Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Action this Day. Here's how to help Bletchley Park

With the wonderful news that Bletchley Park has been awarded £4.6m in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund there's a follow up appeal. The lottery funding comes with a condition to raise £1.7m in matching funding. You can help make that happen by donating.

Bletchley Park has a donation page here. For folks in the UK a simple text message to 70070 in the form BPRK99 £x where x is the number of pounds you want to donate is a fast way to do it. It works, I just did it.

Bletchley Park matters in many ways:

1. The history of the Second World War was dramatically changed by the intellectual warriors that worked there. The most well known is, of course, Alan Turing, but Station X (as it was known) was filled with interesting, odd, intelligent characters who read the secret correspondence of the Nazis from the lowly soldier in the field to the high command.

2. Bletchley Park has a strong claim to being a big part of the computer revolution. Turing, of course, was there, but also the incredibly fast Colossus machine was built for electronic code breaking.

3. The Bletchley Park site houses Britain's National Museum of Computing and the National Radio Centre.

This money will preserve the history of the site, and enable it to grow into a real museum and attraction. Today, the sorry state of the buildings and the lack of funding for the educational aspects means that Bletchley Park is forced to turn away schools wishing to plan visits.

As the computer has now become such an important part of our lives, and as the Second World War's outcome is the foundation for modern Europe, Bletchley Park is truly worth preserving.

When Alan Turing wrote to Winston Churchill asking for help in speeding up the cracking of codes at Bletchley Park by providing more resources, Churchill wrote on the memo: "Action this day! Make sure they have all they want on extreme priority and report to me that this had been done".

Let's make sure that the current staff of Bletchley Park have what they need to make it the must see destination outside London.

No comments: