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back to article Bletchley boffins go to battle again: You said WHAT about Colossus?

The National Museum of Computing has launched another bombing raid during its long war of attrition against the Bletchley Park Trust. In a letter to The Telegraph, trustees of TNMoC said it had been moved by the Trust's "provocative" statement "implicitly questioning the ownership" of the rebuild of the famous Colossus …

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Mushroom

Can anybody rid us of these turbulent managers?!

For goodness sake, get on with providing service and stop this pointless bickering! If they prove incapable of sorting out their differences, could somebody get the lot of them fired, and replaced by people with more IQ than ego.

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I seem to need glasses

could somebody get the lot of them fired

First read that as 'fried'.

Anyway, that would work too, I suspect.

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Re: Can anybody rid us of these turbulent managers?!

Indiscriminate backlash at both parties of a conflict only favour the malicious side, forcing the wronged party to cave in to unfair conditions - much like a malicious party faced with an honest opponent could always game a "must compromise or else" system simply by demanding double of what they actually want to avoid any actual compromising. Does that sort of conflict resolution seem honestly fair to you...?

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So why not

Move Colossus and all the computing museum to the Science Museum and let Bletchley Park Consolidated Global Holdings Inc Ltd try and continue on their own as a Community Catalyst Catapult funded conference center - as they obviously want to.

We don't insists that every WWII aircraft at Duxford is housed in a museum on the site of the airfield it served from or the factory it was built in

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Re: So why not

A fine example with Duxford: The USAF poured a small fortune into facilities to house their aircraft there, and yet there's no fence around their hanger.

I would guess because the people running Duxford aren't dicks.

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Re: So why not

Psyx said "The USAF poured a small fortune into facilities to house their aircraft there..."

Visiting Duxford some years ago, I was shocked to find inside almost nothing British, indeed hardly any acknowledgement that Britain was actually involved in WW2 at all. Maybe this explains why. i was so disappointed I have never been back.

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Re: So why not

Try Cosford instead :-)

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MrT
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Good call!

... try a few more to get a more complete picture. I'm not a fan of the "one site fits all" approach (indeed, one of the most interesting Spitfire displays IMHO was the one that was dismantled and mostly mounted on the wall upstairs in the Science Museum a few years ago).

Once done down south, hop on a train up to York then pop to Elvington and the Yorkshire Air Museum...;-)

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Re: So why not

http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-duxford/battle-of-britain

http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-duxford/1940-operations-room

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Tail wagging dog

The BP people need to pull their collective head in.

If I one day travel to Blighty, visiting BP is on my "must do" list, but that is only because of the old number crunchers.

Sure, it would be nice to see them in their "natural environment", but really, a warehouse would do too.

All the other stuff at BP: swans, rotting stables and gift shops with marmalade and tea towel, I can see in thousands of locations. I can even get a reasonable example here in New Zealand.

BP needs to realise what the real attraction is, and work with that. Seems egos are getting the better of them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So why not

" was shocked to find inside almost nothing British, indeed hardly any acknowledgement that Britain was actually involved in WW2 at all"

I know things have changed in Duxford over the years but the presence of the X-sub, the Comet tank ("Gynaeolator") and other stuff in the land warfare hall, Operations room, history of RAF Duxford (all of which have been there for more than a decade) rather suggest otherwise.

PS "Second World War" not "WW2" if you want to push the British angle

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Re: So why not

I was fortunate to have an Xmas dinner in the big hall at Duxford a couple of years ago. It was FULL of British planes. I mean, absolutely chocker. Was very pleasant to be able to wander around them all whilst sipping wine, and eat next to the Shackleton.

Not quite sure which Duxford you went to.

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Re: So why not

Did you walk into the great big concrete structure labelled the "American Air Museum", by any chance?

It's not as if the name gives it away.

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Re: So why not

It was about 10 years ago any my reason for visiting was to see 16 spitfires fly in formation, the last time it will ever happen IIRC. Google says it was actually much later.

Yes, I was in the big modern building. Don't recall it being signed "American..." at the time. But why would you not just have one big museum showing artifacts from all Allies, and enemy stuff too for that matter. WWII being a joint experience, it strikes me as odd. I know there is a USAF cemetery nearby but that is a different story.

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Re: So why not

"But why would you not just have one big museum showing artifacts from all Allies, and enemy stuff too for that matter. WWII being a joint experience, it strikes me as odd."

Probably because the US thought it was being generous enough by donating the money for the 'American' buildings, I would hazard. It was an enormously generous gesture which perhaps eclipsed our own funding efforts.

I haven't been for a while, but there is still plenty of non-US kit on display and it's well worth the price of admission.

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Anonymous Coward

Sic

"The trust has erected a fence to stop visitors wondering between the two sites"

Yes, as a visitor I too would _wonder_ why I could not visit both sites ...

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Willy waving is bad?

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Certainly a pain for poor William...

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Willy waving

Not bad - just bloody childish. It would be funny if it didn't concern something of major historical significance.

It needs someone big enough and ugly enough to grab one Chief Egotistical Officer's collar in each hand and bang their heads together very hard indeed. Then give them three choices, to be completed within six months:

1 - put your dicks away and work together like adults, or

2 - resign, all of you. Just go. Or

3 - see the important exhibits taken to the Science Museum and the Bletchley Park site put up for sale with the proceeds going to the Treasury.

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Re: Willy waving

The problem with that is they would go for option 4

Stall until all the important artifices can be removed into privet hands then let the buildings and gardens rot.

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Happy

Re: Willy waving

I corrected it for you...

3 - see the important exhibits taken to the Science Museum and the Bletchley Park site put up for sale with the proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.

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Flame

Bletchley again! Damn sick of this.

Damn sick of hearing about this, and have commented muchly about it already. Everything from the mercury delay line fiasco to the recent access problems and now this just screams out that "we've incompetent loonies in charge".

Unfortunately, there's something odd about many of those who work in museums--specifically those who run them (the techies are generally OK). As I've mentioned previously, these possessive bureaucratic gnomes of little brain seem to think they've a god-given right to hold the country's cultural heritage to ransom.

Bletchley might be the current eipcentre of museum disruption, but it's far from being alone. Recently, I had a similar rant about the Imperial War Museum (and its cousin the AWM) 're-copyrighting' its 'products' by scanning out-of-copyright photos and then charging citizens the earth for access to their own cultural heritage. The IWM problem is essentially the same as Bletchley's just disguised; the museum world is infested with this nasty disease.

We're now at the point where governments need to act. Legislation mandating citizens' rights of access to cultural heritage would be a good start.

With Bletchley, reckon we could do with the SS in for a day or so to restore order. Perhaps they could cart their enigmas etc. back to Berlin and show them there for a while. I'm damn sure if the Germans were to run Bletchley, it'd run like clockwork.

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FAIL

Re: Bletchley again! Damn sick of this.

I'm sure the former Bletchley staff would love to hear all their efforts have been misguided, as their descendants would actually seem to prefer to live under the undoubtedly harsh but fair rule of their opponents. After all, 'arbeit macht frei' and all that jazz, right?

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@DropBear -- Re: Bletchley again! Damn sick of this.

I'm sure the former Bletchley staff...

Uh? I never mentioned former/true Bletchley staff. However, I did refer to inmates in charge of a now-asylum.

BTW, check the definition of facetious in the OED.

Oh, incidentally, have you ever been to any German museums lately, the Deutsches Museum for instance? Mightn't be a bad idea, you'd then be able to see how Bletchley should be run.

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Being a bit dumb on a Monday...

so can someone please clarify

1. Did the trust as part of the new agreement wish to take ownership of Colossus?

2. Did the trust expect to charge £100k per year rent to the museum, but have free access for all trust visitors?

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Re: Being a bit dumb on a Monday...

it would not surprise me 1 bit (geddit???!)

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Dodgy

"The trust has erected a fence to stop visitors wandering between the two sites. It is run by Sir John Scarlett, author of the famous dodgy dossier which led to war in Iraq."

The perfect man to be a 'Trustee' of anything.

Was this job a little reward from Tony BLiar for services rendered?

How about disbanding the BPT and putting Bletchly under the wing of the TNMoC?

Let's have a vote!

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Unhappy

Re: Dodgy

not sure if he has a proper military history, but i suspect he's indistructable

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Colossus is in H Block

Just a couple of points, the Colossus rebuild is housed in H Block, which is not one of the original wartime huts. It is, however, the first purpose-built computer building in the world.

H Block was built to house Colossus machines and 6 were operational there. The rebuilt Colossus occupies the site of Colossus number 9. This makes a nonsense of the idea of moving it elsewhere, besides, where would the Science Museum put it?

Also, Colossus doesn't belong to Bletchley Park Trust or TNMoC, it belongs to Colossus Rebuild Limited, which is mentioned in the letter.

Finally, the fence has been erected with gates which remain open at present. What happens when they are closed remains to be seen.

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Re: Colossus is in H Block

Who are Colossus Rebuild Limited?

I can't seem to find exactly who they are, what they do and who are the owners ...

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Re: Colossus is in H Block

Colossus Rebuild Limited is listed at Companies House, a quick search will turn up all you need to know.

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Re: Colossus is in H Block

Having spent most of the weekend at BP, it might interest people to know that all the visitor car parking is outside the fences (including a brand new one right next to H Block which is being used in addition to the car park near B & C Blocks). The car park work is ongoing but when finished the extended car park at the bottom of the site next to B & C Blocks won't be big enough on its own for the number of visitors who were there this weekend, so some visitors will have to park near H Block.

Despite the spats between BP and NMOC, when we bought a BP guide book at the BP ticket desk there was a NMOC flyer in the book; NMOC is currently mentioned on the finger posts near the lower car park and the fences protecting the ground works between Hut 1 and the Mansion have a banner pointing the way to NMOC in addition to all the propaganda about the BP developments. Whatever the BP Trust's intentions really are, it doesn't currently look as if they're trying to pretend NMOC isn't there or obstruct access.

We didn't ask any of the volunteers or staff at BP or NMOC about their troubled relationship but it's clear there's general disaffection amongst BP volunteers about the way things are being run, or at least those with time on their hands to chat with their colleagues in full hearing of the visiting public. I also heard one elderly visitor being told that the "new CEO doesn't like chairs" in response to her comment about being unable to take the weight off her feet at various points on the site.

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" Besides, where would the Science Museum put it?"

Probably inside a glass case, like the perfectly-functioning rebuild of the Difference Engine?

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Re: "new CEO doesn't like chairs"

This comment reminds me of the Bursar of the unnamed management college where I worked some 20 years back. He was obsessive about the look of the buildings, mainly the Grade II listed main house, to the point that he didn't want any Emergency Exit signs or fire extinguishers visible because they weren't "contemporary". It was only when it was pointed out these things are a legal requirement that he relented.

One thing he did get his way on was with the refurbishing of the main conference room/lecture theatre. Unable to find a suitable clock to decorate the wall, he decided one was not needed. The first event to take place in the re-opened room was an exam. Which needed a clock on the wall.

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Re: Colossus is in H Block

Andy Taylor wrote:

Finally, the fence has been erected with gates which remain open at present. What happens when they are closed remains to be seen.

I saw we start a tunnel from underneath hut 11.

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Alert

I haz an idea!

Bletchley Park sounds like the ideal place to be compulsory purchased to house the new Alan Turing Institute.

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Coat

Nearly Friday ....

"The trust has erected a fence to stop visitors wandering between the two sites. It is run by Sir John Scarlett, author of the famous dodgy dossier which led to war in Iraq"

I wouldn't trust him to run the fence either ....

More seriously though ... get a room you two.

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Bloody officer class

Ironic given that it's part of that story of how we plucky Brits all pulled together in the war. Not surprising though given the involvement of Scarlett, that pinstriped Poundland knock-off of Field Marshall Haig

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Anonymous Coward

BPU

1. Win war

2. rot, slightly, over many sad years

3. found far-east-friendly university

4. ...

5. p r o f i t

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