Posts Tagged ‘WWII’

Bletchley Park – Enigma

Monday, June 20th, 2011

I finally got to visit the home of the British Codebreakers at Bletchley Park. Part of a joint venture between the Berkshire BCS and Reading Geek Night, where a coach of us travelled up to Milton Keynes on Sunday morning to visit the site.

Entrance to Bletchley Park

I have only ever heard about the place in reputation, through the movie Enigma, and more recently, through the hashtag #bpark on twitter. So to be a visitor and have a tour guide was a real treat.

Not only was this a place where important messages were intercepted and decoded during the war, but it was also pivotal in the development of modern computing. Bletchley Park therefore also the houses the National Museum of Computing.

After some complementary teas, our tour and began and the rich history of the site began to unfold. We were treated to the real actual replica of the Bombe used in the movie as well as a working replica, this was the machine created to decipher intercepted messages. We also  saw a working Colossus computer used to help in breaking cyphers, it was kept under wraps for many years, even after the war.

Working Replica of the Bombe

Working Replica of the Bombe

Much of our tour consisted of the history and development of the technology used in helping break the codes that were intercepted during World War II, and how the centre operated.

Part of the exhibitions houses a memorial slate sculpture of Alan Turing as a reminder of all he contributed to our society. There are video documentaries, historic memorabilia, film clippings enigma machines and so much more.

Slate Sculpture of Alan Turing

Slate Sculpture of Alan Turing

I took a bunch of 3D images whilst there, but am still working through converting them into anaglyph images (that can be seen with red/cyan specs)

3D IMage group picture

Group Picture in 3D Anaglyph

In the mean time I have 50 or so pics from my visit on my flickr site

One of the highlights involved a short journey back in time through the history of computing and real life class rooms of BBC B Microcomputers, a real treat for me as it was the computer I grew up with. All-in-all an amazing day, and so much more to see. I will have to visit again, as there is just too much too see.

A Beeb, with the classic Hello World

Please support Bletchley Park by visiting them, its a superb day out, great for geeks, families and historians. You can find them on twitter @bletchleypark