But more generally, the design and development had all been decided by others. They called it the 'baby machine'—but it was someone else's baby.
Williams had turned the tables, for while Darwin had hoped for him to build to Alan Turing's instructions, now Alan had the task of making Williams' machine work.
With the best will in the world, there was room for conflict; the more so as the engineers had no intention of being 'directed' by anyone.
The line between 'mathematicians' and 'engineers' was demarcated very clearly, and if not quite an Iron Curtain, it was a barrier as awkward as the MacMahon Act.
This would never be Alan Turing's machine, as the ACE would have been, and correspondingly, he withdrew as much as possible from any administrative responsibility for it.
But he could foster it, and there was the prospect of using it.
His position also attracted the salary of some 1200 pounds per annum (increased to 1400 pounds in June 1949), and very considerable freedom.
So he stuck with Manchester, not as a 'Deputy Director' but as a freelance 'Prof' (as people still called him, perhaps to the slight annoyance of the true professors).
There was a conventional sense in which Manchester, compared with Cambridge, was a come-down. It was largely the technical university of the North, producing doctors and engineers, rather than abstract ideas.
However, Manchester prided itself on its standards, and Newman had built up a mathematics department which rivalled that of Cambridge.
So although Alan was a bigger fish in a smaller pond, he was not a fish out of water.