Museum of Computing's 20 years of groundbreaking work

By Barrie Hudson - 4 August 2023


Swindon's Museum of Computing marked its 20th birthday with a well-attended gathering in the courtyard of the Central Library.

There were tours of the museum, which is based in nearby Theatre Square and houses exhibits ranging from throughout the history of computing, ranging from early calculating machines to vintage hand-held gaming consoles.

Guests included volunteers, supporters and local VIPs including South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland, South Swindon Labour Parliamentary Candidate Heidi Alexander, new Swindon Borough Council leader Cllr Jim Robbins and several councillors.

There were exhibits charting the history of the museum, activities including a chance for people to try their skills at vintage classic game Pac-Man and refreshments including a specially-decorated cake.

Museum chair and co-founder Jeremy Holt gave a speech of thanks to all who had helped make the museum into such a success.

He said: "I've always been very proud of the museum because we have a very wide range of volunteers.

"The computer museum has always been a very broad church - you don't necessarily have to be interested in computers!

"That might sound strange but I'm not very interested in computers myself, but I am very interested in the computer industry."

Mr Holt praised a number of organisations for their help and support - both practical and financial - over the years, including Nationwide, Intel, Swindon Borough Council and Dennis's Removals and Storage in South Marston.

However, his warmest praise was for co-founder Simon Webb, who was present with his wife, Linda, and who served as Chief Curator until his retirement last year.

Mr Holt said: "Simon spent 14 years getting the museum off the ground. It got off the ground in 2003. He very kindly donated his personal collection of computers to the museum, thereby saving his marriage to Linda!"

The museum began life in 2003 at the Oakfield Campus of what was then the University of Bath in Swindon.

When the University left Swindon, the museum faced uncertainty, but Swindon Borough Council was able to provide a new home in Theatre Square, and the museum reopened in 2009.

It offers coding lessons for children and young people together with other educational projects. The museum - - welcomes volunteers.

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