"Block H was built in September 1944 specifically to house Colossus valve-based cipher-breaking machines, making it the world's first dedicated computer centre."
Block H has been declared one of England's "irreplaceable places", the National Museum of Computing has joyously announced. For those wondering why on earth TNMOC is preserving the women's prison block from the 1990s Aussie telly series Prisoner: Cell Block H, it actually refers to one of the most historic buildings on the …
Also go and see "Baby" at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry afterwards. Not quite the next step in the chain, but close.
And a short walk away, in a small quiet public garden, Sackville Park, is a statue of Alan Turing.
There's a bust of Tommy Flowers at BT Adastral Park, but it's not open to the public.
As does BP. If you're ever in London, it's a 1/2 hour or so train ride, and a 1/4 mile walk from the Bletchley station to the gates of BP and TNMOC. WELL worth the trip.
(slightly off-topic Q: Have BP and TNMOC kissed and made up yet? Silly buggers. They don't realise they're both on the same side)
The jobsworths at BP Security still stick up their noses when you say that you are going to NMOC rather than BP itself...
The BP 'tour' makes little or no mention of the NMOC so I guess they haven't kissed and made up.
A bit sad really.
I spent 6 happy weeks at BP when it was a GPO Training Centre. I still use some of the tools from those days.
We visited Bletchley last autumn and we were priviliged to meet a fine old gentleman named Neville, who is one of the few surviving people who can directly remember Bletchley in the war. He lived there as a child when his parents worked there.
He was awesome, told us some fascinating glimpses into life there, and let my daughter into some normally off-limits places to take some pics.
So very glad to hear that a piece of computing history has not been sacrificed to the alter of the money grabbers.
It is not often that commen sense prevails, so it is refreshing that something this important has survived.
Let's hope this could be the start of a trend, but that's probably too much to wish for.
"So very glad to hear that a piece of computing history has not been sacrificed to the alter of the money grabbers."
The trouble, although I agree with you, is that we have so much history. It's hard to develop anywhere without there being some history destroyed, buried or the development costs raised due to archaeology having to be carried out. Great example. The A1(M) improvements at Scotch Corner being delayed by nearly 6 months, probably at a cost of £millions, because of archaeology. It's quite stunning what they found, and I'd much rather it was done than not, but this was a simple bit of road widening in the middle of nowhere and they found evidence of Roman coins being minted! You can only imaging what it must be like doing developments in York, Bath, Londinium :-)
It's pleasing to see that we are managing to preserve this, I visited NMOC myself a year or 2 back, it's well worth it imho. Flowers, Turing and the (many) others that did some astonishing things deserve the recognition as well! Jack Copeland has an interesting book on Colossus, well worth a read imho.
We visited both BP and TNMOC just this past spring. The tour of the computer museum, all done by volunteers, was the most amazing part of my 7 weeks in Europe that included visiting the set of Doctor Who. I can't believe that there was ever any question at all that the UK and our industry must preserve and support this site and its collection.
Please print up some more T-shirt designs that we can buy online to support the museum. Be sure to allow purchases in USD :)
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