With its concrete cows, new-town uniformity, and so many circular junctions that the phrase “shall I meet you round about 1500” is usually deemed a geographical location rather than a time, it’s easy to poke fun at Milton Keynes – or MK as it’s known to people seeking to align its gridded layout with the almost-as-cool LA...
Indeed, as authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman put it in their novel Good Omens: “Note for Americans and other aliens: Milton Keynes is a new city approximately halfway between London and Birmingham. It was built to be modern, efficient, healthy, and, all in all, a pleasant place to live. Many Britons find this amusing.”
Okay, okay, we all like to have a bit of fun with the place now and then but the fact is that those quirks are the things take MK out of the realm of soulless construct and into the region of becoming a character town – stop laughing at the back there!
It’s true, though, we love our hometown and its very circular charms and we have done so since we first moved in a dozen years ago. In the years since we like to feel we’ve helped contribute to the character of the town, that we’ve become part of the fabric of the place.
Indeed, one of our proudest moments, celebrating back-to-back world championships in 2011, took place on the streets of MK in our Home Run live demo.
In front of 60,000 mostly local fans, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber took the mighty RB7 for a little spin through the city streets, just to say thank you for the phenomenal levels of support the team received from locals, as Team Principal Christian Horner acknowledged at the time.
“It’s great to give something back and to celebrate at home with so many members of the public, and so many members of the team and their family and friends here. It’s great,” he said.
In the time since we’ve spent many happy days karting at local tracks (2014), sent our drivers barrelling down the slopes of the Snow Dome (2015), and we’ve hosted thousands of fans at the factory and at local spots during our regular Open House days.
Over the past 12 years our connection to the town has grown as the factory has expanded. We began with a tiny facility but now the factory is more like an F1 campus and a huge proportion of our workforce live locally and are securely plugged into the local community.
So why are we banging on about how much we love Milton Keynes? Well, though we have only been here a short while, MK has been in existence for a slightly longer spell.
On January 23, the date of the Designation of the New Town, MK will celebrate its 50th anniversary but although that day is likely to be a major event, the city will mark its big birthday right through 2017 with a long list of things to enjoy lined up. You can get more information about those events here.
As proud members of the community we’ll be doing our bit as well and across the year we’ll be helping the city mark its half century. We’ll keep you posted as the celebrations continue! Yep, MK’s Fab Fifty starts here…