A new £50 banknote featuring Alan Turing is set to enter circulation in the UK tomorrow on what would have been the codebreaker’s 109th birthday.
The striking design for the banknote – which is the final UK banknote to switch to polymer – was unveiled by the Bank of England back in March to a warm reception from the public, and features a photo of Turing taken in 1951.
It also features his signatures and several odes to things he achieved in his lifetime.
Turing’s birth date written in binary code is also included on the design, as well as mathematical formulae from a paper he wrote in 1936, and a quote he gave to the press in 1949.
“This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.” the quote reads.
Speaking on the importance of the new £50 ahead of its introduction into circulation tomorrow, Jeremy Fleming – Director of Britain’s intelligence agency GCHQ – said: “Alan Turing’s appearance on the £50 note is a landmark moment in our history.
“Not only is it a celebration of his scientific genius which helped to shorten the war and influence the technology we still use today, it also confirms his status as one of the most iconic LGBT+ figures in the world.
“Turing was embraced for his brilliance and persecuted for being gay.
“His legacy is a reminder of the value of embracing all aspects of diversity, but also the work we still need to do to become truly inclusive.”
Alan Turing was born on 23 April 1912, and went on to establish a legacy that saw him become widely regarded as a father of modern technology – having helped to develop the Manchester computers and whose lauded codebreaking work at Bletchley Park during WWII helped to turn the tide in favour of the Allies.
In 1952, Turing was found guilty of indecency over his relationship with another man he met on Oxford Road and was required to undergo treatment to reduce his libido.
Turing then took his own life in 1954.
A memorial to Turing was unveiled in Sackville Park in Manchester city centre in 2001, and the school of mathematics building at the University of Manchester also bears his name as a fitting tribute to his legacy.
The “Alan Turing law” is now an informal term for 2017 legislation that retroactively pardoned men cautioned or convicted for homosexual acts.
A major new cybersecurity exhibition – Top Secret: From ciphers to cybersecurity – is currently welcoming visitors at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum, featuring over a century’s worth of secret communications and intelligence and containing over 100 objects from GCHQ and the Science Museum Group.
The exhibition also includes, for the first time, objects related to Alan Turing and his team’s work intercepting German comms at Bletchley Park.
Running right through to 31 August, you can find more information about the exhibition here.
Featured Image – Bank of England
Iconic Sycamore Gap tree renamed ‘Sycamore Stump’ after heartbreaking vandalism
Someone has already changed the name of the iconic Sycamore Gap tree to ‘Sycamore Stump’ after it was felled in what’s believed to be an act of vandalism.
The famous tree was believed to be about 300 years old and was made famous when it appeared in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
It’s one of the most photographed trees in the world (Rockefeller’s Christmas tree might just edge that one) and has stood on Hadrian’s Wall for centuries.
But overnight on Wednesday, this world-famous tree was felled, leaving just a small stump behind.
Someone has already changed its name on Google Maps from Sycamore Gap to Sycamore Stump, echoing the public outcry over the tree’s disappearance.
The National Trust said on Thursday: “We are shocked and desperately saddened to learn that the famous Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian’s Wall has been felled overnight, in what appears to be an act of vandalism.
“We know just how much this iconic tree is loved locally, nationally and by everyone who has visited.
“We are working with our partners to understand what has happened and what can be done. The incident has also been reported to the police.”
Police have now confirmed that a 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
Supt Kevin Waring of Northumbria police said: “This is a world-renowned landmark and the events of today have caused significant shock, sadness and anger throughout the local community and beyond.
“An investigation was immediately launched following this vandalism, and this afternoon we have arrested one suspect in connection with our inquiries.
“Given our investigation remains at a very early stage, we are keeping an open mind. I am appealing to the public for information to assist us – if you have seen or heard anything suspicious that may be of interest to us, please let us know.”
Lee Rigby’s son is raising tens of thousands for charity in honour of his dad
Jack Rigby, the son of soldier Lee Rigby, is raising an absolutely huge amount of money for charity in memory of his father.
Rigby, a former Royal Fusilier who served in Afghanistan for three years, was tragically murdered by extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale outside the Woolwich Barracks in May 2013 and now, over a decade after his death, his son is hoping to raise as much as possible in his honour.
His dad was 25 when he was killed and Jack himself was only two-years-old at the time. Now 13, the inspiring young man set out on his fundraising journey earlier this year, completing a marathon on behalf of Scotty’s Little Soldiers back in May, a military bereavement charity.
Setting himself the goal of reaching the ‘Scotty’s March’ £10k target — i.e. hoping to raise a £1,000 for each year since his passing — Jack and his family have been blown after the fundraiser has already amassed over £55k in donations.
With the goalposts now being moved to £60,000 after Jack and his mum Rebecca’s efforts have led to nearly £55k in contributions to the specialised bereavement organisation to support grieving military children and young people up to the age of 25.
Writing in his post when the fundraiser was first set up, Jack said, “This year marked the 10-year anniversary, it’s never easy but this year felt even harder for some reason. To help me through this year I have been concentrating on raising funds and awareness for Scotty’s Little Soldiers…
“This [has] really helped me to concentrate on something positive at a very difficult time while helping this amazing charity“, an intitiave he has been a part ever since he was a young child, adding that he named his dog Scotty in tribute to their important work for military families across the UK.
It was only earlier this year that the teenager spoke out about his father for the first time having already smashed his fundraising target before he had even run his marathon.
As for mum, she said: “Jack was so excited to see the amount grow and seeing how much each donation made him smile meant the world to me. He and I read all the messages of support and were thankful for them all. We honestly couldn’t believe how kind and generous people were being.”