Keep The Bombe At Bletchley

19 February 2018, 13:28

Bletchley Bombe

Fifty thousand pounds is the sum Bletchley Park says it needs to keep its museum centrepiece on the site...

A Crowdfunding campaign, to keep an historic code-breaking machine at Bletchley Park, needs to raise £50,000

The so-called "BOMBE", made famous by Alan Turing, was due to leave the site this year and could end up in storage.

Andrew Herbert, from the National Computing Museum, told Heart why it's vital the Bombe stays put:

“It would probably have to go into storage or find another museum. But then it wouldn't be on the historical site where they were based. So we are hoping the crowdfunding will give us enough that we can indeed make a really nice gallery so it is a worthwhile display.

As a pre-computing electro-mechanical device, the Bombe will help our visitors better understand the beginnings of computing and the general thought processes that led to the development of Colossus and subsequent computers.

The story of the design of the Bombe by Alan Turing, the father of computer science, leads very appropriately into the eight decades of computing that we curate.

Even the manufacture of the Bombes leads directly to British computing history -- the originals were built by the British Tabulating Machine company (BTM) in Letchworth, which later became part of ICT, then ICL and now Fujitsu.”

And Andrew says it would be a mammoth task to move it:

"{It is} 10 feet long, about 6 foot high and about three foot wide. It is an electro mechanical machine so it's full of motors, relays and switches. It's very heavy and weighs several tonnes - so it is a very large, physical object."

Link to CrowdFunding page: