Bletchley Parkcomputing dictionary

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A country house and grounds some 50 miles North of London, England, where highly secret work deciphering intercepted German military radio messages was carried out during World War Two. Thousands of people were working there at the end of the war, including a number of early computer pioneers such as Alan Turing.

The nature and scale of the work has only emerged recently, with total secrecy having been observed by all the people involved. Throughout the war, Bletchley Park produced highly important strategic and tactical intelligence used by the Allies, (Churchill's "golden eggs"), and it has been claimed that the war in Europe was probably shortened by two years as a result.

An exhibition of wartime code-breaking memorabilia, including an entire working Colossus, restored by Tony Sale, can be seen at Bletchley Park on alternate weekends.

The Computer Conservation Society (CCS), a specialist group of the British Computer Society runs a museum on the site that includes a working Elliot mainframe computer and many early minicomputers and microcomputers. The CCS hope to have substantial facilities for storage and restoration of old artifacts, as well as archive, library and research facilities.

Telephone: Bletchley Park Trust office +44 (908) 640 404 (office hours and open weekends).

(01 Apr 1998)

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