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
Tim Healy surprises fans with performance at The 1975’s Newcastle gig
The 1975’s tour has seen some seriously memorable moments so far, including several special guest appearances, but seeing Tim Healy give a surprise performance has to be the jewel in the crown.
While the band might have formed in the Wilmslow and plied their trade in Manchester on their way to success, several members of the current lineup — including frontman Matty Healy himself — were born in Newcastle, so the gig at the Utilita Arena on Wednesday was very much a homecoming show.
With that in mind, when British TV royalty, Geordie icon and Matty’s old man, Tim Healy popped up on stage, the crowd understandably went wild.
There were no doubt plenty of confused faces when a trademark Matty monologue and sudden cut to black was followed by the bloke from Benidorm appearing up on stage, but there was also a scream bigger than any response Taylor Swift got.
Whipping out some significantly more dramatic thespian ability than the kind you’d associate with his Auf Wiedersehen, Pet days, albeit still fully aware of bizarre the entire spectacle was, he brought one of his son’s trademark digressions about method acting to a close.
But better than that, the 70-year-old ended up staying on stage to perform his own low-key ‘All I Need to Hear‘ cover as the band played in the background. Surreal.
To be honest, it might just be the wholesomeness of it all, but we think we might prefer the older Healy’s version.
Sing it, Tim!
Imagine bringing your dad onto the stage only for him to absolutely steal the show. Brilliant stuff.
Both he and Matty’s celebrity mum Denise Welch have been spotted at various shows as the band continue to perform their ‘At Their Very Best’ tour around the country, with various fans interacting with them in the crowd, but very few would have been expecting an impromptu song from one of them.
Both are obviously more closely associated with TV, with Welch known for appearing on the likes of Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Loose Women and many more, but if we don’t up end up getting both of them on stage before this tour is over we’ll be genuinely fuming.
It also looks like the reaction meant a lot to him:
Elsewhere in the show, The 1975’s Newcastle fans were treated to an equally ridiculous surprise appearance from Harry Styles. Well, not really…
In case you haven’t seen it already, the band conspired to prank the crowd by putting the former One Direction star’s name up on the screen, only to bring out Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi instead.
He obviously got just as lovely a reaction and fully leaned into bantering with the crowd — joking, “I know what you’re thinking: ‘Harry Styles‘ looks a bit different.'” — before performing a cover of ‘Antichrist’.
Featured Image — @.millr (via TikTok)/@evie_ire (via Twitter)
Tim Martin is blaming ‘people drinking at home’ for UK Wetherspoons closures
It’s no secret that times are hard for hospitality right now, with pubs and restaurants shutting left, right and centre – but when UK pub giant Wetherspoons starts closing its doors you have to wonder if anyone can survive in this climate.
In September last year, the budget pub chain began listing sites for sale with 32 boozers going up as part of what it described as a “commercial decision”.
Now, it has listed even more – and arch-Brexiteer Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin is apparently blaming people ‘drinking at home’ for the closures.
After the chain suffered a £30 million pound loss, CEO Tim Martin told PA news agency that people ‘have got into the habit of staying in’ ever since Covid and that that was why sales were down on 2019.
He also blamed lockdown restrictions brought in to stop the spread of Covid during the heigh of the pandemic for the pub’s losses,
He said: “The aftermath of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions have been far more difficult than anyone thought.
“That is the picture for the whole pub and restaurant industry. People thought that after lockdown there would be a boom in people suffering from cabin fever but, instead, it has almost become the opposite situation as people have got into the habit of staying in.
“That’s the big thing that means sales are down on 2019. Things are improving now but it’s slow.”
The pub sales are being handled by CBRE and Savills. Toby Hall, senior director at CBRE, said: “The excellent mix of locations in this portfolio is rarely seen in the market.
“With more than half the portfolio located in London and the South East and other strong locations in the South West, Midlands and North we believe the pubs represent an excellent opportunity for existing pub operators and new entrants.”