Social networking helps Bletchley Park win award

Bletchley Park's good year shows no sign of letting up, as the home of Britain's wartime codebreaking efforts picks up an architecture award thanks to the help of social networking sites.

Topping 30 other finalists - including The Needles Old Battery on the Isle of Wight and The Cavern Club in Liverpool - Bletchley Park has been awarded the Wickes "Building with Pride" award.

It's was picked by an online vote, which lets the public choose the building they would be most proud to put their name to.

It's a rather astonishing win for Bletchley Park as the buildings are not exactly in perfect condition.

Last year, the site was in such disrepair it nearly had to close, but funds from English Heritage helped save it.

Simon Greenish, director of the Bletchley Park Trust, admitted as much in a statement: "Bletchley Park is a collection of ramshackle wooden huts, brick buildings, and a mansion which is a curious mix of mock-Tudor, Gothic and Victorian."

He added: "This as a whole is not to everyone's taste but the codebreaking work that went on in these buildings was, in the words of Professor Richard Holmes a 'very British accomplishment' and 'utterly fundamental to the survival of Britain and to the triumph of the West'."

Despite the "ramshackle", Bletchley managed to pick up the building award. The trust's Sue Black told the BBC that the win may be attributed to a successful social media campaign, with followers on Facebook, Twitter and other sites helping Bletchley win 45 per cent of the votes.

"We wouldn't have won without social media," she said. "This kind of campaign wouldn't have been possible a few years back. It's power to the people."

Never visited Bletchley Park? Click here for photos of [a href=""]the historic setting/a].