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Saving Bletchley Park: How #socialmedia saved the home of the WWII codebreakers Hardcover – 10 Mar 2016
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The inspirational story of the campaign to save one of Britain's most critical wartime heritage sites, and the history behind what made it a place worth saving.
About the Author
Saving Bletchley Park is Sue's first book. At the time of funding it was the fastest crowdfunded book in the world EVER!
Dr Sue Black left home and school at 16, married at 20 and had 3 children by the age of 23. At 25, a single parent living on a council estate in Brixton, she decided to get an education. Sue studied maths at Southwark College, then gained a degree in computing and a PhD in software engineering at London South Bank University.
In 2001 Sue set up the UK's first online network for women in tech, BCSWomen. It was this that led her in 2003 to Bletchley Park for the first time, and to starting her campaign to save it in 2008.
Passionate about the way that technology and education can change lives Sue is now a social entrepreneur, "tech...", writer and public speaker who has won numerous awards including being one of the '50 most inspiring women in European tech'. Her start-up, #techmums works with disadvantaged families, teaching mums tech skills to empower them, build their confidence and get them excited about technology. Sue writes regularly in the UK national press about technology.
Sue would love to know if you enjoyed readingSaving Bletchley Park, so please do tweet her @Dr_Black and let her know using the Twitter ID @savingbletchley.
Stevyn joined the police after a drunken bet with his father (also a policeman) on his 18th birthday that he couldn't stay in the force for six months. He stayed thirty years. He currently works as a writer on the popular BBC TV series QI and its sister show, The Museum of Curiosity, for BBC Radio 4.
He's written briefing notes for two prime ministers, TV scripts for Gerry Anderson and Doctor Who, helped build dinosaur skeletons for the Natural History Museum and movie monsters for Bruce Willis to shoot at. He's also been set on fire twice, been kissed by Princess Diana once, and Freddie Mercury once wore his helmet.
He is a creative consultant for Left/Field London, a visiting lecturer at a number of UK universities, and has given hundreds of talks across the UK and USA. He was a judge for the 2014 Transmission Awards for the Communication of Ideas.
He stops inordinately frequently for tea.
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I found the book a bit repetitive when mentioning that 50% of the staff were women (which I think is amazing) but I do understand the sentiment as we certainly should be encouraging more women into STEM training and careers. Dr. Black is certainly a fantastic role model but I think she does not help the cause by referring to herself as a "Geek" as this may discourage her target audience.
Buy the book, support BP and badger the Government to do more.
I think we forget just how quickly we've become used to Social Media, but just a few years ago this wasn't the case and Sue Black made real and very effective use of the whole thing.
I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who has any kind of interest in any of the following: History, Humour, People, Social Media, what women did during the war and obviously Technology.
I understand Sue Black's contribution to this and much more besides has recently earned her an O.B.E. and very well deserved it is too.
If you ever doubted the power of Social Media as a transformative tool, you also need to read this book.
This isn’t a self-congratulating book. Dr. Sue Black’s optimistic determination, persistence and almost naive belief in human kindness, shines through her narrative as she modestly describes her own journey in transforming a simple wish to preserve history, into an epic success. Bletchley Park has not only been saved from dereliction but it has become a celebrated monument in British history, thanks to Sue Black’s belief that it really ought to be one!
This book is just as much a history lesson on the most significant intellectual contribution to WWII, as it is a motivational masterpiece and a training manual on how to turn opportunities into successful outcomes, through the sheer power of passion.
There is a great need for books to celebrate, to understand and to treasure the UK's legacy of creativity, diversity, resilience, sense of what's right and coming together as a community to do the right thing. To take our turn. To remind us and inspire our children.
And like red London buses, in this book they all came along at once. In one book.
Here Sue Black and her little elf Stefyn Colgan weave the journey of discovery, connecting, blogging and a JFDI attitude into a story that quite simply, as it says on the tin, Saved Bletchley Park.
Read it. Remember them. Do what you can to take yesterday to inspire tomorrow.
And all our futures.
Our down-playing of our technical heritage maybe goes some way to explain why Bletchley, the birthplace of programmable electronic computing, was left to rot.
Saving Bletchley Park charts two stories. The tale of Station X, a super secret facility that is thought to have shortened the second world war by two years through maths and computing. And the journey that Sue Black took to organise through social networks the saving of this amazing place for future generations.
The sense of wonder from conversations both with those who worked at Bletchley, and also from Sue's first steps into using Twitter as a tool for good, is palpable. A history book. A social media campaigning primer. Great stuff.
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