He only managed to get that flat in December 1980 after the strikes. As an unemployed electrician in the years leading up to the August strikes, life must have been incredibly tough for Wałęsa and his family. Wałęsa’s flat wasn’t a typical worker’s flat though. The local housing committee combined three normal flats to create a ‘super flat’ for Wałęsa and his growing brood. The flat still exists in this form today with another large family living there. This flat played particular importance as a rallying point for supporters and on special days such as the labour day holiday on May 1, supporters and units of armed militia would all be present under the family’s first floor window. From this flat Wałęsa went on to become a political prisoner during martial law, a Nobel laureate and a confidante of the Pope amongst other things. He stayed here until August 23, 1988 and went on to live in the Presidential Palace from 1990 -1995 as well as his new permanent residence on ul. Polanki in Oliwa.