Celebrating MK50 at Milton Keynes Libraries

On 23 January 2017 Milton Keynes turned 50 and throughout 2017 we’re celebrating at Milton Keynes Libraries and sharing with the world that Milton Keynes is an amazing place to live, work and visit.
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There are many events and activities running throughout 2017 to celebrate Milton Keynes' 50th birthday. You can visit the official MK50 website for full details of the celebrations across Milton Keynes but we'd like to share some things too. 

You can see details of events happening all over Milton Keynes with the official MK50 Events Brochure. (PDF, 11.4MB)

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MK50 Items for Sale

Sale of the official MK50 memorabilia was a great success and saw tea towels, badges, bags and postcards flying out the doors for many months. We hope you managed to snag your own keepsakes.

Merchandise even found its way to Australia!

MK50 Merchandise

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Friday, 23 and Saturday, 24 June 2017

MK50 Hippie

We were celebrating MK50 by bringing the 1960s into Milton Keynes Libraries.

Central Library was transformed with staff embracing flower power, some selfie opportunities, music, sixties themed storytime with crafts, a Digitalis workshop building with biscuits and cake ... and talking of cake, we even had one to share on Saturday!

We hope you joined us and all the sixties fun. 

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Anniversary Exhibition

MK50 Anniversary Exhibition

The official MK50 Anniversary Exhibition was moved (in part) to Central Library and stayed with us until 21 March 2017. We hope you managed to see it at Middleton Hall in January or at the library.

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MK50 Quiz

For all those who entered the quiz at Central Library, the correct answer was 'C' - well done to everyone who got the right answer! The winner of the book token was Mr Raj Koshal - congratulations!

When the new city of Milton Keynes was planned in the 1960s, the idea of the name for it came from:

A.    English poet John Milton
B.    Milton Sterilising Fluid
C.    The existing village of Milton Keynes
D.    American composer and theorist Milton Babbitt
E.    Two influential 20th century economists: Milton Friedman and John Maynard Keynes

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MK50 Cows

Colour a Concrete Cow Competition

The competition closed 18 February 2017.

We have two very happy competition winners at Kingston Library. 

Cow Competition Winners at Kingston Library

  Well done Jesse and Layla - keep on colouring!

Cow Competition Winner at Wolverton Library

Archie Bartlett (Aged 7) won the competition at Wolverton Library - well done Archie and his amazing technicoloured cow!

The winner at Newport Pagnell Library was James McCaffrey (Aged 8) with - and I quote - "a spectacular entry".

We're just sorry that we didn't take any photos.

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Cow Competition Winners at Stony Stratford Library

Stony Stratford Library boasts three winners - Sienna Hale (Aged 11), Isabella Smith (Aged 9) and Leigha Baker (Aged 6). Congratulations!

Competition Winners at Woburn Sands Library - Mia, Paige and Hudson

Woburn Sands Library is proud to congratulate Mia, Paige and Hudson for their mooooving entries - winners all three!

Lydia Henry (Aged 9) was the well deserved winner of the competition at Olney Library.

Olney Library Competition Winner Lydia

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Top 50 Blue

Top 50 Authors for Adults

The Top 50 authors borrowed from Milton Keynes Libraries, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Jeffrey Archer
  • Kate Atkinson
  • David Baldacci
  • Linwood Barclay
  • M C Beaton
  • Mark Billingham
  • C J Box
  • Bill Bryson
  • Lee Child
  • Ann Cleeves
  • Harlen Coben
  • Martina Cole
  • Jenny Colgan
  • Michael Connelly
  • Clive Cussler
  • Katie Fforde
  • Ken Follett
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Patrick Gale
  • John Grisham
  • Paula Hawkins
  • Jack Higgins
  • Victoria Hislop
  • Anna Jacobs
  • Erica James
  • Milly Johnson
  • Marian Keyes
  • Dean Koontz
  • Lynda La Plante
  • Donna Leon
  • Susan Lewis
  • George RR Martin
  • Carole Matthews
  • Peter May
  • Ian McEwan
  • Santa Montefiore
  • Jojo Moyes
  • Jamie Oliver
  • James Patterson
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Kathy Reichs
  • J D Robb
  • Nora Roberts
  • Peter Robinson
  • Patricia Scanlan
  • Simon Scarrow
  • Karin Slaughter
  • Wilbur Smith
  • Danielle Steel
  • Anne Tyler

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Top 50 Green

Top 50 Authors for Children

The Top 50 authors borrowed from Milton Keynes Libraries, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Jean & Gareth Adamson
  • Jez Alborough
  • Malorie Blackman
  • Adam Blade
  • Enid Blyton
  • Nick Butterworth
  • Eric Carle
  • Cathy Cassidy
  • Lauren Child           
  • Cassandra Clare
  • Suzanne Collins
  • Cressida Cowell
  • Roald Dahl
  • Terry Deary
  • Lynley Dodd
  • Julia Donaldson
  • Goscinney
  • Bob Graham
  • John Green
  • Roger Hargreaves
  • Mairi Hedderwick
  • Herge
  • Eric Hill
  • Anthony Horowitz
  • Mick Inkpen
  • Julia Jarman
  • Judith Kerr
  • Jeff Kinney
  • David McKee
  • Daisy Meadows
  • Michael Morpurgo
  • Robert Muchamore
  • Jill Murphy
  • Liz Pichon
  • Dave Pilkey
  • Rick Riordan
  • Tony Ross
  • Veronica Roth
  • J K Rowling
  • Dr Seuss
  • Darren Shan
  • Nick Sharratt
  • Francesca Simon
  • Lemony Snicket
  • Andy Stanton
  • Jeremy Strong
  • David Walliams
  • Ian Whybrow
  • Jeanne Willis
  • Jacqueline Wilson

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January 2017 - 28 February 2017 at Central Library

On 23 January 2017 it was Milton Keynes' birthday and the Timeline Exhibition celebrated 50 years of Milton Keynes, featuring many archive images and interesting facts, as well as memorabilia and artefacts from the last 50 years.

We hope you stopped by the Discover MK showcase on the first floor and took a look.

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1967 Facts for 50 Years of History

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1. The first handheld calculator was invented!
A prototype called "Cal Tech" was developed by Texas Instruments in 1967. It could add, multiply, subtract, and divide, and its output device was a paper tape.

2. Puppet on a String was performed by Sandie Shaw in 1967 and won the Eurovision Song Contest for the UK, becoming the first English Language Eurovision winning Song.

3. The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, one of rock's most acclaimed albums.

The Beatles released the experimental concept album ‘Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band’ during June of 1967. The band had just declared an end to their touring and as the freedom to record whatever they wanted set in, they set out to collaborate on their eighth album. They spent more time than they ever had before recording this album and focused on experimenting with sound and lyrics in a way that they had not been able to do while touring. Thought of by many as the definitive Beatles album it was considered one of their best at the time of its release and featured such songs as ‘With a Little Help from My Friends,’ ‘A Day in the Life’ and ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.’

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4. Famous films released in 1967:

  • Cool Hand Luke
  • The Graduate
  • The Dirty Dozen
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • The Jungle Book
  • You Only Live Twice
  • Casino Royale (1967) with David Niven

5. The Monkees released their first number 1 hit in the UK with ‘I am a Believer’. They were the first manufactured boy-band, formed in 1965 in LA, and were also stars of a US television series of the same name aired on NBC from 1966-68.

They won two Emmy Awards in 1967 for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement in comedy.

6. The first automatic cash machine (ATM) is installed, at Barclays Bank, North London.
It is widely accepted that the first cash machine was put into use by Barclays Bank in its Enfield Town branch in north London, United Kingdom, on 27 June 1967. This machine was inaugurated by English comedy actor Reg Varney. This instance of the invention is credited to the engineering team led by John Shepherd-Barron of printing firm De La Rue, who was awarded an OBE in the 2005 New Year Honours. Transactions were initiated by inserting paper cheques issued by a teller or cashier, marked with carbon-14 for machine readability and security, which in a latter model were matched with a six digit personal identification number (PIN). Shepherd-Barron stated; "It struck me there must be a way I could get my own money, anywhere in the world or the UK. I hit upon the idea of a chocolate bar dispenser, but replacing chocolate with cash."

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7. 'A Fistful of Dollars', the first significant 'spaghetti western' film, was released in the USA in 1967, filmed on a low budget.  It initiated the popularity of the spaghetti western film genre and was one of the most viewed movies that year.

8. The Aston Martin DBS model was produced from 1967 till 1972 and featured in the 1969 James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty's Secret Service’.

9. In 1967 a gallon of petrol cost 5 shillings 2d (equivalent to 27p).
1 gallon = 4.54 litres
Today, a gallon of petrol costs over 531p.

10. Elvis Presley marries Priscilla Beaulieu.
Elvis Presley met Priscilla Beaulieu when she was just 14 years old. He was 10 years older, and already a rock 'n' roll superstar. The two married in 1967 after a nearly eight-year courtship.

11. In 1967 the UK average house price £4,340; in October 2016 it was £216,674.

12. Premiere of the musical ‘Hair’.
The musical tells the story of the ‘tribe’ - a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the ‘Age of Aquarius’ living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against conscription into the Vietnam War.

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13. Jimi Hendrix burns his guitar (for the first time) in London!

14. In April 1967, at the height of the war in Vietnam, boxer Muhammad Ali refused military service citing his religious beliefs.
Ali was stripped of his championship and precluded from fighting by every state athletic commission in the United States for three and a half years.

15. The Rolling Stones release 'Let's Spend the Night Together'
Released in the United Kingdom as a single in January 1967, the song reached No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart. However, due to the then-controversial nature of the lyrics (with its suggestion of sex) most radio stations opted to play the flip side ‘Ruby Tuesday’ instead.

The Musicians Union banned 'Let's Spend the Night Together' from the Eamonn Andrews TV show. 

16. In 1967 Celtic became the first British football club to win the prestigious European Cup (now the Champions League), defeating Inter Milan 2–1 in Portugal.

That Celtic team - which featured star players such as Billy McNeill, Bobby Lennox, and Jimmy Johnstone - is remembered as ‘The Lisbon Lions’.

17. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr with illustrations by Eric Carle was first published in 1967.

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18. 'All You Need Is Love' is released by The Beatles in the UK.
On 25 June 1967 the Beatles became the first band ever to be globally transmitted on television to an estimated 400 million people worldwide.

John Lennon wrote ‘All you need is Love’ especially for the broadcast. Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithful, Keith Moon and Graham Nash among others, showed up and sang along with the band. The song was released as their next single in July and went straight to No1.

19. The most popular car in 1967 was the MK II Ford Cortina which cost £749 to buy new.

20. The 'Festival of Flower Children' was held at Woburn Abbey over the Bank Holiday weekend in August 1967.
An almost forgotten festival and yet it was held at the height of the ‘Summer of Love’ and was one of the first festivals to challenge the established National Jazz and Blues Festival held at Windsor. Perhaps it was the lack of overseas name bands in the line-up that has caused it to be overlooked.

21. Microwave cookers are seen for the first time.
In 1967, Amana, a division of Raytheon, introduced its domestic Radarange microwave oven, marking the beginning of the use of microwave ovens in home kitchens.

22. The wine cask, a plastic bag full of wine contained in a cardboard box, was invented in Australia.
In 1967 Penfold Wines and C H Malpas patented a plastic, airless flow-tap welded into a metallised plastic bag. This innovation allowed the bag to stay in the box and be tapped like a traditional wine cask, and that's the version most popular today.

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23. The BBC launched newly organised Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3 and Radio 4.
Following the popularity of the Pirate Radio Stations with British teens and no rock music offerings from the BBC, they re-organised their radio stations.

24. Ernesto 'Che' Guevara was killed in Bolivia in October 1967.

25. 40,000 Vietnam War protesters fill the Kezar Stadium in San Francisco - the San Francisco march against the war in Vietnam announced the emergence of a new era of peace protests.

26. The first successful human heart transplant was accomplished by South African surgeon Dr Christiaan Barnard in December 1967.

27. Otis Redding dies in a plane crash aged 26.
On 10 December 1967 a chartered plane crashed into a Wisconsin Lake. Victims included Redding and his backing band.

28. The first pulsar was observed on 28 November 1967, by Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish.
They nicknamed the signal LGM-1, for ‘little green men’ (a playful name for intelligent beings of extra-terrestrial origin).

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29. The Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemalan poet-diplomat, novelist, playwright and journalist. No Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 1967.

30. Twiggy was a fashion sensation and quickly gained international recognition. Her appearance on the cover of the US edition of the leading fashion magazine Vogue in April 1967 heralded her rise to fame.

31. ‘The Master and Margarita’, a novel written by Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov in the 1930s, was first published in book form in 1967. The novel was also published in a censored form as ‘Master i Margarita’ in the Soviet Union in 1967. The unexpurgated version was not published there until 1973. It is considered a 20th-century masterpiece.

32. 1967 saw the introduction of the Roadside Breathalyser. In 1967 the Breathalyser Act was given royal assent. Transport minister Barbara Castle introduced the breathalyser as a way of testing a person's BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level at the roadside.

The act stated that the breathalyser device must be one that is type approved by the government.

People protested the introduction of the breathalyser and claimed that it was an infringement of their personal liberties, especially publicans, many of whom claimed impending bankruptcy.

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33. ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, a novel by Gabriel García Márquez, was first published in 1967. It was considered the author’s masterpiece and the foremost example of his style of magic realism.

Since it was first published in 1967, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ has been translated into 37 languages.

34. Professor John Archibald Wheeler uses the term 'Black Hole' for the first time in 1967 during a talk he gave at the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies.

35. ‘The Owl Service’ by Alan Garner was published in 1967 and won the Carnegie Medal the same year. It was named one of the top ten medal-winning works for the Carnegie 70th anniversary celebration in 2007.

36. The Formula One British Grand Prix motor race was held at Silverstone on 15 July 1967. It was the sixth round of the 1967 Formula One season and the 80-lap race was won by Lotus driver Jim Clark after he started from pole position.

37. The television series The Forsyte Saga was first shown on BBC Two in 1967.

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38. The UK, Soviet Union, and USA signed the Outer Space Treaty.
Under the terms of the Treaty, the parties are prohibited from placing nuclear arms or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit, on the Moon, or on other bodies in space.

Nations cannot claim sovereignty over the Moon or other celestial bodies. Nations are responsible for their activities in space, are liable for any damage caused by objects launched into space from their territory, and are bound to assist astronauts in distress.

39. On the 23 January 1967 – Milton Keynes, a village in north Buckinghamshire, was formally designated as a new town by the government, incorporating nearby towns and villages including Bletchley and Newport Pagnell.

Milton Keynes was intended to accommodate the overspill population from London – some 50 miles away. It would later become Britain's largest new town, with the area's population multiplying during the 1970s and 1980s.

40. The Big Mac debuted at a Uniontown, Pennsylvania restaurant in 1967, selling for 45 cents. The Big Mac had two previous names, both of which failed in the marketplace: ‘The Aristocrat’, which consumers found difficult to pronounce and understand, and ‘Blue Ribbon Burger’.

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41. The Doors’ breakthrough hit ‘Light My Fire’ was an anthem in 1967, but songs like ‘The End’ (an 11-minute Oedipal drama with sexually explicit lyrics and a swirling, ebb-and-flow arrangement) that established the Doors’ reputation as one of rock’s most potent, controversial, and theatrical acts.

42. Hippie fashion reached its peak in 1967 with psychedelic ‘alternative’ outfits – kaftans, afghan coats, body paint, flowers in the hair, bell-bottom trousers, long dresses, Nehru jackets, paisley fabrics and velvet.

43. Donald Campbell died in January 1967 when he crashed while attempting to become the first person to go over 300mph on water (Coniston Water) in his jet powered Bluebird.

Ken Warby's record of 511.10 km/h (317.58 mph) from 1978 still stands as of 14 February 2015. There have only been two official attempts to break it, both resulting in the death of the driver.

44. ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’ was Tom Stoppard's breakthrough play. It was a huge critical and commercial success, making him famous practically overnight. Though written in 1964, the play was published in 1967, and it played on Broadway in 1968, where it won the Tony for best play.

45. In July 1967 live coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships became the first ever UK television programme to be broadcast in colour on BBC 2.

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46. The Summer of 1967 is known as the ‘Summer of Love’ when the hippie movement came to full fruition, particularly in San Francisco.

47. In 1967 the Sexual Offences Act was passed which decriminalised private homosexual acts between men aged over 21, while at the same time imposing heavier penalties on street offences.

48. Svetlana Alliluyeva, Russian-born daughter of Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin, defected to the United States in 1967 and caused an international sensation.

49. The modern era of hot air ballooning began when the ‘Bristol Belle’ took to the skies on 9 July 1967 from RAF Weston-on-the-Green.

50. If you were born on 23 January 1967 you share your birthday with Milton Keynes and your Chinese zodiac animal would be the horse.

51. The Detroit Race Riot took place in 1967.
In the early morning hours of 23 July 1967, one of the worst riots in US history broke out on 12th Street in the heart of Detroit's predominantly African American inner city.

By the time it was quelled four days later by 7,000 National Guard and US Army troops, 43 people were dead, 342 injured, and nearly 1,400 buildings had been burned.

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52. On Sunday, 3 September 1967 traffic in Sweden switched to driving on the right side of the road.

53. Famous people born in 1967 include:

  • Vin Diesel
  • Julia Roberts
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Harry Connick JR
  • Jason Stratham
  • Emily Watson
  • Paul Gascoine
  • Emily Watson

54. In the United States many states had laws against inter-racial marriage until The Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional in 1967.

55. On 23 January 1967 Harold Wilson, Prime Minister, gave an address at Strasbourg arguing the case for the UK’s application for accession to the European Economic Community.

56. The Six-Day War, also called ‘June War’ or ‘Third Arab-Israeli War’ took place between  5 - 10 June 1967, and was the third of the Arab-Israeli wars.

Israel’s decisive victory included the capture of the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Old City of Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights; the status of these territories subsequently became a major point of contention in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

57. The Disneyland ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ ride opened in 1967 and became the inspiration for the series of films the first of which was released in 2003.

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Last Updated: 1 November 2019