Milton Keynes - Home Sweet home...
"- Don't Knock It 'Til You've Tried It -"
Knocked by many but visited by few, Milton Keynes has long had a bit of a name for itself in the UK as a sterile, roundabout laden, lifeless city with little history and even less culture. Well, I would probably have to concede defeat on the roundabouts - we do indeed have an awful lot of them !! But to those who say Milton keynes has no culture I would reply that, IN FACT, MK (as the few people who like the place affectionately endear it) has one of the largest collections of publicly-sited art works in the country with over 200 public works now in the city.
Although it's true to say that the MK of today began to "materialise" in 1969, history can be found in abundance throughout the city in the many towns and villages that were already here when Milton Keynes was but a seedling in the eye of the architects, each with it's own particular claim to fame. Wolverton, being the home of the Queen's Royal Carriage. Stony Stratford, where the phrase "Cock and bull story" first materialised, derived from 18th and 19th century travellers telling hair-raising "tales of the road" on arrival at the Cock and the nearby Bull public house on the High Street (now the one establishment by the same name). Another town with a story in Milton Keynes is Bletchley, famous, of course, for it's incredible contribution to World War II with the codebreakers at Bletchley Park. And lastly, Newport Pagnell, the birthplace of the most beautiful cars of all time - the Aston Martin.
But more than anything, Milton Keynes is a city that's misunderstood by most. Generally people who have never visited, or people who came once and got confused by our roundabouts.
To best describe people's mis-guided perception of this wonderful city you would probably have to refer to a quote from the book "The Good Omen" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, where they describe MK as an example of a town both heaven and hell take credit for: "it was built to be modern, efficient, healthy, and, all in all, a pleasant place to live. Many Britons find this amusing..."