Residents ‘baffled’ as city is named after tiny Milton Keynes village with 151 people

editorial image
1
Have your say

A group of cheeky-faced schoolchildren huddled around a sign to Milton Keynes village was the photograph that turned the new city into a reality for thousands of residents.

Most were baffled as to why the grand new city should be named after a farming village with a population of just 151 people.

The Citizen has old newspaper cuttings from 1967 to 1970 to demonstrate the impact that the huge plan had on a population who led rural lives in small North Bucks towns and country villages.

For many, the first reaction to the government announcement was shock – and protest.

The Bucks Standard newspaper reported in January 1967 how the bulk of the designated area had been given the go ahead – “in spite of objections from almost the whole of North Bucks.”

One Newport Pagnell resident recalls: “I think it was fear of the unknown. This massive new city was being thrust upon us and we felt we had no control.”

But by March 1970, when the Master Plan for Milton Keynes was unveiled, the mood had shifted. People were more open to the idea – and downright curious as to what would become of their fields, farms and streets.

The Wolverton and North Bucks Express carried the headline: For or against, the interest remains.”

The story concluded: “It will not be an easy time, but no-one will be able to say it lacked interest.”