Friday, 21 August 2020

You have never seen anything like it

Supposedly I have finished writing my book MILTON DREAMS THE CITY THAT NEVER WAS...

BUT yesterday I added FOUR more chapters. Can I share two of them with you ?


I once suggested to a couple of Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Council Members that there should be a Milton Keynes Walk Of Fame and that it should be located outside Jim Marshall’s former music shop in Queensway, Bletchley. They liked the idea but, like me, knew it was never going to happen. WHY NOT ?

Jim Marshall is Milton Keynes representative on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame. His star is there along with 2.689 others stretching for a mile and a quarter along Hollywood Boulevard. The very first star was set down in 1955 with John Wayne’s name upon it.

As I hope I have explained in this book, the history and culture of Milton Keynes is widely diverse and reaches far, far back into history. I am not suggesting that we should have ancient names like Queen Boudica on our walk of fame but start on 1st January 1967. Why this date ?  It was on this day that Harold Wilson’s government announced an area of land in North Buckinghamshire was to be designated for the construction of a new city – The New City Of Milton Keynes !

The Hollywood Walk Of Fame was part of a regeneration project for a rundown area of Los Angeles. I would not exactly call Bletchley’s Queensway rundown but it is hardly a sparkling jewel is it ? It isn’t just the physical stars but the aura and magic the stars put out which is important. I have been to Los Angeles, I have been to The Hollywood Walk Of Fame but I was just a tourist there with many thousand like me. I am not sure that Queensway, Bletchley could cope with thousands of tourists but it could cope with – Milton Keynes could cope with celebration of individuals our walk of fame would generate. It would be an inspiration to future generations and citizens of Milton Keynes.

Ley Lines. We have the original three Ley Lines of Silbury Boulevard, Midsummer Boulevard and Avebury Boulevard around which the entire new city was built. We have the ley line of love upon which Milton Keynes Crematorium is built, it is hard to thing how a more beautiful and loving location could be conceived for families in their times of grief. The Milton Keynes Walk Of Fame would too become a ley line.

How many other cities up and down the country have their walks of fame ?  None spring to my mind. Let’s make The Milton Keynes Walk Of Fame happen, something to help make our dream come true – MILTON KEYNES THE CITY THAT TRULY IS.

And now.....


When The Centre MK opened the management released a 7” vinyl single: You’ve Never Seen Anything Like it – Central Milton Keynes. I am listening to it now as I write this chapter.  SHOPPING AS IT SHOULD BE. Sadly, a tear is in my eye as I write. Please help me change that from a tear of sadness to a tear of joy.

The song flopped, I don’t think it even made it into the top one thousand ! However, every word and every note in the song perfectly describes what was then the biggest indoor shopping centre in Europe. Central Milton Keynes – Shopping as it should be. Coaches came from far and wide bringing people to experience The Centre MK – Shopping as it should be.

It must be ten years now since I shopped at the Centre MK and I have no plans to shop there within the next one hundred and ten years. Shopping as it never should be.

Milton Keynes Council claims it wants to be the greenest local authority in the world by 2050. The Centre MK is probably now the biggest climate cowboy in all of Milton Keynes. While I would never shop there any longer I do pass it on my way each morning to the studio of Radio CRMK. That is at stupid o’clock in the morning, hours before any shops are going to open and yet the entire centre is a blaze of lights. At any time of the day this probably has the biggest climate footprint of anywhere in Milton Keynes. Overnight Central Milton Keynes is probably wasting more electricity than all the rest of the borough put together, within this The Centre MK is beyond doubt the number one offender. That alone, for me and I hope for everyone, is reason enough not to shop at The Centre MK.

People’s shopping habits have changed, sadly the Centre MK has failed to keep up with these changes.

The Bin Men, our refuge collection operatives, are the hardest working people anywhere in Milton Keynes. Next time you see one of their green and white iconic trucks at work stop and watch the orange coated bin men who run from home to home, enthusiastically doing their job. If every person in Milton Keynes worked half as hard as our bin men we would be living in Utopia.

There are two bin sacks our refuse collection operatives throw like Olympic athletes into their trucks, black sacks with rubbish inside and clear plastic sacks supposedly containing material that is to be recycled. Supposedly. Milton Keynes Council’s recycling system is so confusing many, if not a majority, of those clear plastic recycling sacks have items within them that can not be recycled. Some of those items will be contaminating that which could have been recycled meaning it will now have to follow the route of the black sacks.

NO ! NO ! NO !  It is NOT Milton Keynes Council’s recycling system which is at fault. NO IT IS NOT SO DO NOT BLAME THE COUNCIL !  Blame the government if you like. With any failure that is where the buck stops. The system is broken.

I try so hard to make my own home a beacon of success when it comes to recycling but I honestly do not have a clue what can and can not be recycled.  I am attacking The Centre MK for being a climate cowboy but as I put the sacks outside my home each week on Bin Bag Thursday I am every bit as big an offender. We need a very firm policy where in big letters on every product you can but from anywhere, including the Centre MK, a choice of two phrases:


We could then move to a retailing policy of if it can not be recycled then you can not sell it !
That really would be shopping as it should be.

You’ve never seen anywhere like it – Central Milton Keynes
There’s never been anywhere like it – Central Milton Keynes
You’ve never seen shopping as it should be until you’ve been to Central Milton Keynes
There’s never been anywhere like it – Central Milton Keynes
You’ve never seen anywhere like it – Central Milton Keynes
You’ve never been shopping as it should be until you’ve been to Central Milton Keynes
CMK – wouldn’t mind shopping all day
Big shops – small shops – no traffic in the way
Sunny CMK – wouldn’t mind staying all day
As soon as you see it you’ll like it – Central Milton Keynes
You’ll find everything inside it – Central Milton Keynes
You’ve never been shopping as it should be until you’ve been to Central Milton Keynes Central Milton Keynes – shopping as it should be                                                                                

The Centre MK, you were once the nation’s number one shopping location. What are you now ?  A has been which thinks if it keeps its lights shining all night the astronauts on the International Space Station may spot you and drop by on their return to Earth !

Turn your nocturnal illuminations off. Adopt a policy of IF YOU CAN NOT RECYCLE IT THEN YOU CAN NOT SELL IT. Recycle yourself, re-release your fab little song and return to SHOPPING AS IT SHOULD BE.

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