Off-topic: Bletchley Park: third of staff face redundancy because of coronavirus

Oh dear.

A third of staff at a museum that celebrates British wartime codebreakers at Bletchley Park face redundancy because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A trust that runs the museum said it expected to lose about £2m this year and 95% of its income from March to July. It is proposing a restructuring that includes a possible 35 redundancies – about a third of the workforce – to cut costs.

Might be worth noting that the BP museum very much changed character in recent years. They got new management, scored a big amount of funding from the national lottery, kicked out all the older volunteers who actually had wartime experience, kicked out all the co-hosted collections and displays (including the Churchill collection and the Pigeons in Wartime exhibit), and even got rid of the reconstructed Bombe. It’s become much more of a theme park experience, with actors instead of volunteers. Having spent all the funding it might well have turned out that they didn’t have a sustainable business, even without the pandemic.

So, it’s already lost a lot of what it had.

But the National Museum of Computing which happens to be on the site (and a tenant of the BP Trust) is a separate entity, with its own collection, and now hosting both the reconstructed Bombe and the rebuilt Colossus. The volunteers who run the Bombe are really happy with the move. TNMoC has the challenge of being a tenant of an organisation that sees things very differently, as well as the challenge of the pandemic - although they will be reopening on Tuesday 8th. They have quite the electricity bill… they accept donations as well as offering a supporters membership. Admission just £7.50 and only a short journey from Oxford, Cambridge, or London. Or if you’re Alan Turing, you can run the 40 miles to London!