Milton Keynes Association

Dog walking at Stowe, Buckinghamshire.

The Milton Keynes Association’s programme gives its members many opportunities to socialise with a friendly group of people with similar interests and ideals.

We have just over 200 members at present and a thriving committee and we always welcome new members. We hold illustrated talks (in the Cruck Barn at Bradwell Abbey), a series of day visits, UK and European holidays, and social activities such as theatre visits and New Year lunches are always popular. 
This year was the 30th anniversary of the founding of our Association and Supporters Group, so to celebrate we had a wonderful summer lunch at Plum Park along the A5 towards Towcester, where some of our committee members were presented with long-service medals. We have also had celebration meals to mark our other special anniversaries, one at Claydon and two at Stowe.
Every year we make donations to the Trust and recently gave contributions to a new venture at the Chantry Chapel, Buckingham (a second hand bookshop), which helped upgrade the electrical system and purchase chairs, tables and crockery for people to enjoy a cuppa while browsing. We also contributed to the restoration work at Borstal Duck Decoy, near Aylesbury - one of only two in England. In the last 3 years we have raised £8,500 for the Trust. 
In addition, many of our members give direct support to places as volunteers, assisting in the shops and providing tours to visitors.

We are a very friendly group and those of us who have been members for years are now firm friends, with the added bonus that we have raised thousands of pounds for an excellent cause.

Meet our members

We moved to Bedford in June 1997 and immediately joined their very vibrant National Trust Association. Within a few meetings Brian was invited to join the committee, which he did, and soon took over the running of their mobile shop. Brian carried out the ordering and arranging and I dealt with the paperwork.

We held a sales table at every meeting and held our first Christmas shops that Autumn visiting people’s houses and old people’s homes, which went down very well, making quite a healthy profit for the Trust and thoroughly enjoyed our first experiences in retail. Of course this could not have been done without a wonderful sub-committee from the Association who transported tables, show panels and goods from A to B.

In 1998 Brian applied on behalf of the Bedford Association to have a regular sales position at the Shuttleworth Collection on flying days and we were soon a regular feature. Visitors began to rely on us for their Trust purchases and locally produced items, making more profit for the Trust.

From little acorns grow big trees!. Our fame was spreading and we were invited to attend open days, farming events, Christmas Fairs and the annual Steam Fair then run by Jordans Cereals. Stowe Landscape Garden did not have a permanent shop at that time, so the “team” continued their existing practice of taking their sales tables up to Stowe on most summer weekends. The site was originally placed in the Queen’s Temple, but later we were invited to be part of the School Shop. As the popularity of Stowe Landscape Gardens grew, the Trust decided that they would open their own shop on site. The Manager of the school shop then took over the running with the help of Brian and other Stowe volunteers. The rest is history.

As I like talking to people I volunteered to be part of the welcoming team and went out in the grounds chatting to people and giving the correct information about the various temples and history of the Temple family. That is where we are today.

I was elected Chairman of the Milton Keynes Association and remained in the chair for five years. I was able to meet so many like-minded volunteers at conferences and gatherings and subsequently made new friends. Today I am back on the committee as Holiday and Outings Co-ordinator. Again, we have a great sub-committee who cover the rest of the year’s outings, details of which you will find on this website.

Brian and I have now been volunteers for nearly thirty years and have loved every minute of the experience, so why not come along and join a great group of people called the Milton Keynes National Trust Association.

We look forward to meeting you

Brian and Denise Gale

Get in touch

For more information and to join the Milton Keynes Association, please contact Mrs Annette Tyler on 01908 314151.