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May 2022

Lending Back

Rear of Central Milton Keynes library

The Monday Photo

Many of you will know this building well, but not from this angle.

From today’s photo you might think it’s some sort of research establishment and you’d almost be right. You might also think it’s set in park land, but you’d almost be wrong.

This is the rear of the Central Milton Keynes library, just across Silbury Boulevard from the shopping centre.

Buildings and car parks surround the library, though there’s a small piece of park land too, at the back. The library has many sources; maps, books, leaflets with information that is just not available online, and that’s where research comes in.

I go there when my own books or the internet can’t tell me what I need to know for a post on the NBW.

The library was finished in 1981, but the building has never been completed. The plan had been to greatly enlarge it, to provide a museum and Civic offices. This plain and functional looking rear wall would have been in the middle of the finished complex.

Nothing came of the museum, but MK council’s Civic offices were built on the next block along instead of here.

There’s a single story plant room, visible in the photo; you can see a double door facing the camera. If the extension plans had gone ahead this plant room would have been inside the completed complex; instead it remains separate.

The library has been a Grade 2 listed building since 2015, but the plant room is not included in the listing.

The building is a bit odd inside, though you may not have realised. There are huge spaces or voids in the library, there to vary ceiling heights.

At one time they were not at all accessible, and when all the libraries in the district had new fire alarm systems installed, this library had to wait until access ways were installed.

Next time you are in Central Milton Keynes, why don’t you take a look at this building? Have a look round the back, too. See if you can imagine what it would have looked like complete.

I used a Sony A6000 and zoom lens for this photo.

I make a small percentage from sales through Amazon links, no matter what you buy while you visit their site from here. This helps me but costs you nothing, so if you make a purchase via the NBW, thank you.

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Water Mistake

Thornborough Medieval bridgeThornborough bridge from the downstream side. The bridge is not quite eleven feet wide and there are plenty of scrape marks on the parapets, from the days the bridge was on the main road. The bridge was bypassed in 1974.
This is where the Roman ford isn’t. The ford is quite a few yards downstream, on the right and way out of shot.

I confidently took the photo above, thinking this was the site of the Roman ford, right next to Thornborough’s 14th Century Medieval bridge.

The shallow slope on each bank looked like a ford, the brook is shallow and wide, I was on the correct side of the bridge; what could possibly go wrong? I made assumptions and didn’t check first, that’s what; the ford is actually a bit further downstream.

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War Graves Week

RSC grave  Whaddon

The Monday Photo

This is the grave of Geoffrey Daintree Pearson, who died on active service at Whaddon. He was 42.

A signalman in the Royal Corps of Signals, he fell when doing maintenance work on a tall radio mast at their station on Church Hill, known to the men as Windy Ridge.

It was September 1943. About eight months later this radio station would play an important part in D-Day and the invasion of occupied Europe; Operation Overlord.

Geoffrey is buried in the graveyard of St Mary’s church in Whaddon, and the men of the Royal Signals had to walk through that graveyard to reach their posts.  Although he was not killed through enemy action, this signalman still died in the service of his country.

I‘m showing you this photo today because this is War Graves Week. This commemorative week runs until next Saturday, the 28th May. There are a few events for the week in North Bucks, though the next one is on Tuesday 24th, perhaps to late to get to now.

But here’s a group photo of the Royal Signals personnel at Windy Ridge, in 1945. There are far more of them than I imagined; I counted about 160 men in the photo.

I wrote about what’s left of windy Ridge and its part in Operation Overlord last year, and the post gives you directions to the station’s remains.

Now I’ve seen the photo at the link above, I wonder if there may be some evidence of radio bases out in the field, far away from where the buildings had been. I’ll have to visit Church hill again for another look…

This photo was taken with a Pentax camera and lens.

I make a small percentage from sales through Amazon links, no matter what you buy while you visit their site from here. This helps me but costs you nothing, so if you make a purchase via the NBW, thank you.

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Do It Yourself

Medieval Combat SocietyYou won’t be surprised to learn that these are members of the Medieval Combat Society.

If you are reading this blog, it’s likely you are interested in history.

But you can do more than just read about it, watch documentaries or visit historical places. You can join a reenactment society, experience life in the periods you most enjoy, (even camping in an authentic manner) and get to meet other people that share your interests.

17th Foot Regiment sentryThis soldier from the British 17th Foot Regiment showed me the loading procedure for his Brown Bess musket. From this procedure came quite a few well known phrases; “keeping your (gun) powder dry” and “going off half cocked” are just two of them.
He is part of the Redcoats and Revolutionaries group, who reenact both sides of the American War of Independence. They say: “As a prospective member, you may choose with who your allegiance lies: with HIS MAJESTY KING GEORGE III or with the REVOLUTIONARIES of the colonies.”

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No Entry This Side

Norman stonework in wall of Dunton church  Bucks
The Monday Photo

Even small and simple churches have interesting details, so it’s always worth having a look.

For example, here’s the blocked up North door of St Martin’s church, Dunton. Built in the 12th Century, it is of course Norman; the zigzag (chevron) pattern is typical of the Norman style.

St Martin’s has a small 12th Century nave and smaller 13th Century chancel. It has a low 13th Century tower with clasped buttresses. The South wall of the chancel is 18th Century. Dunton is between Whitchurch and Stewkley.

Have you ever found something you didn’t expect while out exploring?

First printed in 1965 and now out of print, this is still one of the best guides to looking at churches. I often refer to my own copy.


I used a Sony A6000 and zoom lens for daily carrying, when I'm not going out just to take photos. I always carry a a camera.

I make a small percentage from sales through Amazon links, no matter what you buy while you visit their site from here. This helps me but costs you nothing, so if you make a purchase via the NBW, thank you.

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Stony is a Live!

Simply Floyd 4

Get ready folks! There’s just four weeks until Stony Stratford’s nine day festival, Stony Live begins.

There’s all sorts of live entertainment to see and get involved in; live jazz, blues, folk, and rock music, dancing, fairs, and comedy. The festival runs from Saturday June 4 to Sunday June 12th, and it’s spread over more than twenty venues; most but not all are pubs.

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