Feeds

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

Trust and Museum still at odds

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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 codebreaking machine.

The letter was signed by all of the museum's head trustees as well as Margaret Sale, the widow of renowned Colossus rebuild team leader Tony Sale.

Their missive was in response to an article in which the Trust claimed it had offered TNMoC a “very generous” joint ticket offer. The two groups have been at loggerheads due to the Trust's refusal to allow visitors to see both sites for the price of one entry fee.

TNMoC trustees wrote:

At first sight, single-ticketing seemed to be a major step forward in relations between the two, but the offer included a section implicitly questioning the ownership of the Colossus Rebuild.

The National Museum of Computing could not accept a deal with such an unnecessary and provocative statement. The working rebuild of Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer, which cracked the most complex cipher of the Second World War and altered the course of the war, is the highlight of most people’s visit to Bletchley Park. The Colossus Rebuild has been maintained and displayed by the museum for many years through a long-term agreement with Colossus Rebuild Limited.

The “good deal” also failed to recompense the museum adequately for making the Colossus Rebuild available free of charge to Bletchley Park Trust visitors for many years despite calls by the museum since 2008 for fair recompense in the form of a rent and utilities discount. The Computing Museum faced an annual bill of more than £100,000 in rent and utilities from Bletchley Park Trust.

We hope that the Board of BPT will agree to an independent review so that the full facts can be addressed by third parties and the situation finally resolved so that a globally important heritage site can be an inspiration for future generations.

Colossus was the world's first programmable computer and was used to crack the notorious Lorenz cypher, helping the Allies towards an eventual victory.

It is housed in TNMoC, which is based in a hut on the grounds of Bletchley Park.

The Bletchley Park Trust is run by Sir John Scarlett, author of the famous dodgy dossier which led to war in Iraq.

The trust has erected a fence to stop visitors wandering between the two sites.

A person close to the situation at TNMoC sent us a copy of the letter. He said he was sick of the "willy waving" and called upon both sides to reach an amicable settlement. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.