CHAPTER FOURTEEN - Maggie Came To Milton Keynes The Queen Came To Bletchley
Prince Charles opened Central Milton Keynes Railway Station on 17th May 1982. Do you know that the building housing B & Q at Rooksley is owned by The Dutchy of Cornwall. Three Years earlier Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opened The Centre MK on 27th June 1979.
I can not say that I remember either of these visits, both the railway and most certainly The Centre MK are not places I frequent more than once in a decade. B & Q is that somewhere His Royal Highness nips into if he wants a packet of screws or a bag of nails ? If he does I trust he brings his own sat nav with him, without it he has no chance of finding anything in this giant maze of everything you can think of but nothing you want to buy.
Ignore that paragraph, where was I ? Oh yes. The Queen came to Bletchley.
In an earlier chapter I spoke of Mayor Brian Baldry meeting the royal train at Bletchley Station to welcome Her Majesty to the new city of Milton Keynes. It was a week day, I was at work teaching at Leon School. At the time Mr D B Bradshaw was headmaster. Leon is adjacent to the railway line along which the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh would travel before reaching Bletchley and Mayor Baldry. We staff wanted to take our classes out onto the field to wave at the royal train. Headmaster Bradshaw did not think this was a justifiable reason to take the kids away from the Three R's.
Staff in the school office, however, were determined to change his mind. I think his secretary threatened to put a typo into every one of his letters until the end of term if Headmaster Bradshaw did not allow the entire school to wave at the royal train. A message was sent round the classrooms so we all decamped onto the field.
We enthusiastically waved at every train be it an express or a train scheduled to stop at every blade of grass. we waved at good trains and we even waved at a bin lorry driving along Drayton Road. We did not wave at the royal train. By the time Leon School was waving Her Majesty was long gone and the royal train was parked up in a siding at Bletchkey Station, possibly the same one that had housed the Great Train Robbery Travelling Post Office. An abundance of egg was on an abundance of faces !
After school and joking about the royal wave that never was I was driving Saxon Street behind The Brunel Centre when a black car approached then passed me by on the other side of the road. There she was sitting in the back seat, Her Britanic Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Perhaps as her train slowed towards Bletchley Station she saw the school, Leon School, on her right. Perhaps she wondered why there were no kinds there waving to greet her. Perhaps that is why she never bestowed a city charter on Milton Keynes. Perhaps.