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Saving Bletchley Park

The story of the saving of the home of modern computing by Sue Black

This book is fully funded, but you can still support it!


The Synopsis

This is a story about saving Bletchley Park, one of the UK’s most important sites of historical significance. It begins with Alan Turing and the team of codebreakers who worked there during World War II, and it ends with plans to transform it into the world class heritage and education centre it deserves to be. In between is the story of the hundreds of people who have dedicated years of hard work and determination to save it.

This is also a story about technology, and how it can be employed to extraordinary effect. Bletchley Park was the birthplace of the modern computer – 70 years later, this technology enabled a social media campaign that helped to secure Bletchley Park’s long term future. That same technology will also help to fund this book – a fitting testament to the achievements of this remarkable team of computing pioneers.

In this book, you’ll learn about some of the mysterious work that took place at Bletchley Park, and the significance this had to the outcome of World War II. You’ll also find out about Alan Turing – technology pioneer, mathematical genius and one of the most remarkable Britons who ever lived. It’s also the story of the thousands of women who worked at Bletchley Park – an inspiration for the growing number of women working in the field of computing and technology.

But what this book is mostly about is the 20 years of campaigning to save Bletchley Park by hundreds of extraordinary people, and how casually it seems that some of our most significant historical sites can be swept away to make room for housing estates or supermarkets. It’s a book about campaigners, veterans, enthusiasts and computer geeks, as well as Twitter, trees, and Stephen Fry stuck in a lift.

On more than one occasion Bletchley Park has been in the shadow of bulldozers, but it still stands as a testament to those who worked there during World War II, and those who have tirelessly campaigned to save it. During the many years that Bletchley Park’s future has hung in the balance, the campaign has been kept alive by the unerring belief that something so significant to our wartime victory in 1945 should be preserved for future generations.

The journey has been over 70 years in the making, and it makes for a really quite extraordinary story. In this book, I’m going to attempt to tell it.

10% of all profits from this project will go to Bletchley Park.

The Excerpt

All the best adventure stories have a catalyst - the defining moment that provides the spark that ignites the fuse that blows the plot wide open. For my adventure, the turning point was 3rd February 2009.


The Author

Sue Black is a Senior Research Associate in the Software Systems Engineering group in the the Department of Computer Science at University College London and and Founder of The ‹goto› Foundation..

A keen researcher, Sue completed a PhD in software measurement in 2001 in which she reformulated an algorithm used to compute the ripple effect measure for C source code.

Sue recently won the PepsiCo Women's Inspiration Network award. She was invited to write an inspirational blogpost "If I can do it, so can you" as part of the award. She was also named Tech Hero by ITPRO magazine: "We look to Sir Tim, Sue Black and other tech leaders for inspiration". She was also awarded the BCS John Ivinson award 2009, and nominated for the Computer Weekly IT Blog Awards 2009 and 2010: IT Twitter User of the Year.

Since 1998 Sue has been campaigning for equality, and more support, for women in tech. She founded the online networks LondonBCSWomen in 1999 and BCSWomen in 2001, BCSWomen now has over 1200 members. In 2011 Sue set up The ‹goto› Foundation, a non profit organisation which aims to make computer science more meaningful to the public, generate public excitement in the creation of software, and help to build a tech savvy workforce.

Sue campaigned from 2008 to 2011 to save Bletchley Park and was instrumental in the campaign to secure the Turing papers for the nation. This campaign, how it worked and what it achieved are the subject of this book.

You can find Sue here:

Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Google Scholar.


Toni-Sue Burley

When will this book be delivered? I need it for Christmas please.

Unbound replies:

Hi Toni-Sue,

Saving Bletchley Park is now in the production/design stages. We will not have books ready in time for christmas 2014 but are working hard to get the book ready for subscribers as soon as we can. This is currently looking like summer/autumn of 2015.

Best wishes,

Unbound Support

Michael Fuller

At the risk of appearing churlish the response suggesting that it will take a further six to nine months to produce a book that is written and in the production / design stages is crazy. The bottom of this page says "Published 01/2015" which suggests the book should be available in January or is this wrong? There is also further confusion when the format is listed as "Paperback" yet what many people have paid for is a Hardback version.
This is a good and worthwhile project but the delays, conflicting and limited information about exactly when the book is going to be published and in what form is very worrying.
Can Unbound confirm please whether our deposits are held in escrow?
An update from Sue on progress and delivery dates would be appreciated too please.



Unbound replies:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for getting in touch. The information that is on the right hand side is what comes from our warehouse for the trade edition. The date is incorrect, and needs to be updated so thanks for pointing that out.

The subscriber edition most definitely will be a beautiful hardback and we are hard at work editing and designing this. There were some unforeseen delays with the manuscript but we are confident that the book will now be the best that it can be. All being well the books will be sent out to subscribers in early summer 2015 at the very latest and you can see Sue's most recent update here: The money pledged is held in escrow until the book is funded. If you would prefer a refund however, please contact us via

Best wishes,

Unbound Support

Victoria Merry


I pledged for two books before this was fully funded. Both recipients have since changed address. How can I amend the address details so that they still receive their copy?

Kind regards,

Unbound replies:

Hi Vicky,
To check or change an address all you need to do is log into the website, go to the 'Your Account' page, and click the link labelled 'change contact detail/s'.
The Unbounders

Ruth Curtis
Ruth Curtis asked:

It's a shame that fully funded at 181% the book won't be delivered until Summer 2015. However, more disappointing is the scarcity of shed updates. Please will the author further support for Bletchley Park by maintaining our interest via the shed before the book eventually reaches us?

Sue Black
Sue Black replies:

Hi Ruth,

Unbound are aiming for Spring 2015 publication, the manuscript is currently being edited. I'd be very happy to write more shed posts, I'll get going on one right away :) Let me know if there are particular topics that you would like me to write about.

Best wishes and thanks for your support


Mike Ball
Mike Ball asked:

It's been three Christmas presents come and gone so far. Won't hold my breath and learned a lesson about future use of unbound

Unbound replies:

Hi Mike,

We're really sorry for the delay with this book. As Sue says, the good news is that the book is now in editorial and we are working hard to make this a book as fast as we can. We're currently aiming to have this out to subscribers by summer 2015. Apologies again for the delay.

The Rewards

All supporters get their name printed in every edition of the book. All levels include immediate access to the author's shed.


e-book edition, access to the shed and your name in the back of the book

📖 Pledge £10 236 pledges
📖 Pledge £20 592 pledges
  • signed 1st edition hardback
  • e-book edition, access to the shed and your name in the back of the book
📖 Pledge £50 93 pledges
Goodie Bag
  • Bletchley Park themed goodie bag
  • signed 1st edition hardback
  • e-book edition, access to the shed and your name in the back of the book
📖 Pledge £75 39 pledges
Sue's Enigma Socks
  • Hand knitted Bletchley socks made by Sue Black.
  • Bletchley Park themed goodie bag
  • signed 1st edition hardback
  • e-book edition, access to the shed and your name in the back of the book
  • Only THREE pairs available
Sold out
Launch Party
  • Two invitations to the launch party
  • Bletchley Park themed goodie bag
  • signed 1st edition hardback
  • e-book edition, access to the shed and your name in the back of the book
📖 Pledge £100 52 pledges
Sausage & Mash in Hut 4
  • A private guided tour for 2 of Bletchley Park with Sue culminating in a lunch in Hut 4.
  • Bletchley Park themed goodie bag
  • signed 1st edition hardback
  • e-book edition, access to the shed and your name in the back of the book
Sold out

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