Are you interested in the local history of Milton Keynes or tracing your family tree in the area? This page pulls together a wide range of film footage which you can access for free to see how the town looked in the past.
What area is Milton Keynes in?
Milton Keynes is in the county of Buckinghamshire, which is part of the region called the South East England. It’s also in an area referred to as the ‘Home Counties’ which surround London.
What is Milton Keynes famous for?
Milton Keynes officially became a new town on January 23, 1967, turning it from a small Buckinghamshire village into a large, modern town. Good homes and facilities for families, businesses, transport, and the retail and leisure sectors were the planners’ aim at a time when historic buildings were distinctly out of fashion.
Milton Keynes continues to be famous for its rapid expansion during the 1970s and 1980s, along with the concrete cows created in 1978 by artist Liz Leyh and local school children.
Why is Milton Keynes called Milton Keynes?
Under Norman rule, the village of Middeltone was controlled by the de Cahaines family from 1166 to the 13th century, by which time it was known as Middelton Kaynes/Caynes. The name Milton Keynes was established by the 15th century although Milton or Middleton Gaynes continued to be used for a while. In the 1960s, this village found itself expanded into a large town of the same name, under the New Towns Act of Parliament.
Milton Keynes Through The Years
11 Aug 2016 Aroundabout MK: Pictorial view of Milton Keynes Past to Present.
26 Oct 2007 Tommy1921: “A musical tribute to Lee Scriven’s book on Milton Keynes 1970s culture called Three Curly Wurlys and 106 Roundabouts.”
24 Jan 2017 BBC Three Counties: “As Milton Keynes celebrates 50 years as a new town, we look at how it has changed throughout the decades. Plans to develop the small Buckinghamshire village of Milton Keynes into a 34sq miles (88sq km) were formally designated on 23 January 1967.”
Milton Keynes In The 1960s
Thames News: “This looks at Milton Keynes, once one of the smallest villages in England, as it starts it’s journey to becoming a more populated town. “
Thames News: This looks at Milton Keynes, once one of the smallest villages in England, as it starts it’s journey to becoming a more populated town.
Thames News was the flagship regional news programme of Thames Television, serving the Thames ITV region and broadcast on weekdays from 12 September 1977 to 31 December 1992.
British Pathé: Unused / unissued material – Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
“Various shots of semi-detached housing on estate. Pan to show school or offices (accommodated in temporary buildings). MS sign ‘The Coppice – Child Guidance Centre, Child Welfare Centre, Dental Clinic, Ambulance Station’. Pull out to show buildings. More shots of streets, zoom in to show road sign ‘To Bletchley Out Patient Dept. on Whalley Drive’. VS of fairly large secondary school, pan with pupil walking past. Pan to building site. Various shots of housing estates in ‘New Town’ of Milton Keynes.”
British Pathé: Harlow, Essex & Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
“Various shots of Harlow New Town with people milling around. Streets, buildings, parks, rows of houses, etc. Various panoramic shots of the new town showing the new roads, new architecture, parks, suburbs, etc. Various street scenes, showing, cars, public transport, new buildings – train station, art centre, tower blocks, modern church, shopping area with people milling around, street market, suburban houses, old houses, modern school, etc. Shots of bus pulling away from train station in Milton Keynes.”
Milton Keynes In The 1970s
BFI: Witness the ambitious plans for Milton Keynes in 1973 – born out of a ‘muddy battleground’.
Thekinolibrary: Milton Keynes. Men in military uniform, Scots Guards in kilts. Lloyds horse statue. Butcher’s market stall, meat hanging. Peace Pagoda.
Thekinolibrary: “Milton Keynes. INT shopping centre. Children running around. Little girl runs. Woman pushing pram, push chair. Teenage girls past. Boys run along.”
Thekinolibrary: Shopping centre, people walking past, pushing prams. Milton Keynes.
Thekinolibrary: Housing estate, late 1970s architecture, cars parked outside, detached houses.
Thekinolibrary; Milton Keynes, park, fountain.
Milton Keynes In The 1980s
25 Aug 2015 Nik Bull: “An edited version of the BBC documentary ‘New Town, Home Town’ focussing purely on the Milton Keynes related content.”
Robalora1: Heres a photo Video of my day out to Milton Keynes Bowl July 1980.
Thekinolibrary: Housing estate. POV from right side of car past signs – For Sale. 1960s, 1970s architecture. Tiny velux window. Red brick houses. Mock tudor detached houses. Row of newly planted trees.
Thekinolibrary: Milton Keynes close up shopping trolley coin deposit system, tilt up row of shopping trolleys, Job Centre in BG. Unemployment, gritty, grim, man walks past job centre.
History of the United Kingdom: BBC & East Anglian Film Archive
Uploaded to YouTube by 50 Shades of Milton Keynes
BBC Three Counties: This advert from the 1980s was created to encourage Londoners to move to Milton Keynes. It was commissioned by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation.
BBC Three Counties: This 1980s advert promoted Central Milton Keynes as THE place to shop. It was commissioned by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation.
- This advert was only shown for a short run and then never again.
- MKDC had run the Fisherman and Red Balloon commercials that both focused on lifestyle and MK as a place to live and work.
- The Board decided they wanted something that showed that MK was ‘open for business’ and was attracting investment.
- It was pulled after one run and replaced by the Red Balloon commercial
- In 1990, the Wish was made.
- The lifts in this ad are from the Argos head office building in MK on Avebury Boulevard.
Shawer83: Aerial footage of Midsummer Boulevard in Milton Keynes in 1985 from the shopping centre down to the railway station, taken from the Open University production ‘Goodbye Baby Jane’.
Shawer83: Clip of Milton Keynes Railway Station in 1985 taken from an Open University production called ‘Goodbye Baby Jane”.
24 Jan 2017 BBC Three Counties: The Point in Milton Keynes was the UK’s first multiplex cinema when it opened on 3 November 1985. Thirty years after it opened, the cinema closed. It showed its last film on 26 February 2015.
VHS Video vault: From 28th January 1986.
BMX Talk: “BMX race held in Milton Keynes 1987. The track is still in this original location and still holding BMX Races. True UK BMX History held on that spot right next to the M1.”
Stevie Martin: “The Point in its heyday! Found this on an old VHS tape…. music by yours truly ; )”
0lski: “cine film footage of skating Milton Keynes in the 1980’s on big boards, no skill.”
Almost witty: “In this scene from the final moments (thank goodness) of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, Superman (Christopher Reeve) prepares to make a speech at the United Nations. Except, thanks to those cheapskates, it’s actually Milton Keynes railway station.”
Superman IV – 1987
Milton Keynes In The 1990s
MKComFoundation: Talking about what local people thought MK might look like in 2020, written and produced by Roger Kitchen in 1995.
Mackenzie Rough: “Milton Keynes, locally abbreviated to MK, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, England. It is the administrative centre of the Borough of Milton Keynes and was formally designated as a new town.”
Martin Payne: Dance Energy’s Normski in Milton Keynes 1991.
Milton Keynes 2000-2009
One2 Watch: An episode of Clublife filmed in 2001 at The Empire Milton Keynes. Features a youthful Jon and Damon Presenting and amongst other mayhem, a raid on the ladies toilet !
Stuart Breedon: Footage from the now closed and demolished “Rollers” in Bletchley, Milton Keynes. Main skaters shown are Luke Penning, Scott Wilson, Gary Cassidy, Rob Kent and myself (Stuart Breedon).
Footage from the 2000s?
Milton Keynes 2010 Onwards
Pennylanevideo1; Started to snow about 11:30 by 3pm theres 6 to 8 inches. All airports in the south of the country closed. The road network Grid locked. Best fun on a sledge for years.
Uploaded to YouTube on 29 Aug 2011 by Nick Bartram.
Andy Stray: During a heavy rain shower the floor inside central MK shopping centre started to ooze water.
Train_PlaneHub: “Various trains at Milton Keynes Central on Friday 18th January 2013! After the snow started falling at 9am, it was still falling at 9pm this night! Causing many delays and cancellations on the railways. So I went down to my local station to see what was going on!
INCLUDES: DB 92, Freightliner 86’s & 66, DRS 66, Virgin Pendolino’s & Voyager’s, London Midland 350’s & Southern 377! All battling the sub-zero temperatures and blizzard conditions!
Wasn’t entirely sure where to go, so as I get free train travel I jumped on the 13:02 double voyager to Euston and took some footage on there which is included in the 2nd half of this video!
The entire country was swept with this snow fall, however in Milton Keynes, 10cm were forecast. Well, that much had fallen by lunch time & we are forecast snow until Monday 21st! The voyager I since found out, suffered an onboard fire, it didn’t fail!”
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Thanks to daniel james for use of the image of Church of Christ the Cornerstone in Milton Keynes, shown at the top of this page.