing perspective
  • What's your favourite open space? For me it's Hyde Park because it's so close to where I live
  • What's the most interesting shop? I'm not a great shopper, but if I have to go shopping Liberty is definitely the choice.. oh and I like the Apple Store, I like technology
  • What's your favourite place to hang out? I haven't a clue, I don't really hang out
  • What's been your most memorable night out in London? Possibly going to Madame Butterfly at the ENO a few years ago, I'm not a great opera fan but just occassionaly one hits the spot
  • How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? I don't work anymore so they're all days off, but it would have to include some music and perhaps the Wigmore Hall and then going out and having afternoon tea somewhere nice
  • Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? I do that quite a bit actually and I would usually take them to either one of the gardens or one of the galleries and I would always take them to a market because people outside of London enjoy going to our markets
  • What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? You do get horribly stuck sometimes, but I suppose the worst thing for me was when I needed to travel between hospitals in traffic jams - usually on the elevated section of the A40
  • What's your personal London landmark? The Royal the College of Surgeons
  • Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? I can't think of any off the top of my head
  • What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? I don't know if I have one
  • If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? I don't know if I'd want to go backwards, I'm content living in a period of peace
  • For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? I suppose it's going have to be the Queen isn't it really