New museum exhibit celebrates the ‘founding father’ of Milton Keynes

A new exhibit at Milton Keynes Museum tells the incredible life story of Jock Campbell, one of the founding fathers of Milton Keynes, whose work choices and values have shaped the town as it is today.

The exhibit has been made possible with a £75,000 grant courtesy of The Biffa Award for History Makers, made together with AIM (The Association of Independent Museums).

The scheme funds museums to create new exhibits that will inspire the public through the lives and achievements of extraordinary historical figures who have made a significant impact shaping the world we live in today.

During a lengthy and influential career Jock set up the Booker Prize, and was the first chair of the Runneymede Trust, the independent race equality think tank.

Early in his career he took control of his family’s sugar estates in Guyana, which had been built on the back of the slave trade.

Jock believed that people were more important than profit, and went on to condemn slavery in the House of Lords. He said: “Maximising profits cannot and should not be the sole purpose, or even the primary purpose, of business.”

As the first chairman of the MK Development Corporation, Jock was instrumental in leading the development of the new town.

Milton Keynes was built under his leadership, and delivered integrated living, energy-efficiency and social balance; planners continue to visit Milton Keynes today to learn from our forward thinking – and much of that is Jock’s legacy.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome this permanent exhibit to the museum,” said MK Museum Director Bill Griffiths.

“Jock was a superb leader, driven by a belief in the need to build a city that was flexible and equitable. As a result, he not only changed the lives of everyone who came here, but continues to influence succeeding generations to emulate the best of MK for their own populations.”

He added: “We are so pleased to be able to share Jock’s amazing story with our visitors. Jock was a pioneer, who constantly defied expectations.

“It is fitting that this interactive is the first of the permanent exhibits that will tell the story of the new town.”

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