Talk:Milton Keynes/Archive 1

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This page contains only archived discussions. Please do not add to or change anything here. If you wish to reopen a discussion, go to the main talk page and introduce it there. --John Maynard Friedman 17:19, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Good omens[edit]

I've corrected the reference to Good Omens.

Here is the appropriate passage, from page 46 in my copy:

[An agreement] meant that Crowley [A demon] had been allowed to develop Manchester, while Aziraphale [A angel] had a free hand in the whole of Shropshire. Crowley took Glasgow, Aziraphale had Edinburgh (neither claimed any responsibility for Milton Keynes, but both reported it as a success).

The bit quoted in the article is part of the footnote for Milton Keynes.

Concrete Cows[edit]

As a Yank who has been to Milton Keynes a few times, I've heard something about the concrete cows. This article makes a passing reference to them, but doesn't explain what the concrete cows are all about. Could someone elaborate?

The concrete cows were created in the 80's simply as an art project but became something of a symbol for the town. They have been stolen and vandalised and repaired many times over the years, and the original ones were replaced some time ago by some that were less valuable. However they have recently been removed from their secret location and now reside at the National Hockey Stadium as mascots for the MK Dons football team.
Outsiders don't get it. They have an image that MK is nothing but sheet concrete and hence the concrete cows. The reality is that there is an exceptional amount of open space, literally millions of trees and fantastic planting. --Red King 21:35, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In March 2004 a request was made to list the concrete due to their historic importance. Milton Keynes council reviewed and rejected this requests. They did go and inspect the cows and noted they were not of sufficent importance to deserve listing. This is despite them being icons of New Town art.

The real concrete cows had been moved into storage already. This would have meant Milton Keynes council listing the replacement fake cows.

Quote from a resident[edit]

You put a number of derogatory comments about Milton Keynes. The reality is it IS a clean, efficient, modern and very green 'new city'. It also happens to be one of the cheapest locations for workers in London with a 44 minute train link to Euston. I chose to live in MK because it has a far better lifestyle than anywhere comparable within an hour radius of central London. Certainly far better than London which has problems with illegal immigration, soaring crime and unbelievably expensive housing ie.. rundown flat in central London on dirty high street £1 million, 3 bed detached in best areas of MK £250,000.

Before you 'follow the herd' why don't you go there yourself.

Please feel free add some material to rectify the balance. --Red King 21:45, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Link deletion by User talk:[edit] deleted links because they are hosted by a web design company. They actually seem to be exactly what they claim to be - high resolution photographs of Milton Keynes (first set) and statistics and links for Milton Keynes which are of general interest, but too detailed to be posted directly onto the Wiki. There are no promotional materials or adverts on the pages.

Yes, I agree. I've reverted them. I can do a very special price on the Tower Bridge for anyone who still believes that hit counts matter a jot. If wants to contribute material of similar quality to replace, then we have a fair compromise. The link to was much more overtly commercial so I've removed it. --Red King 21:45, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Population planning/projection[edit]

Is the population really planned to reach 320,000 by 2030, like the Origins section says, or is it just projected to do so? That is, is someone actually making sure that the population hits 320,000 by that time (planning), or is it just that census takers expect it to reach that number (projection)? Binabik80 03:06, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Ok, there is not to be forcible movement of population, but this is where the housing and infrastructure is actively planned to take place, as a matter of government policy. So, short of a major change in demographics, that is exactly what will happen. Search Gooogle of "Milton Keynes and South Midlands". The area for expansion has been designated and the structure (roads, schools, clinics, employment, etc) plans are advanced. Equally to the point, expansion in other areas of the south-east (apart from those designated like MK) has been ruled out. So it definitely more a plan than a projection.

Factual inaccuracy (Not a city)[edit]

(Discussion threads merged for clarity)

Since MK isn't a city (and the article even makes mention of this fact), can we stop referring to it as one? It's called a city because it's residents are misguided enough to believe it, but a factual entry about the place shouldn't call it such.

The opening paragraph reads: Milton Keynes ... is a purpose-built, high technology city in the south east of England ... Although legally still a town (since city status in the United Kingdom is only possible through grant of Royal Charter), it was designed to be, and behaves as, a full city.. Also, the summary block at the right says "Legal status: Town". So an unfamiliar reader could not be misled.
A factual entry needs to reflect both realities. So the text freely mixes both. The residents are 'not' misguided: they are guided by planning and design documents going back and reiterated for forty years to the foundation of the city (sic!). MK is not a New Town, it is a New City, by design and self-belief. The piece of paper that will confirm what we already know, is incidental. To deny that reality would be just as misleading. --Concrete Cowboy 10:51, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It also makes writing (and talking) needlessly difficult because 'town' in the MK context refers typically to one of the pre-existing towns. --Red King 10:00, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but referring to it as a "city" when all legal documents state explicitly otherwise is a misrepresentation of the facts. Welwyn Garden City has the word "city" in it's name, but to my knowledge is never referred to as such in any factual description of the place. It could be convincingly argued that it has a stronger case than MK in that regard, but it's residents as a whole are not arrogant enough to believe that WGC has any kind of higher status than it actually has. Would I level this accusation at the majority of MK residents? From my personal experience, I certainly would.

The statements of fact in the information panel say that MK's legal status is still a town. We use the word "city" because "town" is already used for Stony, Wolverton, Bletchley etc, and as shorthand for "designated area". Welwyn is quite welcome to use the term 'city' informally if you like, we won't mind. London can call itself "town" too (as in "going up to town", "old London town"). Arrogance has nothing to do with it: we know that MK is a city in all but name, it's no big deal. A charter would be nice to hang in the council chamber, but it doesn't actually change anything. Ely is a "city", but in reality it is a small town. In the meantime, Wiki encourages alternate records of perception provided that the primary record is clear. For the benefit of people outside the UK, the term "city" conveys a more accurate idea of what they might expect to see. --Concrete Cowboy 23:42, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Milton Keynes is no more a city than many other similarly large places in England. Huddersfield, Northampton, Reading, Halifax, Telford (another new town), Swindon, Ipswich - none of these make claims to be "cities". I don't see why Milton Keynes is any different. sjorford #£@%&$?! 13:04, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

What makes it different is that its design brief was that it would be a "new city", not a new town. The infobox states clearly that the formal status is "town" and consequently "new city" is a description, not a statement of legal status in UK ceremonial law. The opening paragraph repeats that. So, for ceremonial purposes, MK is not a city. In the real world, it is. In all honesty, given the peculiar architectural values of the heir to the throne, we don't expect to see a charter in the next 50 years.
This topic is discussed in more detail above.
Incidentally, are you sure that the places you mention are legally even towns? I'm being told here that they are only villages unless they have a royal charter to hold a market! --Concrete Cowboy 00:05, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
! I've no idea if they have royal charters or not, although several of them are very old settlements, I'd be surprised if they don't. Anyway, I had heard that these days pretty much any parish council can rename itself as a town council purely on its own decision, so I don't think town status is treated as sensitively as city status.
I've no objection to the term "new city" in place of "new town" to describe its origins, but I do object to free use of the word "city" throughout the article, as it gives the wrong impression. City status is a highly prized commodity that towns spend much effort campaigning for - it's hardly fair to just claim it because of a quirk of planning. It's also worth noting that MK has unsuccessfully applied for city status.
Hmm, I'm sounding like a real snob here, I don't know why, that's not where I'm coming from. I just think it's important to be accurate on this point. sjorford #£@%&$?! 08:43, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
I didn't think you were. Nor is MK trying to be better than it ought to be. I suppose you could call it a "common law city" - we don't have the piece of paper yet!
There are two big semantic traps that justify why it has to be this way:
(a) Wikipedia is international. It is only the UK that has this ceremonial city status. In the US, a town of any size is a city - every town in your list would be a city. In Italy, anything bigger than a hamlet is una città. In Spain, it's a ciudad. In France, it's either une ville or une grande ville and the definiion is failry fluid (cité means the medieval city). The article has to give the impression of an urban area that is about 10m/16km across. So the article begins by explaining that MK was designed and built as a new city – but by statute it is not actually a city, legally it's still a town. I really don't see that anyone would be confused. Being absolutely anglocentric irrespective of context can be more confusing.
(b) Because the boundary of MK was designated to include three existing towns and a number of large villages, the word "city" is needed to describe the total space. Locally, when we say we are "going down town" we mean into the nearby centre. When we are going to Central MK, we say we are going "up [to] the city centre". The MK articles have the same issue - they have to be clear when they are talking about the local town and when they are talking about the larger space. The fact that the larger borough has the same name too, doesn't make it any easier. --Concrete Cowboy 19:23, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

User Talk: changed all references to "city" on Milton Keynes to "town" and all references to "town" to "village". Please read this section before doing so again. The article makes very clear at Milton Keynes#City status what the legal status is, and it is extremely pedantic to use the nice legal designations in an international encyclopedia. This little British charade is not understood anywhere else - please read the article City#The difference between towns and cities. The constituent towns of the city are towns, not villages. The article is incomprehensible if the term "town" is used throughout - the reader is confused by the word "town" in one context to mean the larger entity and in another to mean the smaller entity. He/she recognised this when changing all the towns to "village". --Concrete Cowboy 17:47, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, lets be plain about this. Milton Keynes is a New Town, established under the UK New Towns Act. It's in the UK, so, regardless of whether or not it is a city designate (which point I would challenge in any case) it is nothing more than a town. Using the argument you are above, would you say the City of London is not a city, because it is too small? Or maybe that Reading IS a city, because it is so big? Basingstoke, Reading and Milton Keynes are all treated likecities, but theya re all towns. If anything, both Basingstoke and Reading have more claim to city status, as they both have Borough Charters granted hindreds of years ago, which Milton Keynes does not have.
As to villages, the constituent districts of the Milton Keynes New Town are all villages, and not towns in their own right. Bletchley, Stony, Wolverton etc are not towns.
If you want a better term than Town to describe the new town - why not just call it what it is, a "New Town", and stop messing about with clear, legal, ane internationally understood definitions, as already detailed in Wiki? --User:Tramlink 11:12, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Legally, London is not a city, though it contains two cities. Legally Stony Stratford is a town, because it has a market charter since Richard I. By that measure, Bletchley and Wolverton are still villages, though it seems that a village can arbitrarily redefine itself as a town - see Woburn Sands. I am aware to the legal niceties - see Talk:New Bradwell. But Wiki is not an Act of Parliament so can apply familiar usage, provided that the legal position is made clear - as it is in this article. By the way, I agree completely: any reasonable measure, Reading is a city but I also accept that it isn't a City. --Concrete Cowboy 12:08, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I lived in Milton Keynes (MK) for nearly 4 years (my work took me there) and I must admit I was really surprised that locals referred to MK as a City. I think they have been brainwashed by the Council and the local media from birth. It truly is a city-obsessed town, (even an amateur football team is called Milton Keynes City) an obsession of which I have never seen elsewhere in other towns.

There's a paper called the "The Citizen" (a title with delusions of grandeur)which seemed to (without fail) mention the word City (for describing MK)in at least one article per edition, whether it be on the front page or in the Sports section (or somewhere in between)e.g. "City girl wins....blah, blah, blah".

I remember having conversations with locals who looked at me as if I had three heads when I had the temerity to suggest that MK was NOT a city! I suppose if you've had it rammed down your throat since birth then you will believe it. It seems the MK Council know a thing or too about Propaganda!

What I do find quite ironic is that MK "citizens" speak of "going up the city", whilst I have lived in Bradford (a city) for most of my life and we say "going down (or into) town"!

(AD, Yorkshire).

If you live in the outskirts of (say) Bletchley, then "going into town" means going to Queensway, Bletchley. Going "up the city centre" means going to Central Milton Keynes. It has nothing to do with brainwashing, delusions of grandeur or anything else. MK was specified in 1967 to be a "new city", so that name has stuck, because it is convenient. See History of Milton Keynes. --Concrete Cowboy 13:13, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Town/borough confusion[edit]

Shouldn't a the stuff about 'places now part of Milton Keynes' be put in the Milton Keynes (borough) article, as these are not part of Milton Keynes itself they are part of the Milton Keynes borough. Or perhaps the town and borough articles should be merged if this stuff is to stay? although personally I dont think this is a good idea. Any thoughts anyone? G-Man 21:24, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

No, the article is accurate, the political geography is confusing! The old towns, villages and parishes listed are within the boundary of today's New City and contribute to its variery.
Places that are in the Borough, but not in the city, include (for example) Newport Pagnell, Olney, Hanslope and others. See Streetmap here for the city boundary v the borough boundary. --Concrete Cowboy 21:52, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree that following the "Statutory Instrument 1995 No. 1769 The Buckinghamshire (Borough of Milton Keynes) (Structural Change) Order 1995" That Milton Keynes is now a county. Specifically in section 8:

   Constitution of new county of Milton Keynes
   8.—(1)  Milton Keynes shall cease to form part of Buckinghamshire.
   (2)  A new county shall be constituted comprising the area of Milton Keynes and shall be named the county of Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes should therefore not be stated to be in Buckinghamshire. The "Lieutenancies Act 1997" defines Buckinghamshire as including Milton Keynes for the very limited purposes of the act. For all other purposes Milton Keynes is its own county. It is therefore factually incorrect to state Milton Keynes is in Buckinghamshire, or for example Newport Pagnell or Olney.

Using the term ceremonial county in the statistics section gives these very limited Lieutenancy functions great prominence and is misleading. A mention in the political history to the act would be adaquate. -- [Iain Sear] (10:50, March 26, 2007

Thanks for your input. You are right in saying that Milton Keynes is no longer a part of Buckignhamshire in terms of the civic state. However, it is in the cermonial county and this is important not for the Lieutenancies Act but it helps people place it both geographically and culturally. Likewise, if I add a county to my address, then it is Buckinghamshire. Surely saying that the cermonial county is just the Lieutenancies Act is placing too much emphasis on the Act, whatever it may say? Severo 18:32, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Continuing the use of the old terms seems to be largely an emtional issue. My feeling is that becuase Milton Keynes is "new" and "different" from other places in the UK being associated with Buckinghamshire is alien to the whole ethos of the place. The older member of my family who lived in the Milton Keynes area prior to the designation of the new town surprisingly were happy to distance themseleves from Buckinghamshire because of the percieved favoritism of the county council towards south Bucks. Other people may disagree out of a sense of place or tradition.

I felt that the statement should reflect the actual legislation although I have no problem with references to buckinghamshire in a historic context or to the Lieutenancies Act. - Iain Sear

i just thought that i would point out a little fact to people who are getting so uptight about this. Its our bloody city and we will call it what we want, oh and also i live in bletchley and i will just state a little fact for you, bletchley wolverton and stoney stratford are all towns. dont know if you knew this but stony stratford was a market TOWN. get your facts straight before you go stating them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:15, 11 September 2007 (UTC)


The section on pronunciation is well-intentioned but it is let down by trying to render pronunciations using conventional letters. The International Phonetic Alphabet should be used. Is it suggested that Woburn Sands station isn't in the borough? Calling the borough a "New City" (sic) and, soon afterwards, a "new town" is confusing and inaccurate. It's a borough which might be characterised as a new town (which is then defined).

Regarding pronunciation, I agree totally. Unfortunately, an IPA expert hasn't shown up to correct it. If you can, please do so.
Legally it is a town, in concept it is a New City. But I'll have a purge.
Woburn Sands is in the Borough but not in the city. Ditto Olney and Newport Pagnell for starters. --Concrete Cowboy 19:31, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've IPA'ed it. I'm not positive on a few of them, so a local or someone more versed in Estuary English should double-check me. --Dupes 21:18, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for that! --Concrete Cowboy 22:54, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

"Note 1: Pronunciation varies according to the speaker." What? I lived in Milton Keynes for 20 years, only ever heard one way of pronouncing it. I don't see any possible source of confusion. Lfh 14:10, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Someone put the Estuary English pronunciation (Mi---n Keynes) but it seems to have disappeared when someone else destroyed the end of the article. Feel free to take that opening out. Loads of other stuff around for you to proof-read too! --Concrete Cowboy 17:09, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Someone's put it in again. Surely if we're going to note the "Estuary" pronunciation of Milton Keynes then we also need to mention the possibility of "Lu-on" for Luton, "Birminam" for Birmingham, "Sarf Lahn-dahn" etc etc...
Yes, that makes sense. I'll take it out. --Concrete Cowboy 18:12, 5 August 2006 (UTC)


This discussion refers to material that has moved to a new detailed article - the Milton Keynes redway system. The discussion that was originally here is now at talk:Milton Keynes redway system.

Milton Keyes as Shown on a Map[edit]

Is there anybody out there who can answer this question? I have lived in Milton Keynes for many years now, but one thing about the city has always puzzled me: On every map or road atlas I have ever seen, the "large dot" that represents Milton Keynes does not appear where Central Milton Keynes is. Instead it is always just below the A421 around the area of Beanhill. Why is this?? For every other town and city this dot is always shown where the city centre is! Gp100mk

My first guess is that they jump to the conclusion that postcode **1 1AA is the General Post Office in the town centre. Try Streetmap or Mulimap with RG1 1AA, LE1 1AA, B1 1AA, BL1 1AA - they all work for the central area. So stands to reason that MK1 1AA should be in CMK, but it isn't. The sorting office is in an industrial estate (Dawson Rd, Mount Farm). My second guess is that they take the nearest convenient co-ordinates: Google Earth takes the nearest "round" WGS84 Lat/Lon to MK1 1AA, which is 52.02N,0.75W, which is on Grafton Street at the SE corner of Coffee Hall. It's the only reason I can see why they wouldn't have used the far closer 52.04N,0.76W. [How they managed to put the mythical "Wolverton-Stony Stratford" at 52.03N,0.75W is anybody's guess!] --Concrete Cowboy 18:29, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Dodgy Citation In Origins section[edit]

The second paragraph of Origins doesn't read too fluidly to me & I was thinking of editing it, but this caused me to scrutinise the sentence "river valleys, water courses and extensive landscape buffers within Milton Keynes provide a good example of how environmental assets can be integrated into new development." This sentence is very nice & all - it seems very appropriate to me - but it seems to be dodgy citation with a link to a page at the East Midlands Regional Assembly's website.

My initial reason for investigating further was that this seems to be a non-NPoV statement & so I assumed that it might just be blurb from a marketing brochure from some government department, and to question whethe it was really suitable for citation. However the page in question is basically a just bunch of links to PDFs. It doesn't contain that phrase itself and neither does the most prominent report it mentions, The Milton Keynes & South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy. I've checked that thoroughly for this phrase (search keyword "extensive") and it's not in there. There is another two reports on the page split into 15 downloadable PDFs - a government conspiracy so that people won't read stuff? - and although I haven't checked each & every one of them this Google search tends to suggest that phrase isn't in either of those, either.

I don't know the best way to deal with this, but it seems to me that the citation is dodgy & should be removed. If we're unable to determine where the phrase quoted - "river valleys, water courses and extensive landscape buffers within Milton Keynes provide a good example of how environmental assets can be integrated into new development" - comes from, IMO we should remove it completely. I suspect no-one else cares about his much enough to comment, but I want to establish due diligence and if no-one replies I'll delete this section in the future when I have a tidy up.--Stroller 17:50, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

It certainly was in the MK&SM Sub-Regional Strategy, I assure you that it is a direct quote. I'll search for it again and report back. Maybe Big Brother "revised" it becuase they realised that it got in the way of more tower blocks sorry "landmark buildings". In the meantime, if you feel concerned about it, you can "hide" it using "<! and > like this: <!-- Hidden text here --> --Concrete Cowboy 23:26, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Came up in a google search. See para 2.85 --Concrete Cowboy 23:36, 27 April 2006



Hi just an idea, i live in Milton Keynes, do you think it would be a good idea to include some information about the various districts in MK. I know they might only be small areas but the differance among the houses age and style is quite interesting. (Neostinker 11:05, 1 July 2006 (UTC))

Most MK districts aren't really notable to the wide world. Have a look at Category:Civil parishes in Milton Keynes Borough because each parish consists of a few districts and in a few I've done some stubs. See Campbell Park, Milton Keynes. I was going to do an info-box but haven't had time. It would be great if you could start developing them, even putting the district stubs into the parish articles would be good. There is a list of which CP includes which districts on MKWEB here. (By the way, I don't think that we should use the term "Estate" as it makes outsiders jump to conclusions). --Concrete Cowboy 18:48, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Yeah ok, that sounds like a much better idea , im not too sure where to begin though , any pointers, id love to help because its easy for me to get around MK and i know my way around. (Neostinker 20:04, 22 July 2006 (UTC))

Sure. i will be happy to help, i have lots of time off now so i will get taking photos!!! Let me know on my user page if you want me to do anything else :-) (Neostinker 22:32, 24 July 2006 (UTC))

National Bowl[edit]

I've got a couple of pictures from the Bon Jovi concert last year that could be used of the Bowl. Dark Artic 21:36, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Please do! For 'how to', see User talk:Dark Artic if you haven't already. --Concrete Cowboy 13:17, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Pictures deleted[edit]

Some excellent pictures that "Chris" published on Commons have been deleted by the Commons Administrators because he didn't state the source. If he can repost them with provenance, please do. Otherwise, we need to replace them: the most urgent is the MK-G exterior. Volunteers needed. --Concrete Cowboy 12:25, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Hi-res images of concrete cows[edit]

There are some hi-res images of Milton Keynes, particularly the concrete cows, available here.

Royalty free images of Milton Keynes

They are royalty free, so help yourselves. user:Lewisnorth

Unfortunately, Wikipedia can't use them unless they are free to use for any purpose whatever. See Commons:Licensing. --Concrete Cowboy 17:02, 9 August 2006 (UTC) --Concrete Cowboy 17:07, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

They are free to use, the only reason the copyright is mentioned is because I took them for a project, but anyone can use them as they see fit. It mentions this on each page.

Can these images be added to the listing or not? I am sure someone will find them useful since there is not a lot else available. user:Lewisnorth

In the overall Milton Keynes article, even I don't regard the Cows as notable enough to feature. The Bancroft, Milton Keynes article already has a pic. There are other pics of the cows on Wikimedia. But don't let that discourage you from adding these and other MK pics. Nobody else is allowed to do it for you. You need to create an ID on and upload them. The licence tag you need is "GFDL-self" and you need to put them in [Category:Milton Keynes]. Have a look at what is already in that category: there is plenty of room for improvement. We really need a pic of the Gallery and of the Bowl. --Concrete Cowboy 12:13, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Popular Culture[edit]

As the article is already overlength and needs material adding on the economy etc, I've hived off Milton Keynes in popular culture as a separate article. I suppose I should have asked if anyone objected first! It's not hard to revert if anyone disagrees. --Concrete Cowboy 17:24, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I started that section and I'm amazed how it's grown. It's a decent standalone article! The main article should ideally have a paragraph summary, I suppose - David Gerard 10:36, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Well if you started it, you are probably the best person to summarise it! It is such a rag bag collection, I wouldn't know where to start. --Concrete Cowboy 12:35, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Since it's been hived off, do you not think it should also be linked to?! The only pages linking to Milton Keynes in popular culture are this talk page, and David Gerard's talk page. I'd suggest a "see main article" thingie in the culture section. 09:25, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Request for mention from Ask MK TV[edit]

I have no idea if they're locally notable or whatever, but I got an email from them. Could a local please look this one over? - David Gerard 10:36, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

From: Bjorn Starling bjorn at Date: 18-Aug-2006 11:08 Subject: Ask MK TV on Wikipedia To: wp at


I was wondering how can we get to be mentioned somewhere on the following page:,_England

Hope you can help.

Best Regards Bjorn Starling

The problem is that Wiki doesn't do advertising and at present they aren't notable - they only have a fairly low profile web presence. I'm not convinced. It needs a few more editors to contribute towards a consensus. The same goes for (which got blocked earlier for underhand substitution of its URL). Maybe we should give web-only start-ups a break, but where do we draw the line between reporting and promoting. Comments please! --Concrete Cowboy 12:41, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Hmm its a toughie. The site is rather accomplished and updated very very regularily. Going on other towns, such sites are usuaully mentioned somewhere, i guess the point is they're not too numerious, theres only one or two such sites per town as opposed to to other subjects, for example; including such sites on the subject of online gaming or computing would not work. So yeah Bjrobinson 09:13, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

city or not[edit]

Do we have any contemporary sources about the "new city" status? What I've found in the London Gazette shows it was just designated as a New Town: and to my mind Telford was just as ambitious an attempt to create a new city (rather than expanding an existing one) as MK. 10:44, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm fairly sure that there is something in "The Plan for Milton Keynes" but it'll have to wait until I can get to the Library. --Concrete Cowboy 12:34, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, Telford even had the same target population of 250,000 it appears (although obviously less succesfull). Morwen - Talk 15:56, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Volume 1 of The Plan for Milton Keynes (March, 1970) [ISBN: 0903379007, according to Amazon] begins (in the Foreword by Lord ("Jock") Campbell of Eskan):

"This plan for building the new city of Milton Keynes ..." (page xi)


"Our brief from the Minister [of Housing and Local Government] was to plan a city for 250,000 people" (page xii)

The first page of the plan itself refers to a MoH&LG "South East Study 1961-1981 HMSO 1964" that recommended "a new city near Bletchley" and another MoH&LG study "Northampton, Bedford and North Bucks" in 1965 as being the one that finally persuaded the Minister to designate a site for "a new city", to include Bletchley, Wolverton and Stony Stratford and the intervening villages. Around the same time (according to the Plan for MK), Buckinghamshire County Council had considered the idea as early as 1962 and published a Study in 1966 called "North Bucks New City". So I suspect that the London Gazette was more conscious of the dreaded City status in the United Kingdom and realised that it couldn't use the C word.

Does this need to go in the main article, or in the Milton Keynes Development Corporation article, or nowhere? --Concrete Cowboy 19:10, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

It has nothing to do with the London Gazette, which is merely an outlet printing notices, and everything to do with the actual New Towns Act. Is there any evidence that Telford wasn't similarly planned as a new city? Morwen - Talk 22:16, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
very difficult to prove a negative! might be easier to find proof that it was - presumably there must have been a similar Plan for Telford? and did it say the same things? (Incidentally, though I don't have the PforMK to hand, I think I recall a reference to the term "new town" as used in the act, as though that was just a legal nicety!) --Concrete Cowboy 23:50, 13 September 2006 (UTC) (by the way, thanks for spotting the omission of NP from the MK parishes template. I can't believe I did that!) -- CC.
Right, I have an advert in The Times from 1971, placed by the Telford Development Corporation, enticing businesses to move to Telford, saying "we are in the business to build a new city" - "we're building a city the size of Leicester on an area eight times greater". 07:50, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
And another different one, with the strapline "Telford - the city in the country". 07:53, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Quick question[edit]

Where's the name come from? MrZaiustalk 20:45, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

The name of a pre-existing village on the site. Morwen - Talk 08:00, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Poor quality of article[edit]

The pre-history section is formatted badly : random bolding of the sub-places, a bulletted list with far too much prose for each item for that format.

Oh, in other research I found out Bletchley had been angling to become an Expanded Town in the 1950s, taking overspill from London, well before the idea of a larger settlement had been developed. Morwen - Talk 10:23, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

On formatting, fair comment. There was so much more wrong with the article before I started cleaning it up that I stopped noticing these!
On the Bletchley UDC (and Bucks CC) plans, it seems to me that these are too detailed for the main MK article but maybe could go in the Bletchley, Milton Keynes article - especially as the expansion of Bletchley did actually start. --Concrete Cowboy 17:42, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

"New city"[edit]

Also, the article spends far too long justifying Milton Keynes's pretensions to be a city. The overall flow of the prose in the history section has been ruined because of this and some bits no longer even make sense. Morwen - Talk 10:25, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Agree completely, this is pure wikipedia articact: the article suffers from regular pedantic editing by people who don't actually read the article to understand the usage and realise that it is becomes untilligble to say that the town is in the town and this happened in the town - which town are we talking about? We could try putting it in a hidden comment, I suppose? How about the text that I've just added to Expansion plans for Milton Keynes? --Concrete Cowboy 17:42, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
So having agreed that with this, you add self-justifying text in the intro regarding the "new city" nonsense. We describe Milton Keynes as a city in prose : we do not do so for Telford or Northampton of Warrington - this is already a special privlege, and I don't actually see why we should give Milton Keynes this special treatment if that's not enough and we have to give priority to this self-affirmative LPOV nonsense - your local pride really shows in your editing, and in this context it is difficult to create a factual, neutral, relevant article. Further, there is no subsection Buckinghamshire#Ceremonial county, and nor should there be. Morwen - Talk 08:57, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Now I'm confused. I thought you were trying to develop a decent opening paragraph. Surely the fact that the place was designed to be a "new city" is critical information? I'm aware of the LPOV risk and try to avoid it, but this time I don't see your reasoning, sorry. You need to explain why you don't think it belongs in the intro. You even wanted to put some stuff about the grid roads there, which is subsidiary. IMO, the "locally known as a city" is far less important and I'd be happy to lose this in return.
Buckinghamshire#Ceremonial county did exist, news to me that it was deleted. The Bucks article is mainly about the modern legal county - and MK is not in it. Ok, this time I was being pedantic so I give way. --Concrete Cowboy 12:32, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
No, that it was designed to be a major regional centre is critical information. Put that in if you want. "city" does not necessarily imply major regional centre in the United Kingdom : the planners were using it as a shorthand but that's understandable in that context. It's not something that actually means anything other than that they were using it to mean "really quite large town" : there's no cutoff barrier. The grid system is a pretty unusual feature for England, and we have a long section 2 about it - it seems worthy of a sentence or two in the intro. The Buckinghamshire article is about both versions of the county, including and excluding Milton Keynes, which is a bit tricky but there you go. Morwen - Talk 15:25, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually, after reading the contemorary documents in the library, I don't think we can validly say that the Government planned it as a major regional centre. After the event maybe, but not at the time. Or at least not anything that I can find to cite. But they did plan a city - yes, I agree with your "really quite large town" - I can't help thinking that you are too afraid of the c word. Nowhere but the UK has this hangup about city status. But I'm going to have to give way on this issue because I'm not going to win: I might eventually persuade you but I'm never going to persuade the other 999 UK editors! (but I still don't know how we explain the local usage otherwise, so that will have to come out too).
For the grid reference, how about "uniquely/unusally/exceptionally for the UK, the urban form uses a 1km grid for the top level of street hierarchy"? --Concrete Cowboy 16:55, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me! Morwen - Talk 17:15, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Access and news media[edit]

Further, the 'access' section again suffers from the problem of bad formatting (random bolding). Wikipedia isn't a travel guide : this section needs pruning majorly: excessive detail like "where there are storage and changing facilities available" is dubious enough, but in the 'by Air' section it directly addresses the reader!!! The "News media" section suffers from similar formatting and context problems. Morwen - Talk 10:29, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

We should probably mention whether the newspapers are paid for or not. Morwen - Talk 10:55, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

All freesheets, so free to residents. Sold in shops. --Concrete Cowboy 17:42, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Right, that's some work done on these issue. I shall wait to see what the reaction is before proceeding with more major cleanup action, which is anyway long overdue. Morwen - Talk 11:05, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
All above replies were before reading! More later. --Concrete Cowboy 17:42, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

The intro again[edit]

"high-technology"? what is this supposed to mean. I propose the following introduction

Milton Keynes [ˌmɪltənˈkiːnz] is a city in northern Buckinghamshire, in South East England, about 45 miles north-west of London and near to Luton, Bedford, Northampton and Buckingham. Milton Keynes was designated as a new town in 1967, and incorporated the existing towns of Bletchley, Wolverton and Stony Stratford. It took its name from the village of Milton Keynes, on the site, which is now more usually known as 'Middleton'. According to the 2001 census the population of the Milton Keynes urban area, also including the town of Newport Pagnell is 184,506, and that of the wider borough of Milton Keynes, which has been a unitary authority independent of Buckinghamshire since 1997, was 207,063 (compared to an population of around 53,000 for the same area in 1961[1]".

We might want to toss a mention in the intro to the grid system (very unusual in UK cities). Morwen - Talk 12:01, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Will look, but I think it critical to say in the intro that it was planned from the outset to be a city and only the legal niceties of English Law prevented it being designated as such. --Concrete Cowboy 17:42, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't think we need to do that. We could just use city to describe it, note that it was a designated "new town" (or possibly say it was designated under the New Towns Act) and then note in the intro that it doesn't have formal city status. However, I don't see why Milton Keynes should be given special treatment that Telford, Warrington, Northampton aren't: these are similarly sized settlements (especially the latter too) - please try to set local patriotism aside and consider consistency with other articles.
The real difference between Milton Keynes and Telford and the other new towns wasn't that it was planned as a "city" - but that it was an entirely new settlement and the city centre was built on a field - ie that it was really new and that wasn't just a word. Other new towns redeveloped existing town centres and added suburbs - MK and Telford used existing town centres as suburbs. Morwen - Talk 17:53, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't think I'm being unduly loyal - it's just that the practical experience in MK is that it gets very confusing to use 'town' to mean two very different things in scale. But let's try your version for a while and see what edits we get.
I disagree in part on the 'real' difference. It is significant that MK (and, we suspect, Telford) were specified as cities rather than as towns. It suggests a real self-belief in Government that they could step up a gear beyond the Harlows and the Welwyns to something much grander in scale. But I do agree with the greenfield site point - I can't ever see it happening again.
On your suggested intro, I'm broadly in favour with some reservations
    • I find the phonetics in the intro very off-putting: most town/city articles don't have it. It is worth at best a footnote and then only to explain that it doesn't sound like John Maynard Keynes (though presumab;y both come from the 'de Cahaignes' family, which makes him right and us wrong!).
    • For the benefit of international readers, we really need to keep the Oxford/Cambridge/Leicester location. Saying that it is between Luton, Northampton, Bedford and Buckingham is probably meaningless outside England, certainly outside the UK. They are not notable on the international scale. --Concrete Cowboy 20:00, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Just saying Oxford and Cambridge is rather cherry-picking picking though!. We basically need to make the point that the area of south midlands/north buckinghamshire was curiously devoid of large towns, making Bletchley an ideal site to put one. How does "Halfway between London and Birmingham" work? Could we figure out a geographical radius that it's the largest settlement in? Morwen - Talk 22:02, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Idea was to provide a cross-plot. Best say "roughly halfway between London and Birmingham" since exact point is somewhere between Northampton and MK. --Concrete Cowboy 12:37, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

City status again[edit]

also another thing with the city status section is that it implied there is a such a thing as a "legal town" status in the UK and that Milton Keynes is formally one. this isn't really true. the legal definition of town and village is far far far messier than the definitions of borough and city. We could call it a "large town, locally known as a city" in the intro? Morwen - Talk 22:10, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
we could, but it is desperately pedantic. --Concrete Cowboy 12:37, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

and and re: pronunciation, lots of places do have IPA pronuncation things in them: Leicester and Gloucester for two. but if IPA is bad we could say "rhymes with beans?" Morwen - Talk 22:12, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

yes but they are confusing to a foreign reader whereas MK sounds like you'd expect it to (unless you know about the economist). I thought that the "rhymes with" is deprecated? Ok,it is a subjective thing. IMHO, putting pronunciation in the intro is excessive detail. If there is a substantial consensus (and I don't think there is), I'll have to accept it. --Concrete Cowboy 12:37, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

So just a few more edits to be FA for 40th birthday on 23 January 2007, eh? Well how about 2017? 2067??? --Concrete Cowboy 19:43, 11 October 2006 (UTC)


[2] is perhaps an interesting source, being an evaluation of MK by the council Morwen - Talk 09:38, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Factually correct, though pitched in a begging bowl style to secure a good grant settlement. (The local whinge is that the annual LA subsidy - from our taxes - is based on the population at census, which penalises growing communities and rewards declining comunities. Which might be a reasonable policy but is is not announced and is not consistent with the prescott 'pile em high and build em cheap' policy). --Concrete Cowboy 12:37, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
hmm, i thought it was based on ODPM mid-year estimates now? 15:28, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Might explain why they've stopped using that excuse. Strange that they've never said why they stopped, though. --Concrete Cowboy 19:51, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
I think we can at least use the identification of a lack of a proper higher educational facility as a problem - is Milton Keynes College the remnants of DMU Milton Keynes, and if not what happened to the latter? Morwen - Talk 15:50, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
No, no connection at all. MKC was Bletchley College. DMU just cried off hurt, same as at Lincoln and recently at Bedford (see De Montfort University). The MK site had terrible public transport links and never acheived critical mass. The MK2031 Plan suggests trying again in Campbell Park, but I can't see that getting agreement - certainly not there anyway. --Concrete Cowboy 19:51, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

"As might be anticipated, these plans are controversial — especially since the local population has little democratic control over the plans and actions of this Government-appointed Quango." is problematic. Especially as MKDC, which the article mentions in glowing terms earlier, was a Government-appointed Quango. Morwen - Talk 16:04, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

The contemporary press reports record some CPRE-style moans. But only a tiny number of people were affected. But if you look at the [modern] letters columns, you'll see storms of abuse. But feel free to tone it down a bit. --Concrete Cowboy 17:06, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

I am pondering also mentioning the MK postal area as an example of how Milton Keynes has become a regional centre. Morwen - Talk 16:23, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

The post codes were established shortly after designation, when there was very little in this sub-region. So you can't use it as an example of how it has become, but you might use it to support the case for what was anticipated. (Amusingly, they assigned MK1 1AA to be the big sorting office in an industrial estated north of Bletchley, causing confusion to Multimap and Google Earth about the location of the centre). --Concrete Cowboy 17:06, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Point. I notice MK9 covers Central Milton Keynes!. I wonder whether you have access to a local postal district map so you could fill in MK postal area on the model of M postal area? Morwen - Talk 17:16, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
doing it now. --Concrete Cowboy 19:51, 14 October 2006 (UTC)


now we have the promising history of Milton Keynes, I reduced the existing history section somewhat, mainly by pruning minor details. Morwen - Talk 12:35, 8 November 2006 (UTC)