back to article Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

It is a simmering conflict between two rival organisations over how Blighty's rich computing history should be preserved and showcased. Now the ongoing war between Bletchley Park and the National Museum of Computing has claimed its first casualties. Tony Carroll, an elderly volunteer at Bletchley Park, was fired after daring …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Re: I wanted to go.

If you want to see Colossus go to the Computing Museum... its probably more interesting than the rest of Bletchley Park for a Reg reader and costs £5 to get in rather than £15. Or if you just want to see Colossus and not the rest of the Museum it only costs £2.

18
0
MJI
Silver badge

Re: I wanted to go.

Oh well it will be a shorter trip.

Colossus is the thing I would most want to see.

1
0

If ever there was a time for El Reg to launch some campaign journalism, then this might be it. A noble cause to get those short sighted idiots to sort their lives out. Sacking a volunteer for being interesting and ensuring a more complete view of history is given is an absolute joke.

39
0

Unbelievable

When the ceo was asked what he says to those unwilling to subscribe to the wrong decision he's made, he says "thank you for your service". In other words, you're fired. You can't read it any other way. I love the way he says it and then contradicts the reporter who translates this common English phrase for him. He even laughs about it!

If this is who we're putting valuable computing history in the hands of, I am very worried. How long before he removes "unnecessary" exhibits to make way for jam and t-towels, I wonder.

11
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Battle for Bletchley

Statement from Bletchley Park just issued: wow, not even hint of an apology. What this masquerades as is: volunteer steps back into line, will get on with core business, protecting national heritage, stuff the alien outside the gates.

http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/news/v.rhtm/Statement_of_Facts-757580.html

Blimey......

The accusation that Lottery award was based on false facts re Colossus has been avoided, of course. This deserves investigation in my view.

0
0

I don't understand

Can someone explain what has happened here?

I don't understand what the organisations involved are, the connection between them, or what exactly has happened. The article doesn't seem to explain that very well...

0
0

Re: I don't understand

http://www.tnmoc.org/news/news-releases/deciphering-discontent-statement-tnmoc-trustees

Should explain things.

4
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Re: I don't understand

Thanks for the link to the TNMOC trustees' statement. They're paying £100k per year in rent to the Bletchley Park Trust!

The National Musum of Computing needs money, and donations are matched, thanks to a generous donor, up to £1million.

2
0

Re: I don't understand

Thanks, interesting link.

1
0

Re: I don't understand

Thank you for saying this, I thought it was just me.

0
0

umount -f Toys

I go to the National Museum of Computing once a year, largely to see how the ICL2900 is getting along, but because it puts me back in touch with why I love this discipline and trade so much. I usually combine it with a spin around Bletchley Park itself as well, a practice which has given me the privilege of rubbing shoulders with WRENs who worked at BP in the war. Sadly it looks as though my next visit to the NMoC will be just that and no more as I don't want to reward this behaviour; it's childish, spiteful and short-sighted.

14
0
Silver badge

Re: umount -f Toys

re the ICL2900 - we had an ICL at uni - it was a plastic box with a red light and the letters 'HARDWARE FAULT' written on it.

0
2
PJI

total agreement with all the upset above

What is more: we keep being told that we are all ageing and must stay involved, active, working. Then some numbskull careerist, as shown in the film, believes he is being progressive by "moving forward" into denigrating and sacking older volunteers who know more, have done more and are worth infinitely more than his ilk.

Problem is, volunteers of whatever standing have less protection and respect than the worst jobsworth who is employed, even those jobsworths employed with public money.

14
0
Unhappy

Madness

One wonders if Iain Standen would pass a Turing Test.

19
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Madness

Or even a Voight-Kampff test, come to that.

0
0
Silver badge
Stop

A new role

Iain Standen should be made curator of one of the sunken U-boats that surround the UK.

I will supply the lead boots.

15
0

Professional charities, I've never understood it.

13
0

If I can't see the computing, I'm not going there.

In fact I'm now so worried I've missed the boat I may rush there at the weekend before they turn it into some ghastly chrome and glass visitors centre with an animatronic Turing.

2
0
Silver badge

If its the computers you are after you will still be able to go to the national museum of computing...

You just wont be able to see them if you only pay for admission to Bletchley park.

Basically they are two separate things on the same site, pay for one or the other or both, its your call *

* Though because their history is so intertwined it makes no sense to have it like this, but that's the way it is for now

3
0
Anonymous Coward

@RoboJ1M

Although I would be amused to hear what the animatronic Turing would say! If it was any kind of realistic replica, it might be scathing. Turing was no respecter of persons, and did not mince his words or suffer fools gladly.

"His high pitched voice already stood out above the general murmur of well-behaved junior executives grooming themselves for promotion within the Bell corporation. Then he was suddenly heard to say: 'No, I'm not interested in developing a powerful brain. All I'm after is just a mediocre brain, something like the President of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.' (In the Bell Labs cafeteria, New York, 1943)".

- Alan Hodges (Alan Turing: the Enigma of Intelligence, page 251).

3
0
Silver badge
Linux

> Basically they are two separate things on the same site, pay for one or the other or both, its your call *

It's useful to have a heads up either way. It would be a shame to fly across the pond and then schlep all the way up there and miss out because of a misunderstanding fueled by petty politics and the egos of tiny men.

2
0

What would happen if a visitor to BP asked to see Colossus or asked where it was, would the guides deny all knowledge or phyisically prevent them from going to the NMoC?

5
0
Silver badge

They will probably have a picture of it with a plaque under it saying that it was dismantled after the war and failing to mention the rebuilt one just round the corner....

5
0
Silver badge

If my experience in work is anything to go by, yes they would deny all knowledge of it. Then when the CEO/managers back is turned say "oh, it's great, they do a discount on such and such days, the coffee is better than ours, and the tour chaps are great!". :)

3
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

I had the pleasure of having a tour with Tony, and I'm stunned that he's been sacked for effectively giving an overall picture of World War 2 code breaking. Collossus is integral to the story of Bletchley, regardless whether it is part of Bletchley or part of the Museum.

It broke my heart to see that man in tears being told not to come back. The problem is that, as with everything, people get a bit of money when they've had nothing and trample on the people who helped them when they had nothing. I remember when those huts were rotting and they were trying to raise money to refurbish them. Now they have lottery funding, it's all change. I'm disgusted.

I'm planning another trip to Bletchley, but I'm damn sure it won't be to see the Park but to go to the Museum. And any money I may have donated will be going to them, not to the charlatans at Bletchley.

20
0
Anonymous Coward

'I had the pleasure of having a tour with Tony, and I'm stunned that he's been sacked for effectively giving an overall picture of World War 2 code breaking. Collossus is integral to the story of Bletchley, regardless whether it is part of Bletchley or part of the Museum.'

Unfortunately Tony Sale died a few years ago

1
1
Silver badge

Unfortunately Tony Sale died a few years ago

The article is about Tony Carroll, not the late Tony Sale.

1
0
Silver badge

I did mean Tony Carroll. Mr.Sale unfortunately died before I had even heard of Bletchley Park.

1
0
Silver badge

Relationships with the Trust have always been problemmatic - Tony Sale in his time also had major arguments over his work on rebuilding Colossus...

0
0
Silver badge

It's all part of the plan. To sell the area off.

You spend a little money, tinkering with the place. Get rid of its wartime charm, get rid of the people that have a passion for the place. Turn it into a soulless 'info-graphic activity centre' run by teenagers selling expensive crisps and botanical lemonade in the cafe and let the attendance drop and drop.

You then move the big stuff into a single unit re-brand it and then sell/demolish the rest for housing development and make a huge fortune. That's prime London commuter land there!

I'm glad I went 5 years ago before they ruined it. A great day out and I loved talking to the older guys there. Having people that understand what they are talking about rather than just knowing a script is priceless.

I was also shocked they are getting rid of a lot of the huge Churchill memorabilia collection some guy had graciously lent them for years.

Ungrateful *****!

17
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: It's all part of the plan. To sell the area off.

Many of the items on loan are being recovered by the owners.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: It's all part of the plan. To sell the area off.

This is exactly what's happened to Chatsworth since the old Duke died. The new Duke has sold off half the contents of the House, and doubled all the prices. I took a friend there last summer and we were horrified at the prices, and just spent several hours walking around the park instead.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: It's all part of the plan. To sell the area off.

The trouble is that the Trust has already sold off most of the park for housing, leaving only the most significant huts standing. So a visitor today doesn't get the same sense of operational scale as someone who worked there or visited in the 1990's.

1
0

Re: It's all part of the plan. To sell the area off.

If that's the case, why do they call it a "trust"?

Trust: the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: It's all part of the plan. To sell the area off.

"If that's the case, why do they call it a "trust"?"

It's a "trust" because you can trust them to make a profit by selling the family silver.

You can also trust them to walk away relatively unscathed while it all falls assunder.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: It's all part of the plan. To sell the area off.

"DB2DBA

If that's the case, why do they call it a "trust"?

Trust: the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted."

Big argument kicked off in Spalding town in the East Midlands. The Park that was given to the *community/public* under trust of the council that had a *private* football pitch built on it, though arguably still for the "recreation of the community" is now going to be sold to *private* stores and supermarkets for "the recreation of the community". Of cause, the funds for the sale of a *publicly entrusted* property is going to the council.

So sadly, they seem to find a way to ruin the parks and attractions, even when lawfully protected.

2
0
Silver badge

That was not nice

That was unpleasant viewing.

Its dumb to get rid of the knowledgeable old guys who are genuinely enthusiastic about what they show anyway, they're usually the best tour guides, and hell if its a charity then surely them working for free is a good thing?

But to do it like that to the guy says you have to be a complete fucking wanker as well.

26
0

Re: That was not nice

"knowledgeable old guys" (and gals).

They are made of stern stuff. They lived through a war or two. You can't buy that kind of training.

10
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Take a look at the Twit feed - @BParkCEO

Apparently, it's all crossed wires and misinterpretation by the BBC.

Looks like back peddling Partridge style to me.

"Get rid of Pat!"

2
0

This post has been deleted by its author

WTF?

Re: Take a look at the Twit feed - @BParkCEO

He seems to think he's the victim - he's invoking Martin Luther King

https://twitter.com/BParkCEO/status/423374859130122240/photo/1/large

1
0

A solid effort . . .

But it looks like the nazi's won in the long run.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Managers stopped managing years ago

Now it's simply a case of do what I say.

3
0

Fire a volunteer? What?

How do you fire a volunteer?

Isn't there a part of volunteering that is, well, voluntary? As opposed to being obligued to show up and put up as an employee?

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Fire a volunteer? What?

A good point, what would they do if he started turning up every day, paying £15 admission and giving *FREE* tours...

He could start a small business sitting outside the gate with a sign, "Pay for me to come in, buy me a tea and Ill tell you the *REAL* story".

Personally Id rather take him in than some 17 year old from the local college who thinks that that Steve Jobs invented computers in 1999....

9
0
Silver badge

What? I thought Bletchley === Nation Computing Museum.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

What? I thought Bletchley === Nation Computing Museum.

I always thought the same soI was quite confused when I looked up details about visitng and found two different websites with different prices/opening times/etc. In the end didn't go put intend to some time soon ... though all this coverage has clarified that its probably the Computing Museum bit that I actually want to go to.

0
0
Silver badge

Phone them, tell them what you think

I just did (01908 640404), I had been asked to organise an outing there - but it will prob not happen, there now seems to be little point.

3
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018