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Glad tidings! I bring you news of great joy!

No, no, not that I’m back here and posting again.

Something much bigger than that.

A ZX Spectrum running a Twitter feed. Image copyright jointly claimed by P Thomas and Colin Bell.

A ZX Spectrum running a Twitter feed. Image copyright P Thomas 2010. Image copyright also asserted by Colin Bell for
an almost identical image. Guess we both have good taste…and good cameras!

Gamers, geeks and retrofans who enjoyed the original Vintage Computer Festival GB held in association with the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park in 2010 will be thrilled to hear that a new festival, Silicon Dreams, is scheduled to take place in Leicestershire over the weekend of 5-7 July. I suspect, given my previous knowledge of these events (read ‘regular gatecrasher and chaos-causer’) that it will appeal to many of those who attended PlayExpo in Manchester last year too. Organised by the same team which brought you the Bletchley Park extravaganza (and Beeb@30) this weekend promises to be an unmissable mix of gaming, talks, presentations, music and all round geekery. Silicon Dreams is billed as a celebration of the silicon chip and is really two festivals in one, as it will also incorporate the Vintage Computer Festival GB 2013. *Wild cheers at the thought of another weekend like that! Sensory overload, anyone?*

The event is being held at the already-awesome Snibston Discovery Museum in Coalville, Leicestershire, which is a day out in itself without the added distraction of retro gear in all its finery.

Those familiar with the Retro Computer Museum‘s open days, also held at Snibston, will see a few recognisable faces, as the RCM guys are involved, as well as the Centre for Computing History. I hear tell representatives of the RISC-OS team will be there too and I have high hopes that some of the retro industry’s finest will be tempted to put in an appearance after the success of the previous events they attended.

The three-day weekend (I like that threat. Very, very much!) is hoping to benefit not only the Centre for Computing History and Retro Computer Museum, who are loaning their kit for the weekend, but also the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Expect more of the kind of thing shown in the photo, which is a genuine ZX Spectrum running a Twitter feed. And yes, it worked. Because I tried it. Several times!

Around 2,500 people attended the original VCF-GB three years ago. It is hoped that Snibston’s existing attractions, as well as its location, will encourage even more people to come to experience Silicon Dreams. For those wanting to bring families, there are a variety of things to do besides attending Silicon Dreams. The museum, on the site of an old colliery, features an interactive gallery, an outdoor playground, a train ride guided tour and a country park to walk the dog. Combined with a large display covering the history of fashion, plus technology in all its forms from waterwheels and steam engines to the Sinclair C-5 and beyond, there really is something for everyone.

If you would like more details, or want to get involved, the organisers, Chimera Events, would love to hear from you. Just be sure to mention that you read about it here first.


  1. Thanks for using my image of the Spectrum running twitter to illustrate this story. Can you please give me credit as the image is copyrighted (you do have permission as long as I am credited).


  2. That is not your image. That is my image 0108 from that day as far as I am aware. Proof received that the images are in fact slightly different, although taken with similar cameras and from almost the same position in front of the machine.

  3. Really looking forward to this event. We’ll be bringing lots of retro computers including some of the more rare machines. See you there …

  4. Ozkan

    @Colin, u need prescription glasses mate, your image is not the same with the image that displayed here.. just check the contents of the monitor…

  5. It’s OK, Ozkan. Colin and I have agreed to share credit wherever my picture appears as it’s easily confused with his. I don’t mind who uses mine, he prefers his to remain All Rights Reserved, which is fair enough.

  6. Pingback: Silicon Dreams update – musicians confirmedRetroGT blog | RetroGT blog