‘When a man is tired of Milton Keynes, he is tired of life’ says my dad

Richard Macer grew up in the much-maligned new town. As they both turn 50, he returns home with camera in hand …

My family moved into our house on an estate in Milton Keynes in 1978. I remember being somewhat embarrassed by my home in those early days because it was one of the first estates that had houses that actually looked like houses. My friends would come round to play Subbuteo and admire my traditional pitched roof and red brick walls enclosed with wood cladding. Some of them lived in dwellings with flat roofs and walls of perforated steel.

If you assume that we are products of the places we grow up in, then you will understand why I approached making a film about my hometown with trepidation. Milton Keynes has long been one of the most stigmatised places in the country: boring, concrete, soulless.

Related: Story of cities #34: the struggle for the soul of Milton Keynes

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