Had a trip down to see Martyn and Em the other week and ended up having a day trip out to Bletchley Park, home of the code breakers during World War II. This is the place where the Enigma code was decoded, and the worlds first programmable computer was produced, Colossus, which has been lovingly rebuilt from eight war time photos and some illegally kept partial circuit diagrams. (It was in England, not America, that the first computer was built. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!) Well worth a trip to see, especially if you are in to computers or anything from the WWII era. There are collections of Churchill memorabilia (one couple’s personal collection, put on show for everyone), cinematography, and other similar things. Also, the stately house is open for wanderings which may interest people too
Also, getting started at Bletchley Park, is the National Museum of Computing. It isn’t quite ready for the public yet, but Martyn, being of geek persuasion, wanted to volunteer which meant we got a private guided tour around what was happening behind the scenes. The plans that they have for the place look rather impressive, including a room dedicated to british computing. It looks like there may well be quite a bit of hands on exhibits too, including all the home computers running classic games for you to play. I’m going to make a list of all my old computers (including a very old Compaq luggable) to see if I can make any donations. Not holding my breath, but if I can get rid of a couple of items to a good home that will make me happy!
So, if you are ever in the area and want a good day out it is well worth the trip. You can go back at any point within a year of your first visit for free too which I think we probably will do when the computer museum opens.