WiTT’s September 2022 event was a private tour of Bletchley Park, once the top-secret home of the World War Two Codebreakers (many of whom were women), is now a museum and vibrant heritage attraction. In 1987, after a 50-year association with British Intelligence, the Park was closed. There were moves to demolish the site to create a housing development and supermarket. In 1991 the Bletchley Archaeological and Historical Society formed a small committee with the aim of saving Bletchley Park in tribute to the remarkable people whose collective intellects changed the course of WW2. In 1992, the committee persuaded Milton Keynes Council to declare most of Bletchley Park a conservation area.
Our day out featured a talk from Professor Sue Black OBE, Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist at Durham University, a digital skills expert, social entrepreneur, consultant and international keynote speaker. Sue’s first book, Saving Bletchley Park, tells the story of her successful campaign to save one of the UK’s most important sites of historical significance.
WiTT encourages everyone to read Sue’s inspirational book, which weaves together the story of Bletchley Park’s key role in WW II — and in the development of computers and programming — and Sue’s account of her campaign to save the site, and to bring Alan Turing’s papers to Bletchley.
Please also consider supporting Sue’s current mission, #techmums. #techmums runs programs and initiatives designed to help mothers become more familiar with technology, and to be confident and excited about using tech in their personal, professional, and parenting lives. #techmums has a vision of reaching one million mums and igniting potential not only in these women, but in their families and communities as well. You can learn more and donate here: https://techmums.co
Based on our group’s visit, it would seem safe to say that the campaign to save Bletchley Park was successful. On the last Friday of summer before the end of the school holidays the park, Mansion House, and renovated huts were buzzing with visitors.