Towns

Lights Round Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes estate globe lighting

The Monday Photo

This is one of the original street lights designed for Milton Keynes. Part of a complete system of street furniture for the new town, lights like these began to be installed in the new estates around 1975. This one is in Woughton on the Green.

This is the type used on smaller estate roads, so it has a square brown column with a globular lantern on top. There were several designs; all pretty similar on the outside, but with various different internals.

Main estate roads had globe lights too, but they were mounted on an arm that stuck out sideways from the square brown column.

To produce a cohesively designed town, in 1978 the Milton Keynes Development Corporation produced a brochure with diagrams and plans for lighting, signs, bus shelters and seating. Everything was designed to be durable with easy maintenance.

One design example is MKDC’s park bench. All steel and painted black, it has a single tube at each end, bent to form the legs and the end of the seat and backrest. A single sheet of perforated metal stretches between the tubes to form the rest of the bench. The thousands of round holes means the seat will not hold rainwater.

As you travel around Milton Keynes, keep an eye out for the street furniture that was part of the original new town. There’s still quite a lot of it.

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Secrets of Olney, Part 2

Olney shadow factoryOnce a shoe factory, then a WW2 shadow factory, now flats.

Part Two of Two

The town of Olney, often pronounced “Ohney” lies on the River Great Ouse. There’s been a river crossing here for a long time, and a minor Roman road crossed the river about where the modern bridge lies.

There’s plenty of free parking. In the car park in the middle of the Market Place there’s a three hour limit, but on the roads around there it’s just an hour. Away from the Market Place there’s no time limit on the High Street.

Olney has a great many old buildings, but I’ve just picked out the ones I found most interesting. I’ve divided the town up into two walks, both about a mile and a quarter long. The first Olney walk was published here last week.

Secrets of Olney Walk 2 of 2

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Secrets of Olney, Part 1

Wooden town sigh  OlneyOlney's town sign, in the Market Place.

Part One of Two

The town of Olney, pronounced “Ohney” by many locals, lies on the River Great Ouse. There’s been a river crossing here for a long time, and a minor Roman road crossed the river about where the present bridge lies. It’s the home of the yearly Olney Pancake Race.

There’s plenty of free parking in the town. In the middle of the Market Place there’s a three hour limit, but on the roads nearby it’s just an hour. Away from the Market Place there’s no time limit on the High Street.

Olney has a great many old buildings, but I’ve just picked out the ones I found most interesting. I’ve divided the walk up into two halves, both about a mile and a quarter long. The second half of the guided walk will be published here next week.


Secrets of Olney walk 1 of 2

 

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Changing Lanes 1

The 1970s to the Early 90s

Our Local roads gradually change over the years, and we soon forget how they used to be. These changes began to affect me when I started riding motorcycles in the 1970s; my first powered vehicles.

Living in Winslow meant I lived right in the middle of the North Bucks Wanderer’s area, though I didn’t know it at the time! Here’s just a few of the changes that have happened in North Bucks, from the 1970s to the early 90s.

 

Little Brickhill  BucksLittle Brickhill.

At first I rode a moped, but then I bought a much quicker 200cc Yamaha; I would go out on it just for the pleasure of riding. One favourite route took me North East from Winslow, across to Woburn and the woods. Even then I preferred the back roads, and saw little traffic until I reached Little Brickhill and the A5.

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The Monday Photo

Behind the Green Man

This pub is on the Market Square, Aylesbury. It’s not particularly old or noteworthy, but for many years if you wanted entertainment, through the arch on the side of the pub to the building that stood behind it was the place to go.

At different times over the years there you could see performers like Genesis, The Who, Roxy Music, David Bowie, or Ronnie Barker, or even watched a film.

The Green Man  Aylesbury

There’s been plenty of live music. Ronnie Barker might not have sung on stage there, but like David Bowie, there’s a statue of him in the town.

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Looking Up, At Aylesbury

Aylesbury is like most towns we go to; we walk through the streets and never look higher than the ground floor. And we miss everything.

Here’s just a few of the things we can see around Aylesbury’s Market Square, if we just look up above the shop fronts.

The Dark Lantern  Aylesbury

I first knew this building as The Dark Lantern pub, but it hasn’t been called that for quite a while. It is now a nightclub called Pulse 51, that’s also a live music venue featuring rock acts. This means it can’t open during lockdown.

You might not notice as you walk past it down the cobbled alley into Silver Street (far right), but look up and you’ll see this is a 16th or 17th Century timber framed building.

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