Bletchley Park & Marshall Innovations

The Bank of England have announced that the ‘computer pioneer’ and ‘Bletchley Park codebreaker’ is to be featured on the new £50 note (which for those interested in such things will be the last note to switch from paper to polymer when it enters circulation by the end of 2021.

As rare as Rocking Horse **** for the majority of us there are apparently still 344 million in circulation so Turin and his work will at least be seen by some for years to come, which is a pretty impressive turnaround following his 2013 posthumous royal pardon for his 1952 conviction for gross indecency following which he was chemically castrated. He had been arrested after having an affair with a 19-year-old Manchester man.

In making the announcement Bank of England governor Mark Carney said:

“Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today,”

Source: BBC News

Turing envisaged a machine that could be turned to any well-defined task by supplying it with the appropriate program. The eponymous Universal Turing Machine, fed instructions through symbols on an infinite piece of tape, was an abstract concept in his time, but it’s something that recognisably embodies the core principles of a modern computer and the logic of binary code. Moreover, his insight that only computable functions can be calculated is vital to software design. In recognition of the importance of this work, Turing was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1951.”

Source: Bank of England

He also made reference to his use of Binary Coding in his work at Bletchley Park ……. which brings me to the point of this blog post!

Bletchley Park: Binary Dominoes
Bletchley Park: Binary Dominoes

Earlier this year we were invited to Bletchley Park to deliver I0I binary based games of ours – I00 dominoes and I bingo based – to the museum which we are pretty proud about.

For those that wonder what all the fuss is about binary and it’s relevance to today go online and try and buy a hard drive: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB or look at the logic behind the simple on/off options on your switch.

And finally …… I have just finished reading “Bletchley Park and D-Day” by David Kenyon. A bit of a dry read to be fair, bit given the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the ‘glamour’ portrayal of Bletchley Park via film and TV in recent years, it was a good education of the totality of what Bletchley Park achieved, and even had a few little snippets on management and organisational structures that have made their way into a report I am writing.