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Bletchley Park Gets £4.6 Million Restoration 71

Posted by Soulskill
from the heavy-support dept.
mikejuk writes "Bletchley Park has secured a £4.6 million Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for the establishment of a visitor center dedicated to the World War II Codebreakers. This year saw the unveiling of a new memorial to the Codebreakers in the grounds of Bletchley Park by the Queen. Shortly after her visit, a new fundraising campaign for the restoration of the iconic huts where the code-breaking teams worked was inaugurated, with help and sponsorship from Google. The grant will enable the restoration of Codebreaking Huts 1, 3 and 6, and create a world-class visitor center and exhibition in the currently derelict Block C. The Bletchley Park Trust has launched the 'Action This Day' campaign to raise the match funding now needed."
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Bletchley Park Gets £4.6 Million Restoration

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  • This is a really important bit of our recent history. It would be a shame to let it rot away.
    • by weffew... (954080)

      GCHQ and BT both wanted it turned into a housing estate, albeit for differing reasons.

      • Part of it has been, the site was bigger than it is now but a few years ago part of it was sold to developers, fortunately it was just some open ground, not any of the buildings.
        • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

          Sounds like the southern end of the RARDE Waltham Abbey - it's all under a housing estate and/or commercial sites now. The north end is protected and forms the Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills museum (awesome place to visit, especially if you can get on a walking tour of the restricted access portion)

          • by Tim99 (984437)
            Yes, a great place to visit. I worked there in the 70s. I went back a couple of months ago and did the normal visitor tour - I was surprised by how much had been preserved, lots of wildlife still. The top end by the Test pool is a dragonfly sanctuary.

            They are looking for volunteers http://www.royalgunpowdermills.com/support-us/ [royalgunpowdermills.com]

    • I've never visited the place, but I hope they don't just show the English side though. The great efforts and ingenuity of the German scientists whose work was used by the other team deserves to not be forgotten either.
      • They do show some German artifacts (Enigma and Lorenz encoding machines) but don't go into the German side of things too deeply. IIRC they explain the design of the Enigma to some extent, but Lorenz and its brethren don't get much explanation.
        Of course, much of the success of Bletchley is owed to the lack of ingenuity of the German scientists and the security holes this created, allowing regular breaks into the encrypted traffic.

  • I'm a pacifist, so I basically don't want to think about the darker side of war even when it was necessary evil to ensure the freedom of the children and grandchildren of those who fought in the war.

    So when I see governments acknowledging the contributions of non-combatants in non-violent roles, I have to congratulate them. Bletchley Park mayn't have ended the war, but it certainly made it shorter and less bloody.

    • ... then you're not a true pacifist because thats what most people think. Very few people see war as a laugh. A true pacifist would never advocate war no matter what and would sooner see himself and his entire family tortured and killed than raise an arm in anger. Basically they're simply cowards dressing up their cowardise as a political idiology.

      • by Dominic (3849)

        So Gandhi was a coward?

        • by Viol8 (599362)

          Nice try, but if ghandi and his followers had attempted a violent uprising it would have been a suicide mission that would have resulted in far greater oppression by the british in the long run so he had no choice in the matter.

          • by aiht (1017790)
            So Gandhi was an opportunistic coward?
            • by Viol8 (599362)

              No , Gandhi was someone who was smart enought to realise that being annihilated is not a good way to achieve your goals.

        • Gandhi wasn't a coward but he was certainly no saint

          When pressed on what the Jews should do in response to Hitler he suggested they should all commit suicide.

          When his wife got ill he refused to allow her 'Western' medicine and she died. When he himself got ill he had a rethink and decided that 'Western' medicine wasn't so bad after all.

          Anyone who expects you to wash their feet is probably a bit flawed imho

          Pacifism is not necessarily cowardly but it isn't necessarily ethical either.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I don't anyone would would follow through on their beliefs, to the point of torture, can be called a coward.

      • by diersing (679767)

        I think you're understanding is flawed. There is a difference between non-violence and non-aggression. Just because I think nations should solve their disputes with words rather than bombs doesn't mean I'd willingly welcome a torturous murder of my family. Pacifism allows for self-defense.

      • by digitig (1056110)
        I doubt there are many here would have the courage to see themself and their entire family tortured and killed than rather raise an arm in anger. You might well disagree with that course of action, but to call it cowardice is plain silly.
  • I Wonder if the National Museum of Computing will get any of this ?

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      I Wonder if the National Museum of Computing will get any of this ?

      I think that the huts are part of the National Museum of Computing exhibits, but it will be a grant for a specific purpose

      • There is some overlap; IIRC the Colossus exhibit is part of the NMOC, but confusingly it follows Bletchley's opening hours, rather than the NMOC's more limited hours.

    • No, they don't even get any commission from the Bletchley Trust when they run an event that brings in lots of PAYING visitors. The National Museum of Computing essentially just rents the space as a tenant, despite their efforts being responsible for increasing visitor numbers they get no special recognition from Betchley.
      • by MiggyMan (227116)

        I had this discussion with the guys at the vcf, what makes it worse is that people assume the because bletchly get funding, so do they :(

  • enigma (Score:1, Interesting)

    It is a shame that on their site there is nothing about polish "coders" who in 1932 broke the enigma code and made it available for British and French intelligence... wiki - in December 1932, the Polish Cipher Bureau first broke Germany's military Enigma ciphers. Five weeks before the outbreak of World War II, on 25 July 1939, in Warsaw, they presented their Enigma-decryption techniques and equipment to French and British military intelligence. Thanks to this, during the war, Allied codebreakers were able t
  • U571 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @05:25AM (#37610130)

    i hope they have recognition for the brave crew of U571 and Matthew McConaughey

    • Re:U571 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ledow (319597) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @06:12AM (#37610338) Homepage

      Flamebaiting bastard.

      (As most UK people will know, the movie U-571 is entirely bullshit about how the US captured an Enigma machine from a boat that, in real life, was never involved)

      Wonder how the Yanks would feel about a British movie depicting the Boston Tea Party as a British success...

      • by Tsingi (870990)
        *chortle*

        Don't let Hollywood get you upset. It isn't worth it, only thing they value is cash, they care not a whit for history, patriotism, mom or apple pie. Only what they can get you to pay them money for. If that involves telling a bunch of yanks that they are single handedly saving the world, well, that's what they do.

        That they all believe it is a problem, but the motives are pure capitalism.

      • And the story of how the Brits *did* capture an Enigma from a sinking submarine is told in David Kahn's excellent _Seizing the Enigma_
  • Great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @06:23AM (#37610410)

    Too bad they can't give Alan Turing his life back.

    • Enough with the moaning about Alan Turing already! Yes, he was treated awfully by the British government aftwer WW2, but this has nothing to do with Bletchley; during his tenure at Bletchley Turing was left in peace.
      Also, Bletchley currently houses a memorial and celebrates Turing's invaluable contribution to the codebreaking effort. What more do you want?

      • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

        He got given £50 personally by Churchill too. That was his entire reward for creating the bombes and other contributions.

        • by heroid1a (1898046)
          Not quite as bad as it sounds given that an average house cost £500 at the time (http://www.wwwk.co.uk/culture/housing/index.htm) Perhaps more like £20,000 in current value? (At a guess, ignoring housing bubbles...) Although I do agree his later treatment was appalling : we can only be glad that, in the UK at least, people are generally more tolerant.
  • 4.6 million is how much Chase Manhattan gave to the NYC cops to beat up protesters.

    Is it some kind of magic number?

  • Their website, frankly said, visually sucks. Those YellowHawk people are doing themselves a disservice.

    They don't seem to have a design document done for consistent use of their logo, nor for consistency among visual elements on the pages. There are tons of annoyances, they didn't even do the most trivial things like color correction on the B/W pictures (say on the history page [bletchleypark.org.uk]). I don't claim to be any sort of a highfalutin' designer, but there's a point where things just get too annoying to look at, and a

  • Nothing gets built in England for less than 10 million.
  • Given that the lottery is frequently described as a "tax on people who are bad at math," it is a wonderful irony that this money is going to commemorate some of the most important mathematical work in history.
  • Now that we've decided to renovate the Isle of Kryptos, can we do something about shoring up Greece itself?

It's a naive, domestic operating system without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption.

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