The Bill Tutte Memorial, Rutland Hill, Newmarket
Bill Tutte was born in Newmarket in 1917. During World War Two, as a new mathematician at Bletchley Park, where intercepted enemy radio messages were sent for decoding, he achieved what was later described as one of the greatest intellectual feats of the war by determining the structure of the highly secret German Lorenz coding machine without ever having seen one. He went on to devise a statistical method to speed up the immensely complex task of decoding Lorenz messages, giving the Allies invaluable information on enemy intentions and capabilities. His work eventually led to the development of the world’s first programmable electronic computer, Colossus, by GPO engineer Tommy Flowers. Tutte and his colleagues at Bletchley Park were credited with shortening the war in Europe by at least two years, saving countless lives.
The Bill Tutte Memorial consists of an iconic sculpture by Harry Gray of Cambridge in a setting devised by Ramon Keeley. The sculpture is made up of a series of stainless steel panels pierced to represent the punched paper teleprinter tape which was used in the transmission of coded Lorenz messages by the German High Command. When viewed from one particular direction, indicated on the pavement by a Squared Square which relates to his early interest in mathematical puzzles, Tutte’s features appear in the pattern of holes in the steel panels. In front of the sculpture is a 41-toothed wheel, representing his initial success in determining the structure of the Lorenz machine. Around the wheel are words taken from the citation for his election as an officer in the Order of Canada, where he lived after the war, but written in a manner difficult to decipher.
Brushed stainless steel traffic bollards will be placed around the memorial to protect it. The bollards will be made to resemble punched paper tape running over a spool, to match the idea in Harry Gray’s piece, but rather than an image they will carry coded messages relevant to the memorial. (A crib will be provided on the information board so that the messages can be decoded!) There is an opportunity for local firms and businesses (or individuals) to make a significant and tangible contribution towards the cost of the memorial by sponsoring a bollard; sponsorship will be acknowledged discreetly on the bollards. We believe that the new public open space on Rutland Hill, and the associated Bill Tutte Memorial, will greatly improve the environment in the High Street and will encourage visitors to Newmarket, benefitting local businesses, many of whom will wish to be seen as supporters of the project to commemorate the life and work of Bill Tutte.
Bill Tutte Memorial Traffic Bollard
For sponsorship details contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Richard Fletcher