Arts & Exhibitions

26th Jan 2017

Nearly 40 years on, artist returns to check on her cow creations...

The artist responsible for creating Milton Keynes' most famous residents returned to check on her work earlier this month. Canadian artist Liz Leyh was in town for a forthcoming film being made by the BBC and Open University, and looked in on her most famous of sculptures, the concrete cows at Milton Keynes Museum. Liz created the cows in 1978 while working as artist in residence at Stacey Hill Farm, which is now the home of the museum. While there, Liz took a tour of the history hub, which included her old sitting room and working studio, now used as the toy room and old schoolroom respectively. Liz said the museum was amazing, and with the museum expansion beginning, things will be even more stunning the next time she visits!

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24th Jan 2017

Remembering 50 years of fashion at intu #MK50

To help celebrate Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday, intu Milton Keynes is inviting people to share their fashion ‘faves’ and ‘faux pas’ over the past five decades.  From famous flares to the regal roll neck, what fashion sense made sense and what didn’t?  The shopping centre is inviting people in Milton Keynes to post their fashion memories on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/intuMiltonKeynes.  Shelley Peppard, general manager at intu Milton Keynes says, “Looking back over the past 50 years is fascinating to see how times have changed and we have developed, especially in our wardrobe. I’ll be posting my picture online and thoroughly looking forward to seeing people share their pictures from the last half a century.” The campaign launches on Monday 23 January and finishes on 1 February, people can upload a picture and are invited to share the date it was taken.  intu Milton Keynes is holding several events..

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11th Jan 2017

The big MK50 Anniversary Exhibition – it’s here

A New City Comes to Life, at Middleton Hall, kicks off Milton Keynes’ year, celebrating 50 years since the city was officially born. From Tuesday January 10 until the ‘Designation Birthday’ itself on Monday January 23, the huge exhibition tells the story of the UK’s most successful new city showcasing everything Milton Keynes. From dinosaur bones to driverless cars; from Stone Age nomads to the digital generation; from farms, sleepy villages and Victorian railway towns to a vibrant regional economic and cultural powerhouse of 260,000 people - and it is still growing. Follow the information and data trail and learn how Milton Keynes was born and built. What was here before, what’s here now, and what is to come. See archive images, period videos and those famous..

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09th Jan 2017

MK Gallery on track to deliver new multi-million pound arts centre for the region

MK Gallery continues to progress with its ambitious expansion plans which will culminate in the delivery of a new multi-million pound arts centre for Milton Keynes and the wider region. The Gallery is working with renowned British practice, 6a architects, on its major renovation and expansion, with bar and café, auditorium for film, music and events, and dedicated community facilities. The Gallery has revised its original timescale as it seeks to deliver excellent value for money for the scheme. Capital works are due to begin during 2017. Earlier this year, MK Gallery was recognised for its work in Milton Keynes when the Gallery won in the Community Impact category at the 2016 Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards. The Gallery continues to contribute to Milton Keynes during the expansion planning and build phase with its popular learning and events programme, alongside projects such as City Club, which levered £750,000 of new..

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09th Jan 2017

The fascinating story behind Colossus by Martin Gillow

If I said “Bletchley Park”, “Enigma” and “Alan Turing”, I would think many of you would know a little about them, thanks to the work of both Bletchley Park and recent films such as The Imitation Game. Now, what about if I said “Colossus”, “Tommy Flowers” and “Bill Tutte”? I suspect that very few people, even in the local area around Bletchley Park and Milton Keynes, would be familiar with these names. Colossus is, arguably, the world’s first electronic computer ever built and its story is even more amazing than Enigma, but it has received significantly less public recognition. Many people who have heard of Colossus believe that it is something to do with Enigma, but this is not the case! In fact, it was built to crack a harder and more secretive device built by the Lorenz company in Germany. Adolf Hitler, realising the requirement for fast and secure..

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07th Jan 2017

Glorious spoof of the Victorian melodrama

Ruddigore’s zany plot has it all - the villain who carries off the maiden; the priggishly good-mannered, poor-but-virtuous-heroine; the hero in disguise, and his faithful old retainer who dreams of their former glory days; the snake in the grass who claims to be following his heart; the wild, mad girl; the swagger of fire-eating patriotism; and ghosts coming to life to enforce a curse. Will virtue triumph and can love conquer all? Join the cast from Wolverton Gilbert & Sullivan Society at Stantonbury Campus Theatre from Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25 March 2017 to find out the answers for yourself. Tickets are available priced £16, concessions £13, under 16s £5 from First Night on 01908 510452 or via their website http://www.1stnight.co.uk/boxoffice.php Full of fun, laughter and wonderful music, this is an evening for the whole family and the show starts at 7.30pm at Stantonbury Campus Theatre, Milton Keynes, MK14 6BN. Wolverton..

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06th Jan 2017

Are you looking for a new challenge? Do you enjoy meeting people and sharing your passion for...

We are looking for new volunteers to join our team as Visitor Experience Assistants, Meet and Greeters, Tour Guides and Buggy Drivers. If you love meeting new people and sharing your passion for historic places this could be the role for you. You will be on hand to assist our visitors throughout their visit and help to support the Visitor Experience team in the day-to-day running of Stowe House. Brilliant customer service is at the heart of what we do and our volunteers leave our visitors feeling refreshed and inspired.  'The Stowe House volunteers are a great group to work with and have an infectious enthusiasm for the property. New volunteers are made welcome and all are happy to share the wealth of knowledge they have'.  (Volunteer Visitor Experience Assistant) No prior experience is required to join our team as you will be given a full induction and training to help..

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30th Dec 2016

First #MK50 Celebration Concert planned for the New Year

Milton Keynes City Orchestra (MKCO) will launch its MK50 Celebration concert series on Friday 6th January 2017 at The Venue MK, 7:30pm. This will be the first of seven MK50 Celebration concerts from MKCO in 2017, all featuring internationally renowned soloists under the baton of world-class Music Director, Damian Iorio. In January, leading Russian violinist Anna Liisa Bezrodny, will return to MKCO and perform the marvellous Mozart Violin Concerto No.3 written by the composer when he was just nineteen years old. The Orchestra will open the concert with the Beethoven Egmont Overture and the finale will be Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.3 (Scottish). Anna Liisa Bezrodny has previously performed with the Milton Keynes City Orchestra and is in great demand as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician all over the world, receiving praise from music critics around the globe. Born into a distinguished family of musicians in Moscow, Anna Liisa is the..

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29th Dec 2016

MK50 Anniversary Exhibition – A New City comes to Life

MK50 Anniversary Exhibition - A New City comes to Life The year-long MK50 celebrations kick off with a major free exhibition in January 2017 that tells the exciting story of the UK’s most successful new city and showcases everything Milton Keynes. From dinosaur bones to driverless cars; from Stone Age nomads to the digital generation; from farms, sleepy villages and Victorian railway towns to a vibrant regional economic and cultural powerhouse of 260,000 people, and it is still growing. Follow the information and data trail and learn how Milton Keynes was born and built. What was here before, what is here now, and what is to come. See archive images, period videos and those famous TV adverts as well as a unique collection of original architectural models of iconic city landmarks. Read the words and hear the voices of those who conceived and constructed Milton Keynes, the first residents and..

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29th Dec 2016

Wolverton shines on at annual Lantern Festival

December delivered the 28th edition of Wolverton Lantern Festival, MK’s longest established lantern parade. Boasting giant lantern creations of a spaceman from Wyvern First School, an Egyptian Sarcophagus from Bushfield Middle School,  paraffin lit ‘Great Fire of London’ lantern flats by the children of Greenley’s First School, as well as hundreds of ‘horrible history themed’ lanterns created by visitors. Stony Stratford volunteers brought a huge Spike the Dragon lantern to the parade, after learning how to make the giant willow creations in Wolverton’s ‘train to build’ workshops.  Concrete Circus youth troupe wowed the crowds with stilt-walking knights and unicycling princesses, whilst Black Diamond Majorettes spun their batons at the speed of light. Bushfield School Samba Band and Nova Guarda provided carnival beats and sonic energy during the parade.  Audiences to The Square were treated to music from local artists including the Wolverton Town Band, dancing from local groups, and singing from Rock..

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29th Dec 2016

Milton Keynes through the decades

In celebration of Milton Keynes’ 50th Birthday later this month, let’s take a look at some of the town’s five decades worth of history. 1967 - 1977 On the 23rd January 1967, a Designation Order decreed that the new town of Milton Keynes be built on over 20,000 acres of land in North Buckinghamshire in the South East of England. The new town was to incorporate the existing towns of Bletchley, Stony Stratford and Wolverton, as well as other smaller existing villages. Its name was to be taken from an ancient village being encompassed within its boundaries – Milton Keynes Village. In September 1969, the world’s first Open University arrived at Walton Hall and in 1971 accepted its first ever students. Milton Keynes Museum opened in Wolverton in 1973. The museum is run mainly by volunteers. In February 1975 the Milton Keynes Chamber Orchestra (now called Milton Keynes City Orchestra)..

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13th Dec 2016

Malcolm Alsop reviews Nomad by Alan Partridge w.Neil Gibbins, Rob Gibbons and Steve Coogan

Travel literature has taken this reviewer to some wondrous parts of the world he might not otherwise have visited, from the Hindu Kush to Tierra del Fuego. Never, until now, has it taken me from Norwich to Dungeness by way of Tilbury, Pinner,  and East Grinstead and I feel all the better for it. I have also been granted the privilege, for so it was, of spending sometime inside Mr.Partridge's psyche [not literally, that would be impossible] and an interesting place it proves to be. Mr.Partridge undertakes this epic journey in order to “literally walk in the footsteps of my father” who once attended an interview at Dungeness nuclear power station and can afford, therefore, to be a little cavalier about those staples we might expect to find in other travel literatures such as description of place, mood and character. We do, however, enjoy encounters with such media stars as..

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13th Dec 2016

Malcolm Alsop reviews Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

1,2,3,4 ...well how else can you start a review of Bruce Spingsteen's autobiography? For years now the man they call 'the Boss' has given listeners broad hints as to his background and his politics in songs such as 'the River' and 'Ghost of Tom Joad'. We now know that the former was written for his sister and brother-in-law. Escape, usually in cars, is a common motif in Mr.Springsteen's music so it comes as something of a surprise to learn that he couldn't really drive until his early twenties and even then was considered a danger behind the wheel. The early part of this autobiography (sadly not as long as one of his concerts) deals with his childhood in Freehold, New Jersey and then takes us chronologically more or less up to date.  Mr. Springsteen is almost brutally honest about his early relationship with his father “I learned many a rough..

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12th Dec 2016

John Best from Arts Gateway, MK spotlights Ampthill, MK45

A few weeks ago I had cause to be in Ampthill, a charming town, with an MK post-code but of which I realised I knew next to nothing. Time to put that right, so I recently went back to have a closer look. This month`s theme explores the creative offer of our near neighbour Ampthill. Ampthill`s Royal connections go back centuries, starting with Henry III`s charter in 1219 for a market every Thursday. The town`s 200 listed buildings are testament to the extraordinary heritage remaining today. The former castle was built using ransoms from the battle of Agincourt (1415), was favoured by Henry VIII for hunting parties, and was where Ampthill comes alive on Gala Day Katherine of Aragon lived when the king severed his ties. The castle was allowed to decay in the C17th and in 1615 was usurped by the imposing Houghton House, believed to be the model..

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