MK TV Archive



Over 30 years of recorded film archives on the development of Milton Keynes are now being made available by John Hemson Associates for the 40th year of the designation of the new city.

The material has been collected both on 16mm film and digital media by local film-maker John Hemson and includes broadcast-standard footage of many of the major events in the city’s history.

John has covered sport and leisure activities as well as art, architecture and civil engineering and the archive will include film of the construction of Milton Keynes Theatre, the Xscape building and Midsummer Boulevard from a flat car park.

He even shot images of the Bishop of St Albans blessing the opening of the new arts centre and sculpture park at Linford Manor – now the home of Pete Winkelman. Many sports and leisure events from the MK Proms in the Park to the operation of the Bletchley Park Colossus. One archive programme is about the workings of the now demolished iron oxide factory at Deanshanger.

As a professional film-maker in Milton Keynes since 1974, John has been ideally placed to witness some of the more memorable milestones as the city matured from a muddy footprint into a green and vibrant town. He anticipates that publicity surrounding the anniversary will generate requests for historic film and television footage from media organisations throughout the world. There is also likely to be demand from those who wish to celebrate this latest milestone by using video on their websites or for presentations at events and educational programmes.

“The opportunities for using digital media are increasing all the time. I never imagined there would be so many different ways that my work could be used back then. Much of the footage in this archive was shot on a speculative basis so a great deal of it has never had a public airing,” said John.

“I took the view very early on in the city’s construction that there were certain events and periods in its development that should be recorded for posterity. As I had both the expertise and equipment, I just couldn’t stop myself filming what I was witnessing. Call it visionary if you like, but I knew right at the start that there would be a tremendous interest in later years in those events and characteristics which have made this town so successful.”

John is currently preparing the archive so that it can be accessed in an easy-to-use format. Details of the service will appear on the JHA website in March 2006 and a full catalogue is expected to become available in the autumn. A simple scale of charges will be published on-line together with the copyright clearance conditions.

For more information, telephone John Hemson on 01908 583062 or Email.