The B & MK

© Graeme Meek 2008



Song Menu





They’re bringing the cut to the town;
They’ll be bringing the boats from the Grand Union way.
May the doubters, their sorrows, all drown
When we welcome the boats on the B&MK.

When first the proposal was made
There was mad old King George ruled the land.
After two hundred years in the shade,
It was just as John Rennie had planned:
From Bedford, a waterway, new
To stretch to the Grand Union way.
So let’s give all the credit that’s due,
A success to the B&MK.

To the east, from the Union Canal
The B&MK takes its course.
Past Willen and Broughton it shall
Its beauty and power enforce.
By Aspley and Ridgmont will go
And climb over Brogborough Hill,
Then down to the lakes it will flow
To prove of the navvies’ great skill.

Through Lidlington, ’cross Marston Vale
And onward to Wootton shall pass.
How broad the canal is in scale;
All others, this cut, will surpass.
With Kempston, at last, within sight
And onward to Bedford will run,
The waterway’s future is bright,
When the B&MK is all done.
A canal between Bedford and the Grand Junction Canal (now Grand Union) at what is now Milton Keynes, was first proposed in 1811 and the great canal engineer, John Rennie, put forward costings for several possible routes but work never began. The Bedford and Milton Keynes Canal (B&MK), as the project is now known, took off in the 1990s and is hoped to be completed between 2020 and 2030. It will provide a link between The Grand Union and the East Anglian waterways.

Graeme Meek, who wrote the song and kindly provided the words, music and additional information, is a member of song duo 'Life and Times' and dance band 'Time of Your Life'. See, &

A video of the B & MK project featuring 'Life and Times' and the choir of Marston Vale Middle School, Stewartby can be seen here.