EdwinJ85
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Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:15 pm

Apologies if this has already been covered, but the feud between the Bletchley Park Trust and The National Museum of Computing has made my blood boil of late.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5n9eVVtKeA

Has anybody else heard about this? I've been to a Jam there, I had no idea the treatment of those lovely volunteers was so poor. :(
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johndough
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:55 pm

EdwinJ85 wrote:Apologies if this has already been covered, but the feud between the Bletchley Park Trust and The National Museum of Computing has made my blood boil of late.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5n9eVVtKeA

Has anybody else heard about this? I've been to a Jam there, I had no idea the treatment of those lovely volunteers was so poor. :(
Hi

YES; we have and we are disgusted.

My wife and I have visited Bletchley Park and enjoyed it and the Computer museum. Fascinated by the Churchill museum as well.

I was considering helping out at the Computer Museum, but decided I live too far away to be a useful volunteer.

Now I don't even want to re-visit.

Ravenous
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:25 pm

Just be aware that they have a very different version of the story on their web site...

http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/news/v. ... 55840.html

...just saying.

EdwinJ85
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:53 pm

I can see that side of it, but they don't own those computers and so it would be wrong for them to relocate them without the explicit approval of the TNMOC. Ignoring that for a moment, none of that statement makes up for firing knowledgeable volunteers with decades of irreplaceable experience and knowledge because they took people to see the WHOLE exhibit, not just the shiny new bits.

Why is 90 minutes so much worse than 60? Movies last longer!

Please note I am not having a go at any person, the situation just makes me upset. :(
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scruss
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:09 pm

Ouch. The next issue of the Computer Conservation Society bulletin may get a bit ugly.
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mikerr
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:21 pm

for balance the museums side:
http://www.tnmoc.org/news/news-releases ... c-trustees

Bletchley Park Trust (BPT) owns the buildings (and got an £8 million lottery funds to renovate),
and aim to separate themselves from the Museum cutting it off the tour
to the point we have now - volunteers aren't allowed to take tours from one site to the other,
gates have been erected between those buildings, and museum tickets aren't allowed to be sold inside main Bletchley park buildings

National Museum of Computing rents a large building onsite from them (for £100k/yr)
(in fact its building H where colossus was originally housed, BPT was going to knock it down...)
You have to go into the museum to see the Colossus rebuild...

You can always just pay £5 and go into the musuem alone (and miss Bletchley park buildings for the extra £15)
http://www.zdnet.com/national-computer- ... 000025636/

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duberry
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:15 am

no !
it's news to me .. sounds a bit awkward situation .
Thank's for the links
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hippy
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:02 pm

It can always be fraught when two entities have different visions for how things should be. Locally to me there is a tennis club with their facilities in a park which the council proposes to redevelop which is causing similar conflict and acrimony.

Unfortunately humanity seems poorly equipped to resolve such issues. It is usually whoever has the most clout who prevails, he who shouts loudest. What we call 'democracy' is often just a glorified version of mob rule.

Both sides appear to have legitimate points in their favour so we can only hope they can find some way to work together rather than against each other.

blc
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:30 pm

My partner and I visited Bletchley Park and TNMOC some time last year; I don't think the Colossus rebuild was fully complete, but the hut was open and it was part of the tour (as was Tunny). We wandered round on our own at first and visited most of the exhibits, including Colossus and TNMOC. After we were done we decided to join one of the official tours. We did end up going round the same exhibits again, but I am so very glad we decided to join one of the tours. Our guide actually worked there during the war and was so helpful and knowledgeable. He didn't just give a pre-written spiel and be done with it, he understood the importance of the site and all the work that went on there and told the story in an incredibly eloquent fashion. He also made my partner and I look like a pair of asses when started speaking to us in fluent Welsh and we had to admit that despite being Welsh neither of us actually speaks the language!

Of course there are two sides to every story, and in one way I do understand the decision to reduce the length of the tour. You do hike across the site quite a lot; that isn't a problem for me, but I can understand how that might be difficult for the elderly or those with mobility difficulties. It does however mean that they can neatly avoid TNMOC and Colossus and instead usher you towards their hideously expensive cafe, or the planned exhibit about the history of cyber-security which is sponsored by McAfee. By the way Edward Snowden and the NSA aren't important at all in the history of cyber security so they won't be featured in the McAfee exhibit, and who really wants to peer at some crusty old computer from nearly 7 decades ago that played such an important role in turning the tide of such a significant conflict. But hey, if you're not open to change, there's the door.

TNMOC has had a really rough deal from Bletchley Park and this latest spat could well be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Volunteers worked hard to salvage large portions of the site from a planned housing development, but now Bletchley Park seems to want to give TNMOC the same treatment (albeit without any demolition).

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poglad
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:40 pm

A large part of the problem, AFAIC, is that the Bletchley Park "Trust" have received lottery funding and have money to spend on renovation and salaries regardless of how they choose to go about it. They're not under any obligation to consider the wishes of TNMOC or the visiting public. As long as they fulfil their business plan and get their recognition, it's "job done".

Ravenous
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:53 pm

Well they might allege the BP Trust described TNMOC's facilities as their own when applying for the Lottery money, without permission:
http://www.tnmoc.org/news/news-releases ... itage-site

...but without seeing the wording I suppose we'll never know, and even the release I list above isn't precise in its wording.

It would be pretty ironic if everything's so secretive nobody can find the original application...

Just speaking as an interested bystander (though will probably never donate to either side after this.)

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morphy_richards
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:18 pm

It's a shame. I got ICT removed from the school curriculum and replaced with Computing. Have got lots of kids up and down the school enthused and have just started a GCSE project programming encryption ... I was looking forward to taking my disadvanategd and misunderstood geeky east end youths on a field trip to a none slick, unstreamlined experience where someone slightly scruffy and with an impressive beard would enthusiastically engage with them about encryption and it's history in a way that money cant buy.

But I suppose I will have to make do with a pamphlet and audio tour :(

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meltwater
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:43 pm

From the time I went a long time ago as a kid (when the computer museum was part of the tour) I recall that the whole thing was as boring as hell (to a kid)...until we got to the computer museum.

We've never considered going back since we looked at the ticket prices and decided it wasn't worth it, not knowing the museum was accessible separately. Might reconsider now, and probably a bonus that the rest of it isn't included!

It is hard to determine who is the problem party in the issue, I suspect a little of both, although there appears to be more information available about what has been done against the computer museum rather than the other way. It is sad really since the whole place is there because of the drive towards peace.

A side note:
Interesting about the welsh thing, because my old neighbour was involved with radio tracking, and he spoke welsh even though he had never lived there (no one else locally spoke it so it was a local joke that it wasn't welsh at all - probably didn't convince people because he'd talk to the dog in it). Wonder if there is some kind of welsh underground linked with the codebreakers (perhaps Germans can't speak welsh due to the sounds you need to make).
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Ravenous
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Re: Did anybody hear about Bletchley Park

Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:57 pm

meltwater wrote:Wonder if there is some kind of welsh underground linked with the codebreakers
Hmm, Q in the first Bond movies was Welsh - and was going to use his normal accent until the Director decided against it on his first day. (Apparently).

You want tenuous links, we've got 'em.

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