Google extends support for Bletchley Park
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 08 August 2011

Google has launched a fundraising campaign to restore buildings that played a pivotal role in computing history and its Street View Trike visited the site last week to capture the "before" view.

Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire England was the secret location for Britain's code decryption team, who intercepted and decoded messages from enemy forces during the Second World War.

Last year Google donated $100,000 to a fund that enabled Bletchly Park Trust to secure a collection of Alan's Turing papers and now has initiated a campaign to raise £2 million need for a major restoration project.

According to the Google blog its specific aim is:

to rebuild Block C, the original wartime building that once housed the vast punched card index—in essence, the “search engine” at the heart of Bletchley Park’s decryption activity.


blockc_bletchleypk

 

Block C is in a state of advanced dilapidation as noted by the Google Street Trike on its visit to Bletchley Park last week. The 360 degree images it captured are to be added to the Google Street View Special Collection Gallery.

The plan is to turn it into a visitor and learning centre for both Bletchley Park and the UK's National Museum of Computing which is currently housed in the former Block H.

 

google-restoring-bletchley-park

 

Speaking at the Garden Party held last week to kick start the fund raising effort Google's Peter Barron said:

"Why is Google so interested in Bletchley Park? All of us have heroes, and at Google our heroes are Alan Turing, and the people who worked here during the war. It's no exaggeration to say that without Turing, Google wouldn't exist in the form in which it exists today."

Over £10,000 was raised at the inaugural event and further donations can be made at the Bletchley Park website.

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