Technology enthusiast's plan for pioneering computer museum in borough

Joe Kay hopes to open a computer museum
Joe Kay hopes to open a computer museum

A tech whizz has revealed ambitious plans to open the North West’s first computer museum right here in the borough.

Joe Kay, a computer enthusiast turned IT professional, wants residents to get to grips with computers from eras gone by, all the way from the 70s, through to the present day, and even the virtual reality devices of the future.

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Iconic machines such as the Sinclair ZX-80, the Amstrad 6128 and the Commodore 64, and the Oculus Rift are just a handful of the computers that will be on show at the museum.

And you won’t just be able to look at them - you’ll be able to use them too. All the computers will be fully working, to give enthusiasts the chance to see how technology has evolved.

Joe, originally from Leigh, has been a computer boffin since the 80s, and currently owns a small IT company.

He hopes his new project will get more people interested in the history of computers and encourage more to pursue careers in the field.

“There is an identified need to provide a computer & internet museum for the people of North West and the wider area,” he said.

“There are only handful of other such facility in the UK. The “hands-on museum” will provide people with a sense of community, improve people’s knowledge of IT and provide training and job opportunities.”

He added: “From the understanding of old computers from the 70s to date, people will be able to use and learn how to program and use. This will give communities the understanding of computing from the past to date and the use of future technology.”

Workshops will also be held to design electronic boards, applications, and teach a variety of programming languages and code. The museum will also have holiday clubs, coding clubs, and digital promotions for businesses.

There will be a pop-up version of the museum at The Galleries Shopping Centre, between 10am-4pm on October 26, 27 and November 2, 3, 9 and 10, where residents will be able to test out some of the machines.

Joe hopes to eventually set up the museum in Wigan, potentially moving into a space in Trencherfield Mill. Plans have also been mooted to eventually run a mobile version of the museum, which will tour schools. Joe also wished to thank Synergy Sign And Print Ltd in Leigh for their kind donation of printing services.

To find out more, visit nwcomputermuseum.org.uk