UK computer history gets new home
julesrichardsonuk at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Jul 12 16:46:51 CDT 2007
> Reading about Bletchley Park I'm never quite sure quite how the heck it
> rose from the bunch of derelict concrete prefabs I knew as a (1970s)
> child to the acknowledged symbol of computing history that it now is.
Half the site's still a bunch of derelict concrete prefabs... :-)
I think plans are afoot for the Park themselves to do something with C Block
(the one by the new entrance that looks like "IIIE" from the air). The
building's a mess, though - there's even a fairly substantial tree growing on
D Block's leased by English Partnerships these days and they want to sub-let
bits of it (either for museum-related activities, or for archival purposes -
I've heard both). Needs a heck of a lot of work internally to get it up to
scratch, though - but at least it's been re-roofed and stabilised now.
G Block's fate is unknown - I think the property developers who are building
the housing estate on the old ATC site might own that one. I don't think it's
got listed status unfortunately...
Some of the Huts have been restored, as has B Block, and of course we'll be
taking over the whole of H. Hut 4 (beside the mansion) has just been restored
and turned back into catering facilities. That still leaves various Huts
around the site that need a lot of TLC, though.
> Enough kudos to them - if there is a publicly-funded British National
> Museum of Computing, I think it's likely to be at Bletchley Park.
It was almost at Waltham Abbey for a while... some of the politics in the past
at the Park have been horrible. The new guy in charge seems to have his head
screwed on right, thankfully.
> I was disappointed to read praise of his wartime efforts
> but no mention of how he was subsequently hounded to suicide. I feel
> this to be a series of events of which we should all be ashamed and
> equal in signifiance to his mathematical achievements, yet half a
> century later it is still swept under the carpet. :(
I don't know, I think it's pretty common knowledge as to how he was treated
post-war. I think I'd much rather he was remembered for all the great
achievements, rather than for all the nasty stuff that went on later.
What gets me a little is the comparative lack of recognition that all the
others working on projects like Colossus have received; Turing still gets
publicity (rightly so), but not much ever gets said about all the others who
were contributing effort and ideas.
Anyway, things went well today I think - everyone seemed to be enjoying
themselves (and more importantly, there were no mishaps with any of the
vintage hardware :-)
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