Colossus gallery donors' special viewing

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An audience of Colossusonline donors, TNMOC members and the Flowers family gathered at TNMOC on Thursday evening for a special viewing of progress in the ongoing refurbishment of the Colossus Gallery. They were treated to a glimpse of Tommy Flowers' 1944 diary, some previously unseen footage of the late Tony Sale and to a marvellous animation by a school pupil about The Life of Tommy Flowers.

Most had not seen the gallery since before the refurbishment began and were therefore and delighted at being able to walk around Colossus and read the first display boards that have been installed.

Anyone can contribute to help complete the Gallery in a variety of ways:

The Flowers' family has given TNMOC access to some of the effects of Tommy Flowers, including his 1944 diary which gives fascinating brief glimpses of progress with the Colossus computer intertwined with aspects of his day-to-day life at the time.

The unbroadcast BBC footage of the late Tony Sale telling the story of Colossus and the rebuild brought back fond memories for many who had heard Tony give similar presentations during his lifetime. Tony used to pride himself on being "One-take Tony" -- and indeed so it was for his seven-minute BBC presentation filmed just a few weeks before his death in August 2011. It is hoped that this presentation will eventually be available in the completed Colossus Gallery in TNMOC.

Another highlight of the evening was an award-winning short animation of The Life of Tommy Flowers made by the then 10-year-old Isabel D'Cruz. Isabel, who made the video in March this year, won the KS2 category of Animation12 at the University of Manchester in July. Kenneth Flowers, son of Tommy Flowers, was delighted with the video and presented a surprised Isabel with a Colossus valve and paper tape on behalf of TNMOC.

There was also a preview clip from a video interview specially commissioned by TNMOC featuring codebreaker Capt Jerry Roberts talking about the complexity of Tunny and the work of the Testery and the Newmanry (two "tribes" of linguists and mathematicians who although they spoke different languages were able to work together extraordinarily well to decrypt Tunny messages sent by German High Command during World War II).

Andy Clark, Chair of Trustees, warmly thanked donors to the Colossus Gallery refurbishment, the Colossus Gallery refurbishment team and TNMOC staff and volunteers. He paid particular tribute to the work of fellow trustee and Deputy Chair Tim Reynolds who is leading the fundraising appeal which has already reached two-thirds of its target.

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