[GLLUG] Bletchley Park

Ken Smith kens at kensnet.org
Sat Jan 25 17:48:52 UTC 2014

Steve Parker wrote:
> I have just heard a brief article on the news about a rift between the 
> National Museum of Computing and Bletchley Park management; I was 
> hoping to finally get around to visiting it this year, but it sounds 
> like the Bletchley management are entirely unsympathetic to the 1940s 
> history of the place, and I am now disinclined to give them my 
> hard-earned money (especially if the IT aspect is out of bounds).
> I seem to recall that various people on this list are well informed 
> about Bletchley; does anybody have any deeper insight into what is 
> happening at Bletchley Park?
> Steve
I've visited 3 times. The first time I managed to get a good chat with 
Tony Sale who rebuilt Colossus. Even though he was coming up 80, his 
mind was sharp as a knife. Quite unnerving. The second time I visited 
Tony wasn't in good health and he died a month or so later.

After he died the room where Colossus is exhibited was tided up, 
re-carpeted and made look presentable as an exhibition. I rather liked 
it how it was before with an old 'scope and an Avo on a trolley and all 
kinds of paraphernalia scattered about. The new appearance is rather too 
clinical for my liking, the old electronics lab appearance appealed to 
me as much more authentic.

I can understand the owners wanting to use their Heritage Lottery Funds 
to smarten the place up and make the place attractive for visitors, but 
the volunteer guides are actually very knowledgeable and full of all 
kinds of fascinating stories about Bletchley. Rather than antagonise the 
guides why don't they employ them? Some kind of creative solution would 
be in keeping with the legacy of Bletchley.

As an ex-Deccie it was also good to see all kinds of Dec stuff working 
in the Museum of Computing as well as other machines such as an ICL 2900.

:-) Ken

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