Islington People: Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes
�For Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes, his appointment as Islington’s deputy lieutenant brings together a lifelong connection with the borough and all forms of public service.
Charles, 66, who took over the reins as the Queen’s representative in Islington a fortnight ago, was born in 1945 in what was then the City of London Maternity Hospital in Liverpool Road.
After an early years education outside London, he returned to study medicine at St Bartholomew’s Medical College in Charterhouse Square, lodging in Lonsdale Square, Islington.
He then qualified as a doctor and barrister – he was called to the bar at Inner Temple shortly after finishing his medical training.
Charles went on to jointhe Army as a medical officer and served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Germany.
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He returned to Islington in 1977 to work for BUPA as a consulting physician on Pentonville Road, living with his young family in Theberton Street.
Soon after, his career took a political turn as he stood for election as the Conservative candidate in the former Islington Central constituency in 1979.
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Though unsuccessful, eight years later Charles was elected MP for Wimbledon, a position that he held until 1997.
However, he said: “I am completely apolitical and have been ever since I left Parliament. As deputy lieutenant I will just try to be of service to everyone in the borough of Islington.”
While in Parliament, Charles re-enlisted with the Army and became the first sitting MP to see active military service since the Second World War.
He holds the position of vice-president of Combat Stress, the war veterans mental health charity.
But Islington has never been far from Charles’ heart.
He has served as a governor at Highbury Grove School and used his position as chief executive of the London Playing Fields Foundation (LPFF) to move the charity’s headquarters to the borough, in Collier Street, in 1997.
An Arsenal follower all his life, Charles said: “We all know that playing fields are under threat, so I was proud to work on protecting them and all the social policies that go with them, especially in disadvantaged areas of Greater London.”
He now works as the director-general at Canning House, the centre for UK/Latin American relations.
He takes over the deputy lieutenancy following the retirement of Colonel Brian Kay, who spent 18 years in the position.
He said: “It is a great privilege to have been appointed to this post by the Lord Lieutenant to take over from Colonel Kay who has served Islington so well. I couldn’t be more delighted to return to Islington and look forward to being of service to the borough for which I have so much affection.”