A few years ago I lived in Milton Keynes in an area called New Bradwell. Everyone knows Milton Keynes as a new town, full of grid-road systems and modern housing estates, but New Bradwell is one of the old parts with lovely Victorian houses and the canal running through it. Not far from where I lived there was a row of terraced houses called Spencer Street. This street had been saved from demolition during the early days of the Development Corporation and turned into a cooperative housing association. It’s a fantastically characterful place, with brightly painted front doors and cute little gardens, and I often reflected how lucky it was that this example of Victorian architecture was saved.

Fast-forward to last year when the character Evie Stone jumped into my mind. She was a bit of an activist, albeit in a non-confrontational way, and really into architecture. I started to wonder – in the way writers do – what would happen if someone like Evie fell for  a man on the opposite side of a battle to save a historic building. And then I remembered Spencer Street and began to imagine all the brilliant characters who could live in a street like this that Evie might be trying to save.

Cupid’s Way was born, and now it isn’t far off being completed I wanted to share some photos I took recently on a research trip to New Bradwell. Spencer Street is just as gorgeous and quirky as I remembered it, and although Cupid’s Way will differ in many ways, this was my inspiration.

Spencer 3

spencer 1

spencer 2

This last picture is taken outside number 9, which is a community office for the cooperative. It’s such a lovely idea to have a place to live like this, where you can rent a house amongst like-minded people. If I still lived in Milton Keynes I’d definitely apply to be a resident of Spencer Street. I’ve created some wonderful residents for Cupid’s Way, and I hope you’re looking forward to meeting them 🙂

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