Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/1999/06/10/bt_saves_station_x/

BT saves Station X for exploitation

Home of world's first electronic computer at last to become tourist trap

By Tony Smith

Posted in Business, 10th June 1999 14:57 GMT

Bletchley Park, site of the British successful attempts to crack Nazi cyphers during World War 2 and old stomping ground of this reporter, is finally destined to become a crypto theme park. Today, Bletchley Park Trust chairman Sir Philip Duncombe announced that British Telecom and land-owning quango Pace have saved the site for the Nation from the clutches of the local authority, Milton Keynes District Council. Milton Keynes, famous for its cornflake box school of architecture and possessor of one of the highest young male suicide rates in the country, had considered turning the home of the world's first electronic computer into prime development land. However, thanks to funding from BT and Pace, the Bletchley Park Trust will be able to buy the site and turn it into a major heritage centre. BT and Pace will own the site, originally known by its codename, Station X, and lease it for a 250-year period to the Trust. While we welcome the preservation of this important national -- nay, international -- monument, we can't help be worried by the dreaded phrase 'heritage centre'. If it's anything like most such locations in the tourist-tempting British Isles, visitors can expected to be hawked Alan Turing Towel Sets, Wolfpacks of Biscuits, Bletchley Baseball Hats, Colossus Cream Teas, the Admiral Doenitz Bouncy Castle and other such tat. ® See also Microsoft denies Gates to fund UK computing museum Statue of Turing spurned by US IT giants