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Saving Bletchley Park

The story of the saving of the home of modern computing by Sue Black

This book is published, but you can still pledge for rewards!

  • https://unbound.com/books/saving-bletchley-park
Saving Bletchley Park cover

The Synopsis

This is a story about saving Bletchley Park, one of the UK’s most important sites of historical significance. It begins with Alan Turing and the team of codebreakers who worked there during World War II, and it ends with plans to transform it into the world class heritage and education centre it deserves to be. In between is the story of the hundreds of people who have dedicated years of hard work and determination to save it.

This is also a story about technology, and how it can be employed to extraordinary effect. Bletchley Park was the birthplace of the modern computer – 70 years later, this technology enabled a social media campaign that helped to secure Bletchley Park’s long term future. That same technology will also help to fund this book – a fitting testament to the achievements of this remarkable team of computing pioneers.

In this book, you’ll learn about some of the mysterious work that took place at Bletchley Park, and the significance this had to the outcome of World War II. You’ll also find out about Alan Turing – technology pioneer, mathematical genius and one of the most remarkable Britons who ever lived. It’s also the story of the thousands of women who worked at Bletchley Park – an inspiration for the growing number of women working in the field of computing and technology.

But what this book is mostly about is the 20 years of campaigning to save Bletchley Park by hundreds of extraordinary people, and how casually it seems that some of our most significant historical sites can be swept away to make room for housing estates or supermarkets. It’s a book about campaigners, veterans, enthusiasts and computer geeks, as well as Twitter, trees, and Stephen Fry stuck in a lift.

On more than one occasion Bletchley Park has been in the shadow of bulldozers, but it still stands as a testament to those who worked there during World War II, and those who have tirelessly campaigned to save it. During the many years that Bletchley Park’s future has hung in the balance, the campaign has been kept alive by the unerring belief that something so significant to our wartime victory in 1945 should be preserved for future generations.

The journey has been over 70 years in the making, and it makes for a really quite extraordinary story. In this book, I’m going to attempt to tell it.

10% of all profits from this project will go to Bletchley Park.

The Excerpt

All the best adventure stories have a catalyst - the defining moment that provides the spark that ignites the fuse that blows the plot wide open. For my adventure, the turning point was 3rd February 2009.

Read more...

The Reviews

This book has 1 review with an average rating of 5 stars.

This evening I finally had time to finish reading 'Saving Bletchley Park', the new book by my friend Dr Sue Black OBE. It's a book I can thoroughly recommend, especially if you are the slightest bit interested in using social media to power a campaign. On one level this is an illustrated masterclass... (read more)

The Author

Sue Black is a Senior Research Associate in the Software Systems Engineering group in the the Department of Computer Science at University College London and and Founder of The ‹goto› Foundation..

A keen researcher, Sue completed a PhD in software measurement in 2001 in which she reformulated an algorithm used to compute the ripple effect measure for C source code.

Sue recently won the PepsiCo Women's Inspiration Network award. She was invited to write an inspirational blogpost "If I can do it, so can you" as part of the award. She was also named Tech Hero by ITPRO magazine: "We look to Sir Tim, Sue Black and other tech leaders for inspiration". She was also awarded the BCS John Ivinson award 2009, and nominated for the Computer Weekly IT Blog Awards 2009 and 2010: IT Twitter User of the Year.

Since 1998 Sue has been campaigning for equality, and more support, for women in tech. She founded the online networks LondonBCSWomen in 1999 and BCSWomen in 2001, BCSWomen now has over 1200 members. In 2011 Sue set up The ‹goto› Foundation, a non profit organisation which aims to make computer science more meaningful to the public, generate public excitement in the creation of software, and help to build a tech savvy workforce.

Sue campaigned from 2008 to 2011 to save Bletchley Park and was instrumental in the campaign to secure the Turing papers for the nation. This campaign, how it worked and what it achieved are the subject of this book.

You can find Sue here:

Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Google Scholar.


Q&A

Toni-Sue Burley

When will this book be delivered? I need it for Christmas please.
Thanks,
Toni-Sue

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Toni-Sue,

Saving Bletchley Park is now in the production/design stages. We will not have books ready in time for christmas 2014 but are working hard to get the book ready for subscribers as soon as we can. This is currently looking like summer/autumn of 2015.

Best wishes,

Unbound Support

Michael Fuller

At the risk of appearing churlish the response suggesting that it will take a further six to nine months to produce a book that is written and in the production / design stages is crazy. The bottom of this page says "Published 01/2015" which suggests the book should be available in January or is this wrong? There is also further confusion when the format is listed as "Paperback" yet what many people have paid for is a Hardback version.
This is a good and worthwhile project but the delays, conflicting and limited information about exactly when the book is going to be published and in what form is very worrying.
Can Unbound confirm please whether our deposits are held in escrow?
An update from Sue on progress and delivery dates would be appreciated too please.

Thanks

Mike

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for getting in touch. The information that is on the right hand side is what comes from our warehouse for the trade edition. The date is incorrect, and needs to be updated so thanks for pointing that out.

The subscriber edition most definitely will be a beautiful hardback and we are hard at work editing and designing this. There were some unforeseen delays with the manuscript but we are confident that the book will now be the best that it can be. All being well the books will be sent out to subscribers in early summer 2015 at the very latest and you can see Sue's most recent update here: http://unbound.co.uk/books/saving-bletchley-park/updates/turing-s-bombe-and-the-women-of-station-x. The money pledged is held in escrow until the book is funded. If you would prefer a refund however, please contact us via unbound.co.uk/support.

Best wishes,

Unbound Support

Victoria Merry

Hello,

I pledged for two books before this was fully funded. Both recipients have since changed address. How can I amend the address details so that they still receive their copy?

Kind regards,
Vicky

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Vicky,
To check or change an address all you need to do is log into the website, go to the 'Your Account' page, and click the link labelled 'change contact detail/s'.
Thanks,
The Unbounders

Ruth Curtis
Ruth Curtis asked:

It's a shame that fully funded at 181% the book won't be delivered until Summer 2015. However, more disappointing is the scarcity of shed updates. Please will the author further support for Bletchley Park by maintaining our interest via the shed before the book eventually reaches us?

Sue Black
Sue Black replies:

Hi Ruth,

Unbound are aiming for Spring 2015 publication, the manuscript is currently being edited. I'd be very happy to write more shed posts, I'll get going on one right away :) Let me know if there are particular topics that you would like me to write about.

Best wishes and thanks for your support

Sue

Mike Ball
Mike Ball asked:

It's been three Christmas presents come and gone so far. Won't hold my breath and learned a lesson about future use of unbound

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Mike,

We're really sorry for the delay with this book. As Sue says, the good news is that the book is now in editorial and we are working hard to make this a book as fast as we can. We're currently aiming to have this out to subscribers by summer 2015. Apologies again for the delay.

Ruth Curtis
Ruth Curtis asked:

Thank you for your response, Sue.
If I knew what you should write about in a shed update I would probably be the author of a book on Unbound myself.
Even a nature update on Bletchley Park wildlife might pique subscribers' interest! Probably more suited to you would be titbits from the book itself. Or perhaps tech hints?
Little and often, short and sweet are my main suggestions.
All the very best

Sue Black
Sue Black replies:

Thanks very much Ruth, I shall write one now :)

Best regards

Sue

Jacky Dols
Jacky Dols asked:

Hi Sue,

Am wondering if there is a recent update about the book.
I can imagine everyone is busy but it would be appreciated if there would be more frequent updates about this book. From the previous comments I gather I am not alone in this...
Thanks

Sue Black
Sue Black replies:

Hi Jacky,

Thanks for you comments and support, I'll write an update now.

Best regards

Sue

Roger Barraud
Roger Barraud asked:

No dates on the questions and/or responses?

No target amount shown for the funding?

Can I see whether I am confirmed as having contributed to the funding?

Can you point to other successfully published books (actually received by real customers) please?

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Roger,

Thanks for getting in touch. I have had a look and you are definitely down as a supporter for Saving Bletchley Park. You can also check this yourself, and see which level of support you went for, in your account here: http://unbound.co.uk/account. (Please note that you will need to sign in to your Unbound account first to access this page.)

We have published and dispatched 46 titles so far and if you like you can view these here: http://unbound.co.uk/books?states=Published. As for the target amount, this is calculated with the editor and the author, but we feel that having the target in number of pledges needed rather than a monetary value makes people feel personally involved in the publishing process. I hope this helps and if I can help you further please contact support@unbound.co.uk.

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Unbound Community Coordinator

Virginia Baker

Hi - so you're latest response above says "All being well the books will be sent out to subscribers in early summer 2015 at the very latest". As we just started June can we have an update on your latest best guess please? I am hoping for the gift for an upcoming July birthday but fearful that this will be the 3rd birthday to pass when I can't deliver since sponsoring. TIA

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Virginia,

Thanks for getting in touch. We sent an update about the book out last week. All being well, the book is now going to be ready in October 2015 and we're doing everything we can to get books out as soon as we can.

If there is anything else we can help you with please get in touch via unbound.co.uk/support.

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community Coordinator

Mark Smedley
Mark Smedley asked:

Can you provide an update on the expected despatch of 'Saving Bletchley Park' to sponsors and the date of the launch party, please?

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Mark,

The subscribers copies went to the printer this week so should be ready to dispatch in December. We're aiming to have the launch party at trade publication in early March - please do look out for a save the date email from hello@unbound.co.uk in the next couple of months.

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community & Events Manager

Mike Ball
Mike Ball asked:

Hi

This will be the third Christmas I had hoped to give this as a gift :-(
Any chance this year or is it socks again?

Mike

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Mike,

The books went to the printers this week and are due back at our warehouse in December. We'll do everything we can to make sure they get dispatched ASAP once they're back.

Best wishes,

Unbound Support

Judith Burt
Judith Burt asked:

Hi,
I attended the presentation about saving Bletchley at Chester Literature Festival recently, Sue.
We were given £10 vouchers towards the book. The voucher expires today ,so , as book is not ready how can I use it?
Judith Burt

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Judith,

Thanks for getting in touch. You can pre-order the book and enter the promotional code at the checkout. I have extended the valid until date to the 4th November so you can take advantage.

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community & Events Manager

Dave Leedham
Dave Leedham asked:

Hi have you any idea when the book will be out,it seems a long time since I ordered it.

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi David,

Hi Mike,

The books went to the printers last week and are due back at our warehouse in December. We'll do everything we can to make sure they get dispatched ASAP once they're back.

Best wishes,

Unbound Support

Mark H
Mark H asked:

No recent updates on when we can expect the book - its been a long time coming since I first signed up in 2012. Can we expect it before December 31st 2015?

Not very happy with how long this has taken and lack of updates.

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Mark,

Thanks for getting in touch and apologies for the time taken to create this book. The good news is that the books are now at the printers and are due to arrive in our warehouse in early December 2015. Our warehouse will then be dispatching the books as soon as they can. We will send an update to subscribers when the books have been dispatched letting you know when to expect your copy.

Best wishes,

Unbound Support

Jill Goulder
Jill Goulder asked:

I'm honoured and proud to be supporting a work which otherwise might well not have appeared, and also hugely pleased to be an early participator in the rising wave of funded publishing, sliding out from the grip of the huge predatory traditional publishers and handing the baton back to the authors and readers. Perhaps the carpers above are not fully recognising this: there are plenty of excellent and interesting Christmas-present books on Amazon, but we are supporting a brave attempt to reinvent publishing, where authors and readers can interact. The writing of a well-researched non-fiction work (I speak as a PhD student) is painfully long, and then the production process of a printed work is still elaborate, despite digital printing. Printed books are a very fixed set of words and so unlike a website need meticulous checking before large-scale production, not to speak of the process of organising page layout, paper type, cover content and style, etc. I can cheerfully wait for this book!

Sue Black
Sue Black replies:

Thanks very much for your support Jill :)

Sue

Jill Goulder
Jill Goulder asked:

PS Are you attending http://celebratingbletchleypark.co.uk/ in Sussex in March? If not, how about offering yourself to the organisers as a speaker?

Sue Black
Sue Black replies:

Thanks Jill, I've sent the link to Unbound, they are organising my book related speaking events.

I hope you enjoy the book, let me know what you think :)

Sue

Adam Wood
Adam Wood asked:

Any news on when books will be dispatched?

"The good news is that the books are now at the printers and are due to arrive in our warehouse in early December 2015. Our warehouse will then be dispatching the books as soon as they can. We will send an update to subscribers when the books have been dispatched letting you know when to expect your copy."

Any news? Lets hope my poor old dad makes it until his next birthday...

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Adam,

Our warehouse are currently working on dispatching the books as quickly as possible. Please look out for a dispatch email with your tracking details which will be sent as soon as the book is on its way.

Best wishes,

Unbound Support

Sharon Thorpe
Sharon Thorpe asked:

I received an email 24/12 to say my book has been dispatched together with a tracking number. The tracking number is invalid, not sure if anyone else has the same issue?

Rgds
Sharon

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for getting in touch and sorry for the delay with your delivery. I've had a look and it was delivered today (4th Jan) and signed for by Sharon. I hope you enjoy the book.

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community & Events Manager

Sharon Moore
Sharon Moore asked:

Hi! Got to work today and the book was waiting for me, which is great. When can we expect the Goody Bags to be despatched? Thanks, S

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for getting in touch. We're making up and sending out the goodie bags this week. I hope you enjoy the book!

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community & Events Manager

Ash  Stanbrook
Ash Stanbrook asked:

Hi Sue
Congrats on the OBE and it is great to hear the book is published.
Please remind me how it works...if I pledged many moons ago, does a copy automatically get sent to me now, or do I have to apply?
Ash

Unbound
Unbound replies:

Hi Ash,

Thanks for getting in touch. Due to the time elapsed for many since pledging, we need supporters to confirm their addresses before we send their book out. We've sent a couple of emails about this so please do check your inbox.

Best wishes,

Unbound support

The Rewards

This book is now published. You can still pledge, but you won't get listed as a supporter in the back.

$15
Digital

e-book edition and access to the shed

$30
Hardback
  • 1st edition hardback
  • e-book edition and access to the shed
$70
Signed
  • Signed 1st edition hardback
  • e-book edition and access to the shed
Sold out
$100
Goodie Bag
  • Bletchley Park themed goodie bag
  • signed 1st edition hardback
  • e-book edition and access to the shed
Sold out
$135
Sue's Enigma Socks
  • SOLD OUT - SORRY!
  • Hand knitted Bletchley socks made by Sue Black.
  • Bletchley Park themed goodie bag
  • Signed 1st edition hardback
  • e-book edition and access to the shed
  • Only THREE pairs available
Sold out
$135
Launch Party
  • Two invitations to the launch party
  • Bletchley Park themed goodie bag
  • Signed 1st edition hardback
  • e-book edition and access to the shed
Sold out
$330
Sausage & Mash in Hut 4
  • A tour for 2 of Bletchley Park with Sue culminating in a lunch in Hut 4.
  • Bletchley Park themed goodie bag
  • Signed 1st edition hardback
  • e-book edition and access to the shed
Sold out
$3,300
CSR

Are you a company? Want to offer this as a gift to your employees? Help fund the book at this level and we'll construct an approriate reward just for you.

  • Format: Paper Back
  • ISBN: 978-1-908717-92-4
  • Published: 01/2015
  • Format: hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-908717-93-1
  • Format: hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-908717-93-1
  • Format: hardback from office
  • ISBN: 978-1-908717-93-1