Computer ◆ Conservation ◆ Society

Early ICT 1301 computer alive and well in Kent : CCS visit on 12th May 2009


On May 12th, a small party of CCS committee members ventured forth into darkest Kent to visit "Flossie" - the ICT 1301 which lives in a barn there. The excuse for this outing was the visit of Bruce McMillan of the Otago Settlers' Museum in Dunedin, New Zealand where resides another ICT 1301 which Bruce is gamely trying to coax back into life in the same way.

At a little after 12:00, Bruce was invited to power up Flossie and that done, the machine sprang into action - "slouched" might be a better word as it took some time. A little while later, after a few worrying moments with the paper tape reader, a demonstration program was run which, for a considerable time exercised the machine's various peripherals. The printer was seen to move it's tractors (sadly without the benefit of any actual paper as there is a current problem with the print hammers) and magnetic tapes (yes, more than one!) were written and read. The tapes are ½" 10 track tapes which seems odd now, but probably wasn't in 1961.

All in all, Flossie behaved herself, if not impeccably, then at least as well as might be reasonably hoped and far, far better than anybody has a right to expect of an old lady of 48.

Flossie's original job was in administration at London University. One CCS member brought along his GCE results notifications and certificates from the mid 1960s which are known to have been printed by Flossie.

They were solemnly photographed by Flossie's minder, the irrepressible Rod Brown, to whom, together with Roger Holmes, Flossie's owner, grateful thanks are due from all those present.


Card Input Station

Roger Holmes at the console

... While others look on

... And Rod video records everything

The CCS Treasurer in characteristic pose.