Pioneer Tales Revisited

Pioneer Tales Revisited
Event Space, Central Library Milton Keynes, 555 Silbury Boulevard, Milton Keynes MK9 3HL

Pioneer Tales Revisited features the stories of 16 individuals who have been pioneers in their own communities or professional lives in Milton Keynes. Coming from diverse backgrounds, their activities in the city have enhanced the lives of others.

The exhibition will feature portraits and photographs by Sagar Kharecha, Living Archive’s Photographer in Residence, alongside the words of the pioneers themselves.

Albert Bernard tells of his experiences as one of the first Black police officers in the city. Baldip Sahota reflects on his work training paralympic fencers for the Olympics. Kurshida Mirza founded Truby’s Garden Interfaith Café; Louis Francis, resident at Westbury Art Centre, is the UK’s first deaf stone carver. Urja Desai Thakore established Pagrav Dance Company, now one of the leading Pathak dance companies in the UK. These stories and many more provide an inspiring insight into the lives of people across the city.

This project was inspired by Living Archive’s seminal 1985 project ‘Pioneer Tales’, which captured the first generation of incomers to the new city. A selection of images of the original project is also featured, alongside other work by Sagar Kharecha, documenting communities across the city.

Open during Library hours. Please check MK City Council website at

Individuals featured in the exhibition:

  • PC Albert Bernard
  • Anouar Kasim MBE
  • Baldip Sahota 
  • Fola Komolafe
  • Gamiel Yafai
  • Hannah Olarewaju
  • Kurshida Mirza BEM
  • Louis Francis
  • Maria Affah
  • Dr Mylvaganam Veeravahu
  • Nana Oguntola
  • Naseem Khan
  • Ophelia Cole
  • Precious Zumbika-Lwanga
  • Urja Desai Thakore
  • Zainab Manji

Pioneer Tales Revisited is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.

Living Archive would like to thank MK City Council for their support and MK Central Library for hosting the exhibition.

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Milton Keynes City Archive Partners