Monday 9th May 2016

                                                                                             

   Visit to Bletchley Park

We set off by coach from the Corn Market on a warm sunny Monday morning.  After an hour's drive from Kettering we arrived at Bletchley Park.  This was the central site for Britain's codebreakers during World War 2 and is well worth visiting.

Once inside the Visitor Centre you are transported back to the world of the 1940s.  The emphasis of the exhibitions is to tell the stories of the people who worked there and their amazing achievements.  It is said that their efforts shortened the war by at least two years.  There is so much to see and the grounds are easy to walk round with plenty of places to sit for a rest.

Fronted by a small lake and gardens is the Manor House which is the central building.  This was the GCHQ of the operation but when the staff numbers expanded huts were erected and there were twelve in all, these have been brilliantly restored and as you go through them you are transported back in time and begin to realize the grim reality that was the British war effort.

At least 10,000 people worked there during the war.  These were from all walks of life. There was a vast army of cryptographers of course as well as dispatch riders, maintenance men, cleaners and catering crews.  Every single one had to sign The Official Secrets Act and no one talked about their work at Bletchley.  When the famous ENIGMA machine codes were finally broken the Germans never knew and never did find out.

All to soon our visit was over and after a quick stop at the gift shop we were on our way back home.  Many of us have decided to return again as there is so much to see.  The ticket you buy is valid for a year.                                                Another successful day out. Many thanks to the committee members who arranged it.

                                                              Margo