Nick Miers (1942-2019)

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John Nicholas (Nick) Miers, a volunteer at TNMOC has passed away. An inspiring and very knowledgeable guide in the Tunny and Colossus Galleries, he is fondly remembered by trustees, staff, fellow volunteers and visitors at the Museum.

Tributes by Andrew Herbert, Justin Miers and Kevin Coleman

Andrew Herbert, chairman of TNMOC, writes:

Nick Miers was a very knowledgeable specialist guide in the Colossus and Tunny galleries and much appreciated by museum personnel and visitors alike. He had a presence, as the photo of him in the Colossus Gallery clearly demonstrates, and he was always keen to help in whatever way he could. Nick was an exemplar volunteer, guide and colleague and he will be very greatly missed by the many people who came to know him at the Museum.

Justin Miers, Nick Miers' son, writes:

Born in 1942 during some of the Second World War’s darkest days, who would have thought that towards the end of his life Nick Miers would become a guide at one of Britain’s best kept secrets until recent times, Bletchley Park and The National Museum of Computing. An area of British Secret History relatively unknown to the population, the dedicated guides have brought its history into the open, and Nick Miers was one of them.

In the late 1940’s Nick Miers as a young boy travelled with his parents and younger sister to live in Vancouver, Canada. Whilst there another sister was born but for various reasons they returned to the UK and eventually to Horsham in Sussex. Following his schooling at St Johns School in Leatherhead, Nick went to Paris and Madrid to learn French and Spanish, respectively, before he started a career in the City as an Insurance Broker in Lloyds of London. This took him far across the world, in particular to sub-Saharan Africa and South America, where his language skills became especially useful, and also to Russia, the USA and continental Europe.

During the late 1960’s in London, Nick met Prudence and they were married in Sherrington, Bucks in 1970. Living in London initially they found a house in Harrold that became their home to this day. They had three children Justin, Caroline and Camilla.

Whilst working in London, Nick commuted by train from either Bedford or Wellingborough, making friends with other commuters - friends he would continue to socialise with locally.

Suffering some health issues, Nick retired from the London commute and began guiding at Bletchley Park in the late 1990s. Guiding became a passion for him - he learned learn from and met others who were dedicated to the survival of Bletchley Park and for what its wartime workers had achieved. Almost nothing stopped him from attending regularly to guide others at the Park.

Back at home, Nick doted on his six grandchildren of ages ranging from 4 months to 18 years of age, proving that he had not lost his touch being a fatherly and grandfatherly figure to his family. He spent many hours working on his garden, sometimes looking for butterflies, another passion for him, and in recent years regaining his interest in travel. Returning to France and Italy, where he once visited for work, his Italian daughter-in-law showed him around the Dolomites and South Tyrol, where as a younger man he often drove through the Brenner Pass to work.

Nick was a well-known and popular man locally. If you were to visit a pub with him up to ten miles of Harrold, it was likely he would be known by someone and conversation would begin. Either way he would make friends and leave his usual lasting impression.

In 2017 and 2018, Nick finally made it to Singapore for the F1 Grand Prix and to explore some of the historical sites. He was born in the year (1942) when Singapore was surrendered to the Japanese, so the Battle Box and Hotel Fort Canning, headquarters of the British Military at that time, were visiting experiences he would never forget -- and where there was a room of equipment that he knew all about!

Nick will be sorely missed by Prudence, his children and grandchildren, and all that came to know him.

TNMOC volunteer Kevin Coleman writes:

I believe that Nick first came to the park through Joan Draper, wife of Ken Draper who ran the projected picture trust in the old teleprinter room building part of E Block. Nick met Joan through some voluntary work at a local hospital and she also volunteered at BP and that is how Nick first came to the Park in the 1990s. He did vast amounts of learning research and became a tour guide at the park.

I first came to the Park in 2004 when I donated some equipment (creed 444 teleprinters) and I was given a tour by Nick Miers - he left a lasting impression on me . I came back to the Park several times and attended some of the monthly lectures in where I again met Nick again. Nick suggested that I ask to train to become a much-needed Bletchley Park tour guide. I did and Nick was assigned as my mentor. He taught me many great things about being a guide with the key point being that it was not about us, it was all about the Park. Nick was a true inspiration to me and I saw the impression he made on visitors. He taught me to put my own spin and style to my tours alongside the key information that was essential to understanding the Park's history.

I became good friends with Nick over time and we both moved to TNMOC to guide tours in the Tunny and Colossus galleries.

Funeral arrangements
The funeral service for Nick Miers will be held at St Peter’s Church, Harrold, Beds MK43 7DG on Monday 11 March 2019 at 12 noon.
Suggested parking: Hall Close or the Harrold Country Park – car park)
Following a private burial, there will be a reception for all to be held at the United Reform Church, 120 High Street Harrold, Beds MK437BJ (parking along the High Street)
Family flowers only. please; donations to Macmillan Cancer Support are welcomed and made to: c/o Arnolds Funeral Service, 48 Roff Avenue, Bedford MK41 7TE, Tel: 01234 359529

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