Monday, 13 October 2014
Sorry for the absence but I've been rather busy working on my contribution to Dr Sue Black's brilliant new book Saving Bletchley Park. It's here on Unbound - I believe it is still the fastest crowdfunded book ever - and it will be out next year.
Sue's written an amazing story of how the campaign began, grew and eventually resulted in Bletchley Park's rescue. I've been writing some material to provide the historical context; to explain why it was so important to save the place.
It's meant a few trips to the site and, last week, Sue and I went to have a play with Colossus, arguably the world's first programmable computer. It's five tons of glorious clunky mechanical valve-flashing beauty. I took lots of photos, some of which mght well make it into the book.
Anyhoo ... during the course of this research I discovered lots of wonderful problem-solving stories that may make it into MY book! One such concerns the early days of the campaign when the Bletchley Park estate looked as if it was going to be sold off to be turned over to housing (indeed, 50% of the site did get sold and now has housing on it). So desperate were the campaigners to save the site that they started looking for anything that would delay the developers ... and then someone realised that several trees were of special scientific interest. An application was put forward to preserve them and bam! No more building allowed on the site. Brilliant!
Anyway, it's going to be a wonderful book so if you haven't pledged already, I'd advise you to do so.
And, now the pressure is off a little, I'm back on Why did the policeman cross the road? full-time again. So expect these shedposts to go back to being pretty regular.