Thanks to Stevie Gray for sending us this story. The image is taken from Northampton Development Corporation advertising literature.

We came to the Eastern District to Thorplands in November 1973. There was a big yellow sign saying ‘Thorplands 1045 Homes NDC’.

We left south London as our old flats where being pulled down and my mum and dad didn’t want to move into a tower block, so we applied to the NDC. They actually came to your place in London, you had to be sponsored by a company – ours was British Timpkin – and show you were a decent clean family. They didn’t take everyone, we were all in our Sunday best and my mum cleaned the house from top to bottom to show we where not a rough dirty family.

Moving to Northampton was a mixed bag. We had a new five bedroom house and a new school but I lost my old school mates. I was very homesick for ages and wanted my life back in London. We paid 10 pounds a week for our house – my Dad collected our keys from an office in Derngate, they had one in the Market Square as well. The NDC estate was nice but nothing to do. There were a few shops and a pub, it was a building site then in ’73. The locals didn’t like us much, we were all cockneys and were trouble and they made us out to be something we were not.

I grew up there till my late 20s and after my parents died I left, there was nothing there for me. I eventually moved back to London. I still have a brother in Northampton. The last time I went was when my eldest sister died, it had changed so much. Trees have grown and it looks unkept. I’ve moved to the northeast now, I have no plans to visit Northampton. I have some bittersweet memories of the place but the first few summers we had there are the happiest. My mum, dad and sister are there in Milton Crematorium, if I pass it on the M1 I still think part of me is still there.