The Staffordshire University Computing Futures Museum,
in association with the British Computer Society

Welcome to the Staffordshire University Computing Futures Museum Website!

Staffordshire University Computing Futures Museum is a partly physical and partly virtual museum, with display cases containing both vintage computer parts, and descriptions of notable historical achievements in computing, personalities and their contributions to the science and engineering of computing. It is intended as a teaching resource. The museum was initially set up as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of The British Computer Society.

Where Are We?

The Staffordshire University Computing Futures Museum is located in the Octagon Building of the Staffordshire University Stafford Campus one and a half miles ENE of the centre of Stafford, on the A518 Stafford - Uttoxeter road, near the junction with the A513 Beaconside road (map). For a detailed route from your home location to the Stafford campus see route. A frequent Arriva bus service operates between the centre of Stafford and the University. For exact timings please telephone Arriva on 0870 6082608 or consult the Arriva web site.

You may make a virtual tour of the museum via the internet at any time. The physical museum consists of display cases on several floors of The Octagon Building. If you would like to make a self-conducted tour, leaflets giving locations and contents of the cases are available in the foyer of The Octagon. A site map is given here. Please announce yourself to the security staff on entry to the site.

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Faculty of Computing, Engineering & Technology,
Staffordshire University,
ST18 0AD

Staffordshire University Computing Futures Museum Webmaster:
Email: jdwaw 'at'
Dr John Wilcock,
Honorary Research Fellow

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The Computing Futures Museum was originally set up in 2007, sponsored by The British Computer Society, as part of the Society's 50th Anniversary Celebrations. The Beaconside site was originally the location of the Nelson Research Laboratories of English Electric, and the company sponsored the Staffordshire College of Technology at Beaconside. DEUCE computers were built and tested at another nearby site of the Nelson Research Laboratories, Blackheath Lane, formerly a secret aircraft engine testing facility during the Second World War. The marks in the parquet floor of the Reception Block at Blackheath Lane (previously the Nelson Research Laboratory canteen, and then the North Staffordshire Polytechnic Department of Computing canteen) came from ridged rubber strips in the former DEUCE assembly area, making it more likely that a dropped valve would survive rather than being shattered on a hard wooden floor. The weight of the DEUCE machines soon caused deformation of the floor in the assembly area.

Staffordshire College of Technology ran one of the world's first degree courses in Computing from 1965; the institution then became part of North Staffordshire Polytechnic in 1970, and the burgeoning Department of Computing occupied the Blackheath Lane site. The Polytechnic was renamed Staffordshire Polytechnic in 1991. Finally Staffordshire University was designated in 1992. Further historical details are given here.

Staffordshire College of Technology 1964, with the larger site of the Nelson Research Laboratories of English Electric in the right background

The Blackheath Lane site, formerly a secret aircraft engine testing facility in Blackheath Covert. This was the smaller site of the Nelson Research Laboratories, where DEUCE computers were tested. It later became the Department of Computing of North Staffordshire Polytechnic, and it is now the Faculty of Health of Staffordshire University.

Staffordshire College of Technology
(SCOT) 1964 logo

North Staffordshire Polytechnic 1970 logo,
with objects often referred to as "milk bottles",
in fact Bottle Ovens from the pottery industry of Stoke-on-Trent.

Staffordshire Polytechnic 1991 logo

Staffordshire University 1992 logo

The present-day Staffordshire University logo

Information sources derived from the internet, particularly from ©Google and ©Wikipedia are freely acknowledged. All historical facts have been rigorously checked for accuracy.

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Send all comments, updates and queries for The Staffordshire University Computing Futures Museum Home Page to Dr John Wilcock

Version: 05 04 March 2012 updated by Dr John Wilcock