Uncovering Colossus at Bletchley Park

The Colossus computer at TNMOC in Bletchley Park
The Colossus computer at TNMOC in Bletchley Park

The story of Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer, has been aired in a new video available online now.

Professor Brian Randell tells the story about how he stumbled across a reference to its existence and eventually led to the UK government lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding this pioneering computer in 1975.

Tim Reynolds, Deputy Chair of The National Museum Of Computers (TNMOC), said: “This video is essential viewing for anyone interested in the history of computing and we are delighted that Professor Brian Randell agreed to give his presentation in the new Colossus Gallery at TNMOC.

“The specially invited audience was captivated by Professor Randell’s history of the uncovering of Colossus.

“It was a fascinating talk of machines, code-breaking, intrigue and politics. We are delighted to make this presentation available free for anyone who wants to learn about one of the great milestones in computing.”

Margaret Sale, a TNMOC trustee and wife of the late Tony Sale who led the team that rebuilt Colossus, said: “Professor Randell inspired Tony to rebuild Colossus and now it stands in TNMOC on Bletchley Park as a wonderful celebration of Britain’s codebreaking and engineering ingenuity during the Second World War.

“I thank Professor Randell from the bottom of my heart for starting that off and finding out so much for us.”

VIDEO: Uncovering Colossus - Prof Brian Randell