The Bletchley Park trust have erected a fence, nicknamed "The Berlin Wall," between their well-funded museum and its poorer on-site neighbour, the UK National Museum of Computing, which houses the hand-built replica of the codebreaking Colossus computer. The trust received an £8m lottery-funded grant and set about
shitcanning long-serving volunteers (see below), cutting off the computer history museum, and generally behaving like greedy jerks, systematically alienating long-term supporters. Oh, and there was that Snowden business.
I've left the Friends of Bletchley Park, and have stopped recommending that friends visit the site.
Update: Bletchley Trust has clarified to me that while this volunteer was dismissed from guiding tours because he refused to conduct the tour to the new spec, he still volunteers with the Trust in its educational department.
The visitor centre is part of an £8m lottery grant won by the Bletchley Park Trust in 2011, which secured the future of the site and helped to restore the decaying huts in which many of the codebreakers worked.
But it also opens with some six foot-high fences – separating two museums which each claim the legacy of Bletchley – which have been described as a Berlin Wall and symbolise an ugly, long-running dispute with Bletchley Park's neighbour, the National Museum of Computing (TNMOC).
The trust claims that the fences and gates are to improve safety for pedestrians by removing some car parking. The museum says visitors have to walk twice as far to reach them, and that the trust doesn't explain that the working rebuild of Colossus – the world's first programmable digital electronic computer and key codebreaking engine – is on site.
The tension between the two factions, and the fence and what it represents, have attracted considerable attention, including unwelcome press and a discussion in the Lords led by the Conservative peer Lady Trumpington, who herself worked at Bletchley during the war.
Bletchley Park row rages on as restored site opens to public with 'Berlin Wall' [Alex Hern/The Guardian]