Story of the CroftStory of the Croft - Return HomeStory of the Croft -  About the ProjectStory of the Croft - Contact us

"It was a very good environment, in particular for the time when having a baby as a single parent you were very much a second class citizen and looked down on."

"The Croft was like being a family without being family ... You are starting again. You are starting afresh and you could be who you wanted to be"

"Good memories, good memories, It was what I needed... I mean I dread to think what might have happened to me if there wasn't the The Croft at the time "

Return HomeAbout The ProjectMothers' Stories From the CroftSocial HistoryNottingham Croft GalleryYour Comments

More Stories from the Croft
Margaret's Story

"... through a teacher friend I’d made at Toothill I applied to do a degree at Nottingham University and I got accepted. So I had to get back into the city really and again just met an old school friend.That was quite interesting actually, the way these things connect, because Glen ... my ex-husband, and we were still friends, he had become a Publisher ... he had been in Oxford in a bookshop doing some business and there was a girl there and they got talking and my name had obviously come up and she said “oh I was at school with her” and he said, he told her I was in Nottingham and she said tell her to phone this number and she’ll get a surprise and it was another girl I was at school with and she was in Nottingham. And this was the early 70’s and we’d been at school in the 50’s, so she was married to a doctor. And she invited me out for lunch and I was telling her about my predicament, you know, I’d got this place at University but I was stuck in Burton Joyce … and she said 'Do you know about Family First?' And so … she gave me their telephone number and I phoned them and it was just a Godsend. It was just a complete and utter Godsend because they had just started, well maybe not just but not for that long, they’d had The Croft and they had the flats, the purpose built flats then they were in the few roads around Alexandra Park and Dagmar Grove they’d got some houses and they had an empty flat there and I moved in. And it was, oh it was just … it was a Godsend. It was a damp cold flat but it was a Godsend ..." 

Moved into a Family First flat down the road from The Croft in 1977.

"… right let’s talk about what’s marvellous about it, was number one you know, and I have enormous respect for … I mean when we were first at the flats a Mr Lewis was the housing officer I think, well he was not the caretaker but he was sort of the boss, the on-site boss and he was quite Victorian and some of the … I remember when I first moved in and I got the agreement. It was all about not having men visitors you know it was very Victorian really and I thought 'Oh my God what have I walked into?' but it was, it was slack all around there and it was … in retrospect and looking back and in the light of … there’s nothing else like it now really. It was ok. And we were all, we were all unified against Mr Lewis (laughs) and like, you weren’t allowed to have pets in the purpose built flats you weren’t allowed to have pets … and my … and Ann Skelton had a cat Tiger, so Tiger came to live with me (laughs). Things like that. And it was such a … it was the thing that you were in a community and you were in a community of people in the same predicament and so by then we were not like The Croft single mothers, we were more independent and our children were at school but we shared you know we’d take, we’d walk to school together a couple of parents and a couple of kids and Janet … where my daughter went and we were a community. My daughter went to school with Janet’s son and with Ann’s daughter and we’d walk them to school to Walter Halls and then we’d come back and we’d go to someone’s flat for about two hours, smoking cigarettes and having coffee but it was a support system you know, because obviously there was still trauma and things to deal with and you felt you were … you were part of something and … when I started university it was even more helpful because, you know, if I couldn’t make a lecture of something there was always someone that would say “O h I’ll pick up Shosh” and you knew she’d be all right because she was part of that community and it wasn’t like I was dumping her because she’d had so many moves you know, she was a little fragile and but … I felt she was safe and I felt she was emotionally safe because they were people they went to school with and there was a very strong sense within those few streets of a community … and I think that’s incredibly important you know. Especially if you’re a single parent because you need lots … you need that sort of support really …"