Email Newsletter

The Milton Keynes Heritage News email newsletter provides updates about MKHA, our members and local heritage.

The newsletter is distributed on Monday mornings and includes updates from our members and other heritage news.

Milton Keynes Heritage News
29th June 2020

HODs June Update

We’ve now had confirmation from national Heritage Open Days that the festival will run, as originally planned, from the 11th to the 20th September.

With this good news in mind the deadline has been extended for inclusion into the MK print brochure to the 3rd July to make sure any organisations who would like to be involved can still be included.

The brochure will be produced in printed format but also as an online document. Events will be listed on the national HODs website from August, in the events section of Living Archive Milton Keynes’s website and on social media.

If you wish to take part please email and the Living Archive will send you the registration forms.

Albert French Day

Western Front Association Milton Keynes Branch

Organised by Milton Keynes Rose, members of the Royal British Legion and Western Front Association laid wreaths to commemorate Albert French and all those who served in the First World War.

Unable to host the normal public event, MK Rose has made available on Facebook a short video showing the reading and the wreath laying which took place on Monday 15 June 2020 at the Milton Keynes Rose.

Video of the Albert French commemoration

We Are Milton Keynes, Too

Milton Keynes Museum

Milton Keynes Museum invites contributions for a substantial new community exhibition. Perhaps you can sum up the place you call home with a particular artifact, a piece of artwork, a poem, a piece of drama, or in a song. Anyone can submit to the project; individuals, families, streets or schools, religious groups and community groups.

The project will begin life online, using the website and associated social media channels before the contributions are gathered together to form a physical exhibition, which is expected to launch in December and will run for two or three months.

The Museum has received support from an Arts Council England/National Lottery grant.

Submissions are welcome at the email address

Full details of how to submit to the project

Historic bicycle mural to be dismantled

Ceramic artist John Watson, of Wavendon, created the mural at Stantonbury Centre in the late 1970s with the help of children from Stantonbury Campus.

Tim Skelton, who chairs the MK Forum, called for the issue to be deferred so that the future of Bicycle Wall could be considered. However, councillors rejected putting off a decision by five to four with two abstentions and Aldi’s plan was passed.

News report of the Milton Keynes Council’s committee meeting

Lockdown Life MK – tell your stories!

Living Archive Milton Keynes

You are invited to take part in LAMK’s latest project, Lockdown Life MK, which will create a COVID-19 archive documenting the lives of MK’s citizens at this time.

They want to hear about your experiences. Ae you still working? Have you been furloughed? They will be conducting interviews via Zoom to find out how COVID-19 has affected you. Calling all teachers, doctors, nurses, shop workers, delivery drivers, home-schoolers, homeworkers, exam-sitters, school leavers, shielders – please share how your life has changed.

This work is being supported by funding from MK Community Foundation.

If you are interested in taking part and giving a Zoom interview please email in the first instance and they will let you have more details. Please include a brief description of your experiences during lockdown in your email message.

Archive and Reference Library Access Policy

Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre

MKCDC is currently running a public consultation on their new Archive & Reference Library Access Policy and invite you to take a look and give any feedback. The policy aims to ensure access is consistent and fair for all users. Consultation closes at midnight on Friday 10th July.

MKCDC’s policy and feedback form

Summer Reader Offers


Where’s our Car? invites readers to join the hunt for a ‘lost’ car named the NP (after Newport Pagnell). Apparently nearly 400 of them may have been made by the Salmons family in the 1920s – but no one can seem to find one.
52-pages A4 with colour sections and supplement £10.00

Crowning Glory is an account of the Royal customers who have graced Aston Martin Lagonda cars with their custom.
Fully illustrated 48-page ebook £6.00

£15.00 for both. Free help provided with your first ebook.

Order Your Word Go Books

MKHA members

While MKHA members are not holding meetings and other events, we’ll highlight some of the local heritage freely available online from our members.

Blake House, 31 Horn Street with the porch which was replaced in 1938.

A House Through Time in Winslow

Winslow History Project

If you like A House Through Time on BBC Two, you might be interested in the histories of some of the houses in Winslow.

There are pages on the Winslow History website about private houses like Blake House, former pubs like the Crooked Billet and shops like 14 Market Square. They are based on the same sort of information from censuses, newspapers and directories, but usually go back further in time than the BBC programmes.

Latest additions to the Winslow History website

Women Who Made Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre

Explore the MK Fawcett Society’s biographies of 10 women who were instrumental in the making of the new town, the digital documents are looked after by MKCDC and can be accessed on their online catalogue.

From Teresa Collard, notable for ‘bringing the arts to the people’, to Margaret Powell, the sheep farmer benefactor still making a difference to those in need across the area to this day.

Biographies of the 10 women featured in the exhibition

Armchair heritage

Some suggestions for heritage activities at home.
More at:

Graveyard research

Council for British Archaeology Festival of Archaeology

Making Stones Speak

Sunday, 12th July 2020 from 11.00 am to 12.00 noon

In this online lecture, aimed at individuals interested in their local graveyards, Professor Harold Mytum of the University of Liverpool will reveal how graveyard research allows us to understand more about the past.

Researching Burial Grounds

Sunday, 12th July 2020 from 2.00 to 3.00 pm

In this online lecture, aimed at individuals or community groups that have already conducted some survey work of their graveyards, Professor Harold Mytum will discuss the importance of data standardisation, the Archaeology Data Service’s new recording methodology, and what we can find out from graveyard research that goes beyond individual sites.

Following the lecture, during the remainder of the Festival, Dr Toby Pillatt will provide support for community groups that want to convert their existing data to the new standardised recording system. ADS will also run a competition to enable a maximum of three groups to archive their newly converted data for free.

CBA Festival of Archaeology

Opening of Television Centre

Television Centre, the world’s first purpose built television production complex was officially opened on 29th June 1960. The opening was marked by a special variety programme called First Night, presented by David Nixon and featuring performers including Arthur Askey and Richard Hearne.

The BBC sold Television Centre in 2012 and most of it is now a hotel and apartment complex. However, BBC Studios, the BBC’s commercial arm, moved into a re-modelled section of the building in 2015.

Also coming up is the 70th anniversary of Andy Pandy, who made his television debut on 11th July 1950. Initially seen as an experiment, its success was such that the Watch With Mother strand was made, which added The Flowerpot MenThe Woodentops, and Rag, Tag and Bobtail over the following years.

60th anniversary of the opening of Television Centre

Industrial Archaeology of the Grand Union Canal (Bucks)

Bucks Archaeological Society

Saturday, 4th July 2020 from 2.30 to 4.00 pm

Led by: Peter Marsden and Doug Stuckey.

This talk will focus on the 2017/18 excavations at the Soulbury Locks boiler house. Soulbury will be set in the context of the huge engineering effort to keep enough water in the Buckinghamshire section of the Grand Junction (now Grand Union) canal.

If you would like to participate in this online lecture, please complete your details so that the Society can email you the Zoom meeting ID.

Register for the BAS online lecture

Identify the locations: Little Kimble

Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre

The volunteers at Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre have identified the exact locations of over 1,500 images in the Kitchener Collection. But they need your help too! The exact locations of 150 images remain a mystery – do you know where they are?

What They Are Looking For

They want the details for the spot Maurice Kitchener would have stood to take the photograph. So not necessarily details for the spot of the building or street, but from whereabouts on the street he would have been taking the picture.

Details To Send

Latitude and Longitude Bearing: e.g. 52.047288, -0.79502789 OS Grid Reference: e.g. SP827394 Postcode: e.g. MK13 9AP

A useful website for finding these details is UK Grid Reference Finder (

Then all you need to do is send them to MKCDC.

Identify the locations in the Kitchener Collection

Victorian Prisoners Database

Buckinghamshire Archives

From 1st July 2020 the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies will be changing its name to Buckinghamshire Archives. They have a new email address:

Have you ever wondered if you have an ancestor who committed a crime? Are there skeletons in the family closet that you have always wondered about?

View the online database with details of prisoners entering the County Gaol in Aylesbury in the 1870s. The information has been taken from gaol receiving books held in the county archives..Some entries may include photographs, while others just include basic details of the inmate’s crime, and their punishment.

Prisoners entering the County Gaol in Aylesbury in the 1870s

Free garden history talks

The Gardens Trust

The Gardens Trust is moving as many of its educational activities as possible online.You can enjoy David Marsh’s live lectures on Zoom which will be entertaining as they are well researched. Each lecture will be given on a Tuesday morning and repeated at 6.00 pm the following day.

These lectures are free but donations towards the Trust’s campaigning to protect historic parks and gardens are welcome.

Full details of the garden history talks

Did you know?

Marks on a house in Calverton

How doors and windows were protected against evil?

Protection or apotropaic marks were scratched near the openings of buildings in England to ward off evil.

Sometimes known as witches marks, though they don’t necessarily date from the era of witches trials, they have to be distinguished from carpenter’s and mason’s marks which are also often found in historic buildings.

In a recent short video presentation to the Churches Conservation Trust Brian Hoggard explains the differences between these broad categories of marks and then focuses on the range of protection marks you might come across in churches. Brian has been conducting research into the archaeology of magical building protection since 1999 and his book, Magical House Protection: The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft, was published last year.

Raking Light – a searchable resource of building marks
Jono Hey –

Advice for heritage organisations

The Heritage Alliance has compiled the latest guidance and advice on mitigating the effects of COVID-19 for heritage organisations (last updated 26 June 2020).


Dates for your diary

Bletchley Park is re-opening on Saturday, 4th July 2020.

Florence Nightingale’s Legacy on Tueday, 7th July 2020 is a free online talk by the Royal College of Nursing Library & Archives

British Propaganda of the Second World War is a free National Archives webinar on Friday, 10th July 2020.

Buckinghamshire Archives is organising its first ever Virtual History Festival on Saturday, 12th September 2020 (the first Saturday of Heritage Open Days). Contributors can record their content – talks, book reviews/promotions, behind the scenes tours, interviews, etc. – on their phones or laptops. If you would like to contribute please contact Katherine Gwyn

This year’s Bucks Local History Network Conference on the subject Shopping in Buckinghamshire – from medieval market places to modern retail parks is currently planned to go ahead in the normal way on Saturday, 24 October 2020.

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