Yesterday we stopped by Bletchley Park, the place where a large community of people from various domains and walks of life gathered during World War II in order to break the German codes.
It was a totally different type of visit than before, as the buildings themselves are quite uninspiring and gloomy but the history behind them is extraordinary.
There is a lot of information to take in and you definitely need a second visit to find out more.
I did not find that the multimedia iPod device provided by them was very helpful as the screen is quite small and the controls pretty bad. I find that having a device to fiddle with while you are trying to visit a place or exhibition is not a very good idea as it decreases the experience on both sides. Anyway, once you get the hang of the place and start going around the Mansion, huts, blocks and cottages, all becomes more enjoyable. The very extensive exhibition in Bloc B, where the Entrance is, would probably be the best place to start with even though you might end up spending so much time there that you’d be too tired to get on to the other places 🙂
If you are interested in this part of the human history or, as myself, you are amazed by Alan Turing and his contributions to computer science, it is a very enlightening experience. Also because you understand that Turing, no matter how genius he was, was part of a large community and they all contributed in various ways to breaking the German codes and shortening the WW2.
Some interesting links I found:
- Colin Day, “BLETCHLEY PARK – Britain’s Best-kept WWII Secret” – an extremely informative website talking about the various buildings on the estate as well as their history.
- The official Bletchley Park website and the history of the place.
- Information on the Bombe machine designed and built there to help decode Enigma codes.
- Bletchley Park group in Flickr.
- Two interesting YouTube videos about the Enigma and the Bombe: Part 1 and Part 2.
And here are the photos I took there: