The Milton Keynes we know today came to be on January 23, 1967.
At the time, around 40,000 people lived within the designated area of the new city. In little more than a generation the population has grown to more than 200,000 and Milton Keynes has become an important regional centre in its own right. But not everyone was impressed.
Playwright John Osborne wrote of Milton Keynes: “Every time I travel to London by train I pass through this deranged planner’s Utopia and look away. Nothing is more depressing than this gleaming gum boil plonked in the middle of England”.
But if Mr Osborne had cared to leave his train and take a closer look, he may not have been quite so scathing. He would have found the delightful series of linear parks that bring the countryside to the doorsteps of the people who live here.
He would have found the extensive network of cycle routes and footpaths, and he would have found historic villages unspoiled by the passage of time. He would have discovered that there’s far more to Milton Keynes than can be gleaned from a passing train.
This fascinating journey through time looks into the history of the region before and up to the development of the new city, from prehistoric settlers, conquest by Romans, Saxons and Normans, to pioneers of stagecoach, canal and railway. Primeval sea creatures, Bronze Age treasure, medieval wall paintings, long-lost castles, a Victorian new town and a church without a congregation are all part of this amazing story.
We also find out how the modern road network was crucial in preserving the past, why Shenley and Bradwell were once at war with each other, why landlocked Milton Keynes has more shoreline than Jersey, how Bletchley changed the course of the Second World War and why a modern city was named after a Doomsday Book village.
The DVD is narrated by award-winning voice actor Howard Ellison, and the running time is 50 minutes.
> Looking back at Milton Keynes is one sale now – call 01908 651200 or 01789 751735.