Tuesday, 6 August 2019

A forgotten landmark in Milton Keynes

How embarrassing - no not this picture, we'll come to that in a moment.

The driver of the coach, one of the fleet of Bletchley Coaches owned by Brian Baldry, was running in and out of the civic offices with a milk bottle from Taylor's Dairy frantically trying to put water into an overheating radiator.

DAVID TAYLOR, Mayor of Milton Keynes 1987 to 1988, owner of Taylor's Dairy. David had not made it to mayoral office at that time. The incumbent and owner of the coach was Brian Baldry, Mayor of Milton Keynes 1981 to 1982.

The picture above is David Hopkins, Mayor of Milton Keynes 2017 to 2018. That is actually the most viewed ever image on Google featuring Milton Keynes. A python from Wriglies Exotic Pets in Old Stratford entangling itself in the mayor's chain of office.

Fortunately there was no camera on hand to take a picture of the less than fortunate vehicle owned by the mayor boiling over outside the civic offices. If there had been there was no Google back then but one wonders what the world would have made of it !

Mayor Baldry had a son, Ian, at Leon School and wanted to engage the teenagers living in the new city with the work of the council.

"Dave Ashford you sort it !"  Words used to co-writer of this book David by Leon School Headmaster Mr D B Bradshaw.

Mayor Baldry wanted to address an assembly of the entire student body at Leon School to explain the mayor's chain and the words on the civic crest: BY KNOWLEDGE, DESIGN AND UNDERSTANDING.  David had to cram more than one thousand pupils into the sports hall to listen to Mayor Baldry.

Here is co-writer of We Are The Concrete Cows, Josh, with Mayor Martin Petchey who served Milton Keynes from 2018 to 2019.
He has the chain of office about his neck but slightly obscured by the cheque.

And her is Mayor Sam Crooks at David's annual sponsored haircut in May 2019.

Different mayors, same chain of office.

Mayor Martin again, on this occasion at David's New Year show on Radio CRMK. 

Since Ernie Fryer became the first Mayor of Milton Keynes in 1974 how many times has that chain of office been taken out into the community ? Forty-seven mayors, if each made two hundred and fifty civic engagements that is a grand total of eleven thousand seven hundred and fifty. Let's say an average of one hundred people attended each event we have seventeen thousand five hundred. How many knew of the coat of arms and the motto Mayor Baldry was so keen to share with pupils at Leon School ?


The unfortunate incident with the coach followed on from the school assembly when fifty students were invited into the civic chamber by Mayor Brian.

During his year of office Mayor Brian hosted Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on a visit to Milton Keynes. he met her off the Royal Train at Bletchley Station, there was no Central Milton Keynes in those days.  Mayor Brian did share with David an ambition he had to become the first Lord Mayor of Milton Keynes but it did not happen,Milton Keynes has never been given city status. Sadly, probably it never will.

Co-writer David remembers Mayor Brian's assembly where he said KNOWLEDGE referred to The Open University, DESIGN The Milton Keynes Development Corporation but David can not recall the UNDERSTANDING bit.


Within the original Not The Concrete Cows book there is a section, Forgotten Landmarks of Milton Keynes. The words by knowledge, design and understanding surely today qualify as a forgotten landmark in Milton Keynes.

Perhaps if we, the citizens of Milton Keynes, not the mayors, were to take more responsibility for BY KNOWLEDGE, DESIGN AND UNDERSTANDING a little more seriously and apply it within our community we may actually become a city with a royal charter. Either that or a forgotten landmark !

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