"Deciphering dissent" at Bletchley Park. TNMOC trustees' statement.

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Following the BBC TV and radio reports on 24 January 2014 on "deciphering dissent" at Bletchley Park, the trustees of The National Museum of Computing make the following statement:

The National Museum of Computing is an independent charity on the Bletchley Park estate. It occupies Block H, a hugely significant part of Bletchley Park since it is the home of Colossus and the world's first purpose-built computer centre. For these premises TNMOC must pay to the Bletchley Park Trust very substantial rent and utilities amounting to more than £100,000 per year.

TNMOC is very much opposed to the fragmentation of Bletchley Park currently being undertaken by the Bletchley Park Trust. One facet of this fragmentation is the removal of TNMOC's Colossus and Tunny Galleries from Bletchley Park Trust tours and the isolation of historic Block H. TNMOC trustees are disappointed that the Colossus Rebuild is not to be interpreted to the public as an integral part of the Bletchley Park story as envisaged in the Bletchley Park Trust's successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

Our records show that the numbers of Bletchley Park visitors coming to Block H to see the Colossus Rebuild are declining as a direct result of Bletchley Park Trust actions. Today most Bletchley Park Trust visitors miss the key experience of seeing the Colossus Rebuild and the Tunny machine in action and thereby miss out on key working exhibits representing the outstanding pinnacle of the World War II code-breaking story.

Negotiations with the Bletchley Park Trust to achieve a fair and equitable financial arrangement to give all Bletchley Park fee-paying visitors access to Colossus and Tunny have proved exceedingly difficult. The Bletchley Park Trust's current action to erect gates and barriers between its own display area and Block H will almost certainly prove divisive.

TNMOC wants to see the whole Bletchley Park site reach its full potential in honour of the men and women who worked at Bletchley Park during World War II. This can be achieved by ensuring that all stakeholders are properly consulted and represented in the revitalisation of the conservation area that constitutes the whole of Bletchley Park. The need for change, sensitively managed and involving all stakeholders, is essential to ensure the future of a vibrant Bletchley Park which will be inspiring for young people and future generations.

About The National Museum of Computing

The National Museum of Computing, located on Bletchley Park, is an independent charity housing the world's largest collection of functional historic computers, including the rebuilt Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer, and the WITCH, the world's oldest working digital computer. The Museum enables visitors to follow the development of computing from the ultra-secret pioneering efforts of the 1940s through the large systems and mainframes of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and the rise of personal computing in the 1980s and beyond.

A recent pledge by an individual benefactor of £1 million if matched funding is found means that every pound or dollar donated to the Museum will count double. Previous funders of the Museum have included Bletchley Park Capital Partners, CreateOnline, Ceravision, InsightSoftware.com, Google UK, PGP Corporation, IBM, NPL, HP Labs, BCS, and 4Links.

The whole Museum is currently open to the public on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon, spring and summer Bank Holidays and increasingly during school holidays. Colossus and Tunny galleries are open almost every day. Guided tours are available at 2.30pm on Tuesdays. There are often additional opening times for the public -- see the website or the iPhone app for updates. Educational and corporate groups are very welcome and may be on any day or evening by prior arrangement.

For more information, see www.tnmoc.org and follow @tnmoc on Twitter and The National Museum of Computing on Facebook and Google+. A TNMOC iPhone App is also now available from the iPhone App Store.

Media Contacts
Stephen Fleming
Palam Communications
t +44 (0) 1635 299116
e s.fleming@palam.co.uk

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