The end of an ERNIE

The Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment was used by Premium bonds for years as their way of choosing winners for Government Premium Bonds. ERNIE as the computer was nicknamed was situated at the Preston New Road site which was used by National Savings(Later National Savings and Investments).
Premium Bonds are still going – you can buy them for as little as £1 and they still draw winners monthly. You’ve got a 30,000 – 1 chance of winning a £1 draw.

ERNIE was built in 1956 by one of the original Bletchley Park Code Breakers. The same code breakers responsible for cracking the Enigma code which eventually was the downfall of the Nazi Naval forces. The basic function of ERNIE hasn’t changed over the years. He may have had a new body and a face-lift though..


It was demolished today and Stephen Cheatley was there to video the iconic building coming to the ground. Preston New Rod was closed for a short time to allow for the safe destruction of the building but is believed to be open again now.

The Premium Bonds Tower was built during the 70s and opened in 1978. The 8 story tower had suffered from a number of issues over the years including asbestos which was used throughout the build. 28 Days Later is a blog about abandoned spaces – They have some great photos from the abandoned building. Find more HERE or check out the selection below

According to the site – Offices are still being used on the site but have been modernised. The tower however. That’s gone. 

Gone but not forgotten as many people have taken to social media to share their memories of the building. Many Blackpool residents worked for premium bonds over the years and many more no doubt had premium bonds. The question is – DID YOU ever win a payout? Feel free to add comments in the section below.

If you would like to share your pictures or have any stories for the BPL Bible to cover – drop us an email at

Please consider giving us a share to your Facebook or Twitter. 

Many thanks for reading!