March 25, 2010
Would You Give Up One Day's Pay To Help Bletchley Park?UPDATE: The brilliant and very probably gorgeous Nigel Metheringham has started a pledge on Pledge Bank, which I have signed, and I urge all friends of Bletchley Park to sign, too. I can't promise anything, but I will try my darned upmost to swing a special honour/treat for the first 20 who pledge.
Today saw a big announcement from those lovely but horrifically overworked folk at the Bletchley Park Trust. It's all very hush-hush until they hold the press conference, of course. Watch this space. Actually, watch that space.
On the subject of Bletchley Park (so glad you brought it up), while good news comes in now and then, they still have a steep road to climb. The National Lottery people, in their infinite wisdom, have offered another £4.1 million in badly-needed funding. But only if the Bletchley Park Trust raise £1.5 million under their own steam. They still have about £1 million of that to raise in the next year and a bit.
This money will ensure that not only will much-needed repairs get done in time to stop irreversible damage to some of the most important historical sites in the history of computing, but they will be able to begin putting into action their plans to transform the park into the world-leading attraction it deserves to be.
I don't know about you, but I haven't done at all badly out of the whole "computing" thing, and I know I owe a great debt to the likes of Alan Turing, Tommy Flowers, and the thousands of others who went above and beyond the call of duty at Bletchley Park.
It saddens me no end to see such wonderful people doing such important work - both then and now with the tireless work of the Bletchley Park Trust - but not getting the A++, 5-star, kick-ass heritage site they really deserve.
So, one day later this year, I'm going to donate my coaching or training fee for that day to the Bletchley Park Trust. That's about 0.03% of the money I've earned doing a job that I love, and for which I am eternally grateful. Hopefully some of my friends will join me on this special Working For Bletchley day and we might raise a few thousand pounds.
If you love working in computing, feel you haven't done too badly out of it, and, like me, feel you owe a small debt to the men and women of Bletchley Park, perhaps you'd like to join us.
Literally all it involves is donating your earnings for one day - Thursday September 16th - directly to the Bletchley Park Trust. Simple as that.
To make it a bit more fun than just handing over your credit card details, we could, y'know, make a day of it. Organise drinks, dinners, fun stuff involving booze. That sort of thing. And maybe we'll get some t-shirts, badges and hats printed. That way, Bletchley Park will know who their friends are in a crowd.
Of course, there might be a tad more to it than that (if folk want it to be tax-deductible, etc). And I'd like to capture pledges (in such a way that we don't find out how much you earn, of course!) So I'll be setting up a web site with info, FAQs, regular updates and very probably some kind of social networking element for the hipsters among us.
In the meantime, you can Tweet your intention to participate by using the hashtag #work4bletchley
Fingers crossed, it won't just be me on the day!
Posted 49 minutes, 32 seconds ago on March 25, 2010