Zak Spade's

Welcome to Milton Keynes

Published under my View from the Stairs column in a magazine covering north Buckinghamshire, September 2011, as:
Welcome to Milton Keynes
by Phil J O'Hara

o - O - o

Darwin and Franklin moved down to Milton Keynes from Pleasley, Derbyshire at the beginning of July. For them it was the start of a new life.

They moved into a house built in the 1980s with an unusually large garden for when it was built. Little did they know just how important that garden was to become...

They did the sorts of things any newcomers to Milton Keynes would do: they said hello to the neighbours; investigated their new home and neighbourhood; and they dug holes.

The digging of holes wouldn’t have been a huge issue were it not for the fact that the house in question had been built in Milton Keynes for the now defunct Milton Keynes Development Corporation as part of the shared ownership scheme they operated.

The builder was one of many cashing in on the building boom taking place within Milton Keynes at the time. Their approach to finishing the gardens was one of removing diggers, tipper trucks and any objects larger than a small car.

The result was that builder debris was to be found relatively close to the surface. Darwin and Franklin found that they had access to a great many strange and interesting objects in their quest for depth.

Brick ties never usually fascinate the average householder but both Darwin and Franklin found them a great source of amusement. They discovered that they were ideal for tug-of-war games; although rather hard on their teeth.

The head of the household became distraught at the sight of so many holes in his garden. His distress became anger at the number of brick ties, pipe joints, fragments of plastic sheeting and large chunks of broken bricks to be found in his kitchen after being deposited there almost as if trophies gained during yet another round of digging.

Neither Darwin nor Franklin saw a problem with what they were experiencing as they knew no different. Having arrived in Milton Keynes at the age of eight weeks, the brothers had nothing to compare to, with respect to their constant discoveries during their hole digging escapades. They thought everyone found builders rubbish during digging exercises.

Their owner knows differently as he has often thought that the level of completeness signed off by the past Milton Keynes Development Corporation was abysmal. He had thought that he had dug up and removed all of the building debris over the 25 years he had lived in the house.

Darwin and Franklin – through pure doggedness – had exposed his belief to be false.

There were two possible solutions: dig over the whole garden and remove anything discovered, or stop Darwin and Franklin partaking in what had become their favourite pastime.

The householder has considered digging the whole garden over and has decided that he would prefer to learn how to stop a pair of beagle puppies digging holes in his garden.

Welcome Darwin and Franklin to Milton Keynes and the excitement offered by the Milton Keynes building boom of the 80s.

© 2011

31 August 2021