By Eileen
I was living in the Harlesden area of North London in a high rise block of flats with 4 young children aged 3, 5, 7 and 9 I was also in an abusive relationship and decided enough was enough.  I had friends in Milton Keynes so in February 1983 with just a few carrier bags we jumped on a train and never looked back

In June of that year I was offered a 4 bed roomed house on an estate called Greenleys, Greenleys was established in 1974, 715 homes 566 were to rent in Crofts and the Closes had  149 for sale (these houses cost approx £10.000 to £12.000 each)

a photogragh of a close

a close on greenleys


My home is in one of the crofts there are two sides to the croft with a car park and garages separating the two, although when I first moved in there was no garage’s it was a carport the garage’s came later.

The houses are built on a big square with a big green in the middle ideal for the children to play (my kids went wild when we first moved in as they couldn’t go out to play when we lived in the flats)

a photogragh of a croft

a croft on greenleys

One of the houses in Pinders Croft was used as a temporary health centre and a shop was set up in a ground floor flat by the time I moved in 1983 the health centre, shops and schools were already established we had a nice parade of shops and also the housing office was on the parade but now that’s no longer there and the shops have changed so much now. There was also a social club called Greenleys meeting place the play school was held here they had bingo and karate lessons there was also squash courts. This is now a community centre and also has lots of things going on they have a community café which is open on a Wednesday morning, there was a youth club a couple of evenings a week but I believe this has now stopped due to no one being able to run it.

a photograph of the first school

the first school

a photograph of the community centre

the community centre

The names of the Crofts and Closes suggest that Greenleys was built on what would have been farm land e.g. Lamberts Croft = a Lambert was a lamb-herder or shepherd, Goddards Croft = a Goddard was a drover looking after animals, Harvester Close = the Harvester was a crop gatherer Akerman Close = an Akerman was a farmer Calvards Croft = a Calvard was a calf-herder and so on.

I have lived on Greenleys for 31 years in the same croft but not the same house I down sized and now live in a 2 bed roomed house my children have all left home and have families of their own and that is the same for most of my neighbours so it’s strange now watching all our grandchildren playing in the croft.

a photograph of a rainbow over the croft

the croft on a rainy day



a photograph of a snowy day

a snowy day in the croft

Comments about this page

  • I lived in Goddards Croft for five years until I was ten. Best days of my life, dad had to move to London for work.I was so sad to leave

    By robert oldfield (21/07/2018)
  • I grew up in Cotman from 1979 – 1993 and I have to say it was an idyllic childhood 🙂 such a wonderful place back then I wish that sense of community still existed in the UK…

    sadly I think a lot has been lost in our society ….

    I now live in Brighton with my own family and child and I really wish my daughter had the same freedom we had growing up in that estate …. it wasn’t perfect but we were more free I feel 🙂

    cheers for your post the pics reminded me so much of my childhood playing out up near the footie park across from pinders in the snow from up the alleyway from cotman 🙂

    By Johnny (09/10/2015)

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