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back to article Scientists decry Bletchley Park's decline

A group of the UK's leading computer scientists has demanded government action to save Bletchley Park from further decay, saying that “the ravages of age and a lack of investment” threaten the future of Station X. Some of the wooden codebreaking huts are in "a desperate state of decay" and, as we recently reported, the Bletchley …

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Oh no...

I am not generally one for museums but I did the tour of Bletchley Park one sunday a few years ago and heartily recommend it - there's some good coverage of the computer science side of things. It'd be a real shame if this temple to British l887ness and Nazi-pwning got turned into another Tesco car park.

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Anonymous Coward

lol

These poor scientists - thinking science has a place in this country.

1 Million for scientific history? Hah what a waste - we'd much prefer to spend 1 million on rebranding activity, or on a new advert about drinking or climate change. We have far more important things to do in this country then pay our respects to history or science (and mixing the two is just about the silliest idea in this nation possible.)

No we need a national ID database (hopelessly inaccurate), and an ID card scheme (cloned within a year), a national DNA database (yes some judge said no - but the government will rewrite the law as that's the will of the people), an olympic games, less volunteers (becouse the old crb check is gonna diqualify swathes of them - and we want our kids out on the streets causing trouble.)

We need to lock up folk that like extreme porn, folk that like drawn porn, folk that like explosives and folk that are interested in middle eastern modern history and culture. We need to please the daily mail readers and the readers of the sun and the news of the world.

We need to monitor societies internets, their phones, their lives and minds. We need to store this information forever - just in case.

Yes, that's what we need - and anyone who disagrees with us, well, they'll go on a list...

Science, History, Heritage, hah. This is Fortress Britain - heaven for criminals, hell for the common man.

As an aside - still studying to get the hell out of this dump. Can't wait till I can (although I have little choice.)

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Paris Hilton

7 million...

...would suffice to make me self-supporting too!

Paris, because she already has the 7 million to support herself...

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Exaggerated

I went there a few years ago and the people on the tour all noted that the wooden huts had the paint peeling off them.

When someone asked the tour guide the guide said that when the huts were first built the wood was treated with a preservative that unfortuantly eats at the paint and causes it to flake, so there is nothing they can do, every new layer of paint comes off soon after its put on.

There are a couple of news sites specifically mentioning the state of the huts paintwork, well if they bothered to research it they may know the truth.

Apart from that, Bletchly Park doesnt look too bad (Its certainly in a better condition than the story makes out) and its a fantastic day out for the average computer history nerd (Like myself)

And no, i dont work there!

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Dai

Was told on a tour

of Bletchley Park that the British Govt turned down a request for cash by the Bletchley Park Trust. However the German Government gave them some instead. Ironic really.

Was also told on the same tour that HMG first tried to sell the site to a supermarket but were told they couldn't because there was a listed building there. So they knocked it down. But as they left the foundations it's now classified as a site of special scientific interest and still can't be touched. Just to add the final nail in their coffin the council also put preservation orders on most of the trees.

Seems like a lot of work just to stop them building a new Safeway/Tesco/Sainsburys etc.

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Ironic?

Not at all! If Ultra hadn't brought the war in Europe to its close when it did, it is probable that the second "mushroom cloud" in history would have hung over Berlin!

The Germans have tremendous cause to be grateful for Bletchely Park.

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Paris Hilton

Why would the Government

want to help preserve something that reminds us all precisely why we shouldn't have ID cards?

I live a mile from the Park and my family go there to play most weeks.

Paris because she knows all about preserving wood.

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@ Simon - Exaggerated?

A couple of years ago I visited to donate a bit of mildly historic kit. Whether or not paint on the huts peels because of preservative in the wood, there were definite signs of rot. The sooner it's fixed the less expensive it will be. The house too is at the point where lack of maintenance is starting to cause increasingly rapid deterioration.

The cafeteria is a bit grim. Their income would be greater if they could fit it out in National Trust style (1940s version), but it would cost a few bob to set this up.

'All hands man the pumps' icon for obvious reasons.

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BP funding and apathy

I tend to go down to BP quite often, it's almost my own Mecca. I'm a Radio Amateur, have donated kit and I love to see the Colossus rebuild and bask in the enthusiasm of the volunteers. It's just a shame that most of the really interesting exhibits are closed during the week or for refurbishment.

There is a serious lack of cash and I'd have thought that the majority of ElReg readers would hold BP in high regard. The park is our computing and Intelligence heritage and there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Not sure of the readership numbers for ElReg, but maybe an open petition to the government might attract some reasonable amount of signatures?

It would be such a shame to lose it. As I understand, £200,000 a year would help to keep on top of repairs. If it was a drop-in centre for one legged paedo muslim gay transgender drug addicts with AIDS and SAD, it would get money thrown at it.

The lack of any Government interest in technology and celebrating the work that was done by Turing and Flowers et all really pisses me off. We built it, we made it work and it's about time that we celebrated British excellence and creativity. I get the impression that the whole idea of the Government is to kill of any creativity in the UK and turn us into cretins working in shops selling stuff made off shore.

/twat-o-tron

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No sense of history

The politicians in the govuk have a sense of history only where it concerns themselves, anything else, particularly if it concerns the war or old soldiers is of no interest to them at all . What I find amazing is the heritage trust have named the Blue Peter garden a heritage site and the beeb could probably get money with a snap of their fingers for that if it involved a sound bite for some politico but for something of genuine importance like Bletchley no one is interested.

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@ Richard

"If it was a drop-in centre for one legged paedo muslim gay transgender drug addicts with AIDS and SAD"

Umm, I'm not aware of any such services funded from the public purse. You are perhaps thinking of the other Britain?

Will you be putting that silly rant at the top of the petition that you seem to want someone else to organize? That would really help to build support for the subsidising of your hobby. After all, nobody wants to be associated with anyone in the slightest bit 'weird', do they?

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Flame

No surprise with this government

Are we surprised this government has allowed the decline to occur?

It's made up of vicious slinkers who all to happy to see "clever clogs" and their works be "put in their place" (whatever that is)... and who've demonstrated the most utter contempt for those whose bravery and hard work helped keep England free the last time a dictatorial thug siezed power in Europe.

Of course, this lot are quite friendly with the dictator-wannabees in the EU today, so I suppose we can be even less surprised.

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Go

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/BletchleyPark

There's a petition to save Bletchley here if you want to add your name

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Petition

@Richard

There is one: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/BletchleyPark/

@Martin

I think Richards "/twat-o-tron" refence indicates he has more of a sense of humour than you do...

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Anonymous Coward

Science UK

I agree with Anonymous Coward, Science in this country, don't make me laugh. All scientists are crazed, frankenstien figures, who have absolutely no place in this country. Bletchley park should be demolished, and a university for media and business studies built upon it.

All scientists should be directly asked to leave the country, unlike the current underhand way it is done, i.e offer them a fixed term work contract for a pittance.

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SAVE BP!

For many reasons it's absolutely essential that BP is preserved. As much as I despise the current government and all it stands for it's a bit unfair to put the blame at the door of the current government when successive governments have been just as culpable.

Nice to see the petition carrying so many signatures already though, mine included.

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Dai

Just out of interest

does anyone know why Bletchley isn't/wasn't eligible for Lottery Funding, whereas Eton School is?

Also why did Bill Gates refuse them money? Is this part of the conspiracy whereby all Americans think they are responsible for the invention of everything? (Not that there weren't Americans working at BP, in fact some were working there before the US joined the war)

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Stop

FFS

what's next? kick over the war memorials and build trendy new apartments on them? that place stands for (and is) one of the reasons we dusted the Nazis. tsk.

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Went last weekend

And I can highly recommend it, both as a geek and as someone with a very non-geek girlfriend.

Lots that appealed to me, and lots that appealed to her - ie. the emotional and human side of the story.

Just go and visit!

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Perhaps...

... the National Trust should make an offer for the site?

As a general rule I hate the National Trust with a passion, however here's something worth saving.

(And no, Colossus couldn't run Crysis.)

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Let's preserve the wooden huts

The blueprints and Bombes and the Colossus were destroyed after the war to prevent them falling into the hands of enemy agents.

Alan Turing was driven to suicide so that he couldn't reveal his secrets to enemy agents

So everything of value had been destroyed: priceless historical artifacts and the finest mathematical mind produced by this country since Newton.

However, let's save some rotting huts - it's about all the people deserve for not ensuring that inept and malevolent politicians and civil servants are not able to destroy this country.

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@ AC science UK

When I was younger the cop out Uni' courses were Humanities and Sociology now it seems to be Media studies and Business studies Most of the recent holders of these degrees that I have met have less chance of running an enterprise than the Telly Tubbies. And I haven't seen any of them figuring large in the financial world lately.If the current content available on TV and in newspapers and magazines is anything to go by I wouldn't shout too loudly about media studies either. What does it consist of nowadays ? reading the Sun before going to the pub?

Britain still produces a good percentage of the worlds top scientists and without their work and discoveries businesses would have nothing to sell. These are the people that enabled you to be able to read this article on the Reg. Which incidentally should be recommended reading in Media studies.

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Why can I not sign the petition at Downing Street 10???

Hi,

history of computing is without national boarders as the development was many years ago, so why can't I sign the petition to save this historical place????

Gerhard

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