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Bletchley Park's Bitter Dispute Over Its Future 99

Posted by timothy
from the all-things-to-all-people dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Tensions are high at Bletchley Park between the new management who want a 21st century installment and the volunteers who want to show the whole story (and get dismissed for doing so). This report [Note: video, with sound] is from the BBC: 'The groundbreaking intelligence work carried out at Bletchley Park during the second world war was credited with bringing forward the end of the conflict. In 2011 the site was awarded a £4.6m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). But Bletchley is currently in the throes of a bitter dispute, between owners who want to create a brand new visitors centre, and volunteers who have been working on the site for years.'"
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Bletchley Park's Bitter Dispute Over Its Future

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  • Loss of memorabilia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by martin (1336) <maxsec.gmail@com> on Sunday January 26, 2014 @10:37AM (#46072543) Journal

    Oh that explains why all the memorabilia has gone since we visited 5 years ago and last year.

    Very sad that this of the park has gone, it really helps the younger ones to see things in context with the work that went on there, seeing real life artifacts such as toys and the scenes from the time.

    Also explains why we cant buy 1 ticket at the entrance for both the Park and the Computing museum with Colossus etc inside it.

    Again all very sad that they cant get this joined up to work together, moss other places are putting on living history stuff and BP is pulling it all out.

  • by umafuckit (2980809) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @11:08AM (#46072763)

    One of my most favorite museums in the world used to be the Science Museum in London, then I visited it and discovered the steam engine in the entrance doesn't run, the ship model gallery has been sent to storage never to be seen again to be replaced with a gift shop, I couldn't find the working Babbage engine section, in fact basically every display I wanted to see was gone and replaced by junk.

    These so called "modernized" displays are nothing better than what you could read online, I want to go to a museum to see *actual* history, not to see a cartoon representation of a simplified version of history that assumes I am a moron.

    I get where you're coming from, but don't you think you're being a little harsh? The Babbage difference engine and the steam engine are both there, as I recall. They may not be working, but they're present. Possibly the museum can't afford the maintenance if the exhibit is in motion. That doesn't mean the science isn't on display, though. I know this is why H4 isn't running at the Greenwhich observatory: it would wear out fairly soon if it was allowed to keep running.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @11:22AM (#46072847)

    Similar experience with the Birmingham Science Museum, in my youth it had seemingly acres of operational industrial machinery, mercury arc rectifiers, van-de-graff generators, an operational beam engine, a steam train and Fresnel lighthouse lens (presumably not native to Brum) and countless other such well oiled triumphs of human ingenuity,

    They closed it in '97 and replaced it some years later with the shockingly poor substitute that is Think Tank / Millennium point. Basically they scrapped 3/4th of the exhibits, replaced them with much easier and cheaper to curate "social history" (this is still allegedly a science museum) and started charging a small fortune to get in. It really upsets me that the closest my own children will ever get to the sights, sounds and delicious machine oil smells of our true industrial history is the occasional steam rally.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @12:10PM (#46073109)

    How quickly we forget.

    As recently as 2008, Bletchley Park was on the edge of financial ruin. The thing that saved it was the new management, who increased visitor numbers and therefore revenue. Had they not done that, this most historic site would be blocks of flats now.

    The people running Bletchley Park today are, for the most part, the exact same people who saved it. If you've actually been to Bletchley Park recently, you'll know that you simply can't run it the way it was being run AND accommodate 2-3 times as many visitors. The tours had to be streamlined, and the collections rationalised. You really think most people go to Bletchley Park to see a model railway and a collection of Winston Churchill tea towels?

    There's much more to this story than the BBC report suggests. The fact that the BBC has removed it from their web site after less than 24 hours should be your first clue that all is not as it seems.

    This is pure rubbish, reg the blocks of flats.
    That issue was in the 90s and BP was then saved... Yes *surprise* by the hard work of volunteers!

    And yes... There is more to the BBC story... Tony isn't the first or last who got sacked. The truth will come out eventually.

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