Friday, November 17, 2006

Time to bury Milton Keynes?

Given the intellectual and political triumph of free market economics in the 1980s, I was always rather surprised that the Thatcher Government allowed the last of the new towns to be called Milton Keynes as opposed to Milton Friedman. Maybe now that the great economist has died, someone will suggest renaming it in his honour.

It wouldn't be the first time. Until the 1970s Milton Keynes did not actually exist as a place, being then three separate villages called Wolverton, Stony Stratford and Great Linford. There's an old family picture somewhere of my uncle standing beside the village signpost before it was swallowed up by the sprawl.

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8 comments:

Croydonian said...

That Milton Keynes is named for the two economists is an urban myth. It was named for a pre-existing village.

media scum said...

I had heard a story that it was named after john Milton and JM Keynes - but i suspect that's yet another urban myth

dizzy said...

Paul, Croydonian is right. I am from North Buckinghamshire, I can assure you that the village existed long before they did.

Paul Linford said...

Er....the post was meant to be humourous. I didn't know about the urban myths, and rather naively assumed that I had thought of something original. Silly me....

Anyway, I suppose the question then becomes why was the new town named after the tiny settlement of MK as opposed to the larger villages I named in my post?

media scum said...

Actually that could be where the John Milton and JM Keynes bit came in... I can imagine Lord Campbell of Eskan (who i think was the Chair of the New Towns Commission at that time) poring over maps of the area with some high minded civil servants. Probably wishful thinking however.

Paul Linford said...

This seemingly inoffensive little thread has also proved to me what I've always known - that the way to increase the number of comments on your blog is to get something wrong!

dizzy said...

As I understand it Paul, the reason the town took the name Milton Keynes is because it actually subsumed the village. Stony Stratford, Great Linford and Wolverton still actually exist as villages off H3, whereas the village of Milton Keynes doesn't

Anonymous said...

Milton Keynes Village certainly does still exist - it's near M1 J14. Btw, so does Bletchley, which you seem to have forgotten completely. And Loughton, Shenley, Broughton, Simpson and many more that are nowadays districts of MK.