All in the familiy

Generations of students in one family have studied at TU Delft. In this series we speak to grandparents, parents and children about their student time. Read the longer article here.

From landlady to house party

Unlike today, the landlady played an important role in the life of a student. Grandpa Cees Distelbrink (Electrical Engineering 1958-1965) started out in a room on Spoorsingel, at the front of the house, where a train roared by every fifteen minutes. He then spent a year sharing a room with his younger brother in a house run by an ‘old granny’. “It was rather a dirty house. Our landlady kept chickens, which were allowed to roam free. If you wanted to fry an egg, first you had to sweep the chickens off the kitchen worktop.”

Granddaughter Anne Jacobs is a Master's student in strategic product design and spent over six years living in the same student hall, which she shared with seven other students and no landlady. “It was always a lot of fun; we could pretty well do anything we wanted. For example, every year we held a house party.” Grandpa Cees and grandma Manon raise their eyebrows. A house party? No chance of that in their student days!  

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