Bletchley Park’s ‘irreparable decay’

Bletchley Park is in danger of ‘irreparable decay’ unless the Government steps in, warns 97 leading scientists in a letter to a national newspaper.

Professors and heads of department warn that ‘the ravages of age and a lack of investment’ have left Bletchley looking ‘like a garden shed that’s been left for 60 years’, according to Sue Black, head of the Department of Information and Software Systems at the University of Westminster and one of the organisers of the letter.

Bletchley Park – the centre of code-breaking that helped win the Second World War, and now open to the public – should be made the home of a national museum of computing, according to the letter.

The letter says: ‘Without fundamental support, Bletchley Park is still under threat, this time from the ravages of age and a lack of investment.’

The letter was signed by, among others: Professor Keith van Rijsbergen, the chairman of this year’s Research Assessment Exercise, computer science and informatics sub-panel; Professor Bill Roscoe, the director of Oxford University’s computing laboratory; Professor Jean Bacon, of Cambridge University’s computer laboratory; Professor Ian Sommerville, of the University of St Andrews; and Professor Robert Churchouse, of Cardiff University.

‘As a nation we cannot allow this crucial and unique piece of both British and world heritage to be neglected in this way,’ says the letter. ‘The future of the site, buildings, resources and equipment at Bletchley Park must be preserved for future generations.’

Dr Black said: ‘I don’t think people realise what a state it’s in, despite the best efforts of the people looking after it.’

The letter warns that Bletchley Park is in danger of ‘irreparable decay’, and calls for the Government to step in and help.

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