Sacked for breaking code of conduct: Rivalry between Bletchley Park charities tumbles out of control
Tuesday 28 January 2014
A long-running battle between rival charities promoting the legacy of Britain’s wartime code breakers has degenerated into a bitter dispute which has seen an elderly tour guide sacked and calls for a boycott of Bletchley Park.
The row centres on a controversial decision by the Second World War code-breaking complex to stop its tour guides from visiting the neighbouring National Museum of Computing (NMOC).
The museum houses a rebuilt Colossus machine – the world’s first electronic computer, designed and built together with the Tunny machine to crack encrypted messages between Hitler and his generals.
Major changes as part of an £8m modernisation programme to broaden the appeal and increase visitors to Bletchley Park, near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, have seen its guided tours cut from 90 minutes to 60 – with NMOC no longer on the itinerary.
Bletchley Park Trust insists “most” guides have “embraced” the changes, which were announced around a year ago, with “regrettably, one exception".
That exception was long-standing volunteer Tony Carroll, who resisted the move and continued to take people to the NMOC. He was sacked last week as a result.
The emotional reaction of the veteran tour guide – captured on television by a local BBC crew – has prompted the creation of a "Boycott Bletchley Park" group on Facebook.
“They haven’t got a clue – they are ruining this place,” he said on camera. “We are all very upset about not being able to tell the story we want to.”
Tim Reynolds, chair of the computing museum, said last night: “It beggars belief to see the Bletchley Park Trust pursue a policy of fragmentation.” He added: “The Bletchley Park conservation area has many buildings of enormous potential – some of which have been realised over the past ten years by organisations other than the Bletchley Park Trust. All stakeholders need to be appropriately represented.”
But a spokesperson for Bletchley Park Trust said: “The National Museum of Computing remains available to any visitor to Bletchley Park who wishes to visit it,” and it is “signposted” by guides at the end of the tour. As for Mr Carroll, he “continues to be a valued volunteer” and is now helping in the education department, they added.
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...