LONG considered a deprived area and one of West Ealing’s eyesores, the Green Man Lane Estate is undergoing a comprehensive reconstruction.
The entire estate will be demolished and rebuilt from scratch. Developers and residents hope the end result will be something brighter, happier and more of an open part of the community.
One woman who was a cornerstone of life on the estate was Linda Collett.
Having lived there for more than two decades, she has a strong association with the area and many know her as chairwoman of the residents’ association, a position she held for more than 10 years.
Now living in Greenford because of her husband Bob’s health needs, she is getting used to life away from her former home but has not forgotten her past.
Linda is still very much part of the community as she runs the fruit and veg stall adjacent to Barclays Bank in Uxbridge Road, with Bob, and she still drops in to visit the over-50s club on Tuesdays, which she founded.
She said: “It’s strange to go to the shops around the old estate and walk home a different way.”
Linda believed in making the best of life on Green Man Lane for as many people as possible, although the place had ‘changed a lot’ since she first moved there.
“In those days you could have parties on the landings, people would come out and bring tables and chairs out and join in,” she said.
“There was a much stronger sense of community – people knew their neighbours and we interacted with each other more.”
One thing she still feels passionately about is opportunities for young people living on the estate: “There are no youth clubs any more, so young people come home and what have they got?
“We need to bring back traditional trades like cooking, needlework and carpentry.
“Not all young people can go to university and some of our young people might have real skill in carpentry.”
One success she did have was a local football scheme, which she helped set up more than two years ago with her friend Anne Fabing. It is still going strong today.
It is no secret the estate struggled with its share of problems like drugs and anti-social behaviour, and Linda leaped at the opportunity to give Green Man Lane a clean slate.
She said: “We were so pleased when we heard that we had been selected as one of the chosen estates for regeneration.
“It was exactly what all the local estates wanted. We had lots of fun with the design process. We developed lots of ideas for the community areas, and we all ended up calling the park area Central Park – that name went into the planning application.
“It will be a football-free zone, and we will have artistic features through the park.”
Linda is looking forward to the new blocks being built.
When asked if there was anything about the estate she might miss, she said: “No. The new ideas are much more up to date and relevant to people today. I will keep my eye on what is going on.”
Linda may be missed at Green Man Lane, but her legacy will remain for years to come.
The Gazette would like to thank Rydon Group for its help with this article.
Do you have memories of life on the Green Man Lane Estate? If so, the Gazette would like to hear from you.