Interview with Monty Woollard (b.1904) and Fred Montague.
N.B. The sound quality of this interview is poor.
Monty Woollard was born in Stony Stratford, to a farming family. He describes life on a working farm, his childhood and education in Wolverton and then describes his farm work after an apprenticeship. After his parents sold their leather business in 1926, they bought him a farm locally; he describes its development from horses-power to tractor, and changing farming methods.
In 1950 he became a member of the county council, and resisted the new Milton Keynes development. In the 1960’s his farm was acquired by a compulsory purchase order. In his opinion, the price was ‘notoriously unfair’, although his land just avoided the M1 and he had 85 acres returned. As MK developed, he recalls how the incomers were absorbed into the local community, the increase in local crime and being a magistrate.
Fred Montague lives in Stony Stratford; when MK’s development was first conceived he was chairman of local chamber of trade, and was concerned about the influx of new people. He formed the Stony Stratford Association, a group of local people. He recalls the introduction of service infrastructure for Central Milton Keynes on to what was barren farmland. He recalls people queuing for breakfast at his restaurant in Stony Stratford at 8.00am before going to work in Milton Keynes; there were no facilities at that time in MK. He comments that property prices in Stony rose considerably; locals were displaced onto new estates as property developers bought original houses.