Bletchley


Bletchley

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 51.994
longitude= -0.732
population= 33,950 [cite web | url = http://analysis.mkiobservatory.org.uk/webview/velocity?v=2&mode=cube&cube=http%3A%2F%2Fanalysis.mkiobservatory.org.uk%3A80%2Fobj%2FfCube%2FPE075_C1&study=http%3A%2F%2Fanalysis.mkiobservatory.org.uk%3A80%2Fobj%2FfStudy%2FPE075&context=http%3A%2F%2Fanalysis.mkiobservatory.org.uk%3A80%2Fobj%2FcServer%2FMKi | title = Milton Keynes Settlements - Population Projections 2001 to 2011 (using data for Blue Lagoon Park, Brickfields, Central Bletchley, Denbigh East, Denbigh North, Denbigh West, Far Bletchley, Granby, Mount Farm, Water Eaton and West Bletchley) | accessdate = 2006-10-05 |date= 2005-01-28 | work =Milton Keynes intelligence Observatory | publisher = Milton Keynes Council Environment Directorate]
official_name= Bletchley
unitary_england= Milton Keynes
lieutenancy_england= Buckinghamshire
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Milton Keynes South West
post_town= MILTON KEYNES
postcode_district = MK1-3
postcode_area= MK
dial_code= 01908
os_grid_reference= SP872336
london_distance= 54m

Bletchley is a constituent town of Milton Keynes, England. It is part of the Borough of Milton Keynes unitary authority [ [http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/mkcouncil/home.asp 'Milton Keynes Council website'] ] , in the ceremonial county of Buckinghamshire. It is situated in the south-west of Milton Keynes but still retains a distinctive identity. Bletchley is split between the parishes of Bletchley and Fenny Stratford and West Bletchley.

Bletchley is best known for Bletchley Park, the headquarters of Britain's World War II codebreaking organisation, now a museum.

Origin

The town name is Anglo-Saxon and means "Blæcca's clearing". It was first recorded in manorial rolls in the 12th century as "Blechelai".

Development

Bletchley grew from an obscure hamlet on the road from Fenny Stratford to Buckingham with the arrival of the London and North Western Railway in 1845 and its subsequent junction with the Oxford-Cambridge "Varsity Line" shortly afterwards. Bletchley grew rapidly to service the junction. Bletchley railway station was for many years an important node on the railway. It is now one of the five stations which serve Milton Keynes.

In the urban growth of the Victorian period brought by the railway, the town merged with nearby Fenny Stratford. Fenny Stratford had been constituted an Urban District (with Simpson) in 1895, and Bletchley was added in 1898. The Urban District was renamed Bletchley in 1911.

In the early 1960s, there was a further substantial expansion of the town, with people from London being relocated by the Greater London Council, mainly to a London overspill estate to the south of Water Eaton. The population of the urban district increased from 5,500 in 1921 to 17,000 in 1961.

It was "The Plan for Milton Keynes" that would bring the most dramatic change to the future of Bletchley.

Milton Keynes

Bletchley was included in the "designated area" when the New City [It should be noted that although Milton Keynes is commonly referred to as the "New City" it has yet to receive city status in the United Kingdom ] of Milton Keynes was founded in 1967. Bletchley thrived in the early years of the growth of the new city, since it was the main shopping area. Bletchley centre was altered considerably when the Brunel Shopping Centre was built in the early 1970s. Previously, Queensway — formerly known as Bletchley Road — was a continuous run from Buckingham Road near the railway station right into Fenny Stratford. The boom came to an abrupt end when the new Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre was built and, in recent years, commercial Bletchley has declined as a retail destination.

Bletchley and Fenny Stratford parish

The districts that make up this parish are Brickfields (includes the Blue Lagoon), Central Bletchley, Denbigh (including Denbigh North), Eaton Manor, Fenny Stratford, Granby, Manor Farm, Mount Farm and Water Eaton (includes "Lakes Estate").

Denbigh

For many years, Denbigh has been an important employment area. Perhaps its most famous residents are the Milton Keynes Dons F.C., in Denbigh North, and their club sponsors Marshall Amplification, just across the old Watling Street in Denbigh West.

In 2005, large commercial developments occurred on the immediate outskirts of Bletchley, although still in the civil parish of Bletchley and Fenny Stratford. The supermarket chain ASDA-Wal-Mart and the Swedish furniture retailer IKEA built and opened large stores at Denbigh North, northeast of the town centre on Watling Street, and Tesco responded by expanding its store at the north-east edge of Bletchley/Fenny Stratford. Marks and Spencers have also announced plans to build a major development adjacent to the stadium. Whether or not these new developments accelerate the decline of the town centre remains to be seen.

Denbigh North is also the location of the new home of the Milton Keynes Dons F.C. since the summer of 2007.

The Blue Lagoon

Milton Keynes has its own nature reserve in Bletchley. The Blue Lagoon attracts many local visitors every day. School children in Bletchley are often taken on trips to learn about the history of this site.

ocial issues

The Lakes Estate council estate has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe: 59 in every 1,000 girls aged 15-17 have children. [ [http://www.gm.tv/index.cfm?articleid=14732 GMTV article] ] However local secondary school Leon School and Sports College is working hard to reduce this by employing a school nurse, who offers pregnancy testing, education and advice [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/beds/bucks/herts/4430138.stm BBC article] ]

West Bletchley parish

West Bletchley parish covers that part of Milton Keynes that is south of Standing Way (A421), west of the West Coast Main Line and north of the Varsity Line.

The parish has a population of 20,994 according to the 2001 census. The districts and neighbourhoods in the parish are:
* Church Green (including Bletchley Park)
* Far Bletchley
* Old Bletchley
* West Bletchley (district)
* Whaddon (ward)

Most districts of West Bletchley Parish are residential, but the district of Bletchley Park is important enough to be summarised here.

Bletchley Park

Within the West Bletchley parish, in the Church Green district, is Bletchley Park, which, during the Second World War, was home to the Government Code and Cypher School. The German Enigma code was cracked here by, amongst others, Alan Turing. Another cipher machine was solved with the aid of early computing devices, known as Colossus. The park is now a museum, although many areas of the park grounds have been sold off for housing development.

References

* Edward Legg, Early History of Bletchley Park 1235– 1937, Bletchley Park Trust Historic Guides series, No. 1, 1999

ee also

*Bletchley TMD

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