In January 2017, Milton Keynes celebrated its 50th Birthday. The new town was born with an Act of Parliament in 1967 which approved the building of a new community of 250,000 people covering 21,869 acres of Buckinghamshire farmland and villages. It has become the largest and most ambitious of the British new towns.
Living Archive MK used this anniversary as a focus to capture the stories and memories of Milton Keynes people – from original residents to early pioneers and the newly arrived. Living Archive MK believes that "Everybody has a story to tell" and this project provides a glimpse into the lives of a cross-section of Milton Keynes people. However, we plan to interview many more – what’s your MK story? Please get in touch. The interviews were carried out by a team of volunteers who received training and guidance from professional film makers.
During this project we interviewed 35 people who were involved in the initial planning and early development of Milton Keynes. These interviews have been made into a feature length documentary film, Make No Little Plans.
We then interviewed a further 50+ people who have made Milton Keynes their home. They were invited to share their hopes and experiences of living in the city, spanning the past fifty years. These interviews have been made into a series of shortdigital storiesand show a vibrant portrait of a place of diverse experiences and cultures. You can read more in The People’s Stories book, which combines personal stories with gems from our photographic collection to tell the story of Milton Keynes in the words of its people.
Living Archive MK teamed up with MK Youth Faculty to involve young people from our diverse cultural communities, enabling them to recount their own experiences of journeying to, and living in, Milton Keynes.
We also worked with MK City Discovery Centre bringing creative workshops to school children. The children studied archive documents and listened to interviews from original pioneers which led to the creation of two short plays.