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Haverhill on Anglia ITV News

Tuesday, 3rd June 2008.

Haverhill’s new museum, The Centre for Computing History is continuing to make waves across the region and beyond. Following a double page article in the East Anglian Daily Times on 3rd June, the Centre has now received a visit from the Anglia ITV News Team.

Featured on Anglia ITV News bulletin on the evening of 3rd June, the Centre for Computing History has been creating quite a ‘buzz’ both in the media and in computing circles across the UK and Europe.

Anglia TV presenter, Stuart Leithes interviewed CCH Committee member Jason Fitzpatrick for the 6.00pm news programme. Stuart was fascinated by many of the vintage machines on display and couldn’t resist playing Space Invaders on the Atari 2600. He even enjoyed a game of Pong with Jason.

The Centre also features in a documentary due to be shown later this year. Made by Raw Television for The History Channel and Channel 5, the documentary focuses on the computer game Elite and will be part of a series based around great British inventions. Media star, Peter Snow will be presenting the series and was involved in filming at the Centre for Computing History February 2008.

One of Haverhill’s hidden treasures until this year, the Centre for Computing History has been established to create a permanent, public exhibition that tells the story of the ‘Information Age’.

At the core of this ambitious project is an internationally significant collection of computers, related artefacts, memorabilia and associated materials that already exists in the town. As well as preserving and displaying this IT heritage, the museum will demonstrate the computing industry’s unique contribution to the world and will showcase the social, historical and contemporary impact of the computer.

The museum is the concept of a group of local business people including Jason Fitzpatrick who has been amassing an exceptional collection of vintage computers and related artefacts over a period of some 20 years. Haverhill businesses, including Nic Rumsey of Haverhill Business Park, have now got behind the initiative to push it forward. A steering committee has been formed, a website has been launched, emails have been pouring in from across the UK, Europe and America and the museum has its first interim home.

Jason Fitzpatrick states: “We now have a real project on our hands, not just a proposal. There are still hurdles to overcome, much to do and more money to raise but this museum is fast becoming a reality.”

Why Haverhill?. This group has all the answers, forcing sceptics to sit up and take notice.

Museum spokesperson Elaine Collins explains: “Haverhill is a prime location for this venture. For a start, we have the core collection here. Secondly, the town has been frequently identified as an area lacking any substantial heritage provision. Thirdly, Haverhill’s proximity to Cambridge and the shared locale contribute massively to its appeal. Charles Babbage, widely known as the ‘father of computing’, read Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge. Cambridge was also home to Acorn Computers, developers of the BBC Micro, and Sinclair Research, creators of the famous ZX81 and ZX Spectrum computers. Today, Microsoft’s UK state-of-the-art research facility is based in Cambridge."

Committee members have ambitious plans to eventually create a world class visitor attraction in Haverhill that will dramatically alter the town’s profile. They believe the Centre for Computing History has the potential to act as a powerful catalyst for the town’s ongoing economic and cultural renaissance.

Haverhill Online News

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