Peter Onion gave an enthusiastic talk on the history of Elliott Brothers, producers of the all-singing, all-dancing Elliott 803B which he proceeded to demonstrate. This 1960s machine was popular with universities and colleges and he told the audience he remembered seeing one in his college, where it was used to teach programming.
These days this machine is used to play music most weekends and in fact was heard to give a rendition of Popcorn by Hot Butter earlier in the weekend. The programming work on the Elliott 803B was responsible for the foundation of the first software house in the United Kingdom, when their programmer Dina St Johnston founded Vaughan Programming Services in the late 1950s. She held the view that computing should be open to everyone and was considered revolutionary and formidable for that view. (Source: her obituary in Computer Resurrection Issue 41).
This was a rare chance to see these machines and an opportunity to learn first hand from their current engineers the challenges, joys and difficulties of maintaining such rare equipment.