Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Friday, 10 July 2015

So, Where Shall We Go On Our Journey Today - Bletchley Park (Part Two)

Thank you so much for visiting last week for part one of our tour of Bletchley Park. Now, are you ready for part 2?  

Back outside and the gardens were beautiful to walk around on a very warm day, along with just sitting by the lake, but we loved to see the other areas that were occupied during this secret time.  Dilly Knox, Mavis Batey and Alan Turing were just three of its residents.

This little garden looked so quaint, especially with the collection of logs ready for the winter months.

Then into one of the huts.  So plain but interesting to see where all the work took place.

The long single corridor with doors off to either side.  

Simple, blacked out, just desks and office paraphernalia occupying the space.  There were sounds of people working so you felt a little like you had an invisible cloak on and were listening to people’s conversations without being noticed.

Codes waiting to be deciphered from one room to the next.  The anxiety of the people working here must have been incredibly high.

From one hut to another, each one having a purpose.  We loved this room with its exhibits of pigeon carriers.  Another vital thing during the War.

And then a plain room, dark, with two desks and a little cupboard for personal items. 

This is where one of the great people during the War worked.  Nothing was said about what he did for decades, while this man tried to live his life as he wanted to.  Without him and his team, the war would have rumbled on killing many more lives.  And yet, here is where he worked.  A mind totally full of goodness knows.

In one of the main block stands a tribute to him.  Such artistry with slate, incredibly inspiring just like him.

On the wall is hung the apology from Gordon Brown who was the Prime Minister in 2009.  It is incredibly sad that Turing took his own life from cyanide poisoning after being chemically castrated for his homosexuality.  A different era and so punishing and unforgiving.

Amongst the exhibition, is Turings’ teddy bear.

And his watch.

It seemed only right to see his machine – the Turing Bombe.  This is a reconstruction as these machines were dismantled after the War to protect the secrecy behind them and the code breakers.  A lady gave a verbal and visual demonstration and I could give you a run down however, I didn’t understand a single word!  Basically the German Enigma machines gave the code breakers a headache by them trying to figure out what the solution was from a code which would give a possibility of 26x26x26 different codes.  The Turing Bombe narrowed this to about 624 different codes which would then go to the code breakers who had a limited amount of time to crack them (I think I’ve got this right!).

Unfortunately one of the problems was to work out which targets would be allowed through and which wouldn’t.  This was to make sure the Germans didn’t deduce the fact that their codes were being solved.

The invasion of the Normandy beaches were possible due to this machine as the British sent a code to say they were invading Calais with the hope that the Germans would pick this up.  With the Turing Bombe, they were able to decipher a code coming back from Germany to confirm they had taken the bait, Britain and the allied forces then invaded Normandy and worked their way through and cut the War’s life at least by a couple of years.

To think that this enormous working machine can now fit on a microchip is beyond mind blowing.

And there we have it.  After an £8m restoration, Bletchley Park can at last reveal its secrets, its personal stories with diaries donated and code papers unearthed. 

It was fascinating to learn about the lives that helped with the victory of War, and the sadness of life afterwards.

It was also lovely to see things that are still a recognisable sight and well, just home!

Thanks for coming along with us on this mammoth tour!

Have a wonderful weekend and week ahead.

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  1. Fascinating, Chel. Thanks for sharing! :o)

  2. What an interesting place to visit. But a sad end indeed for a very clever man.

  3. Hello Chel! Thank you for the second part of the tour of Bletchley park. The Turing Bomb is such an impressive machine. It was touching to see Turing's teddy bear (as well as his watch).

  4. Wonderful tour, thanks for sharing, Chel. Such great people working quietly, behind the scenes, to end the war.

  5. Fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. I would like to visit there.

  7. This was an interesting tour, Chel! The world owes a large debt to these dedicated people......unfathomable what it could have been like without them! So sad that he took his life, though.

  8. Was looking forward to this one, Chel! What an amazing piece of history.

  9. wow, I would love to visit here, it looks so interesting xx

  10. It took me a moment to figure out why there was jibberish near The Bungalow sign. Duh (me), it's a tribute to the code breakers. There where so many brave men and women fighting to protect freedom back then. What happened?! Our societies sure have changed, and not for the better. I'm glad this has been preserved. Thanks for sharing the trip through history. ~:)

  11. It was a fascinating tour to go on with you! I imagine that it is a very interesting place to visit. Such incredibly important work went on there didn't it and it is good that it is being recognised and shared and celebrated at last! xx

  12. I love historical sites. This tour was fascinating - thank you!


  13. Interesting to see. I loved the movie. Will have to visit this someday.

  14. Well done, Chel. A great tour. Your photos - as usual - bring the place alive.

  15. So interesting Chel. I have loved going on this historical tour with you.

  16. Another interesting visit, Chel. I loved seeing the hand-writing from 1943 and to read about the carrier pigeons! What amazing machines you managed to photograph too!

  17. First time here. But I'm so exited. It is fascinating to see all these lovely photos. Very interesting, indeed.

    Greetings from Portugal

  18. You took us on a wonderful tour, a great post.

  19. Fascinating stuff, I would love to visit there one day x

  20. Great tour - thank you :) On our list of places to visit but haven't made it there yet - will have to dig out our Enigma DVD starring Kate Winslett for a watch in the meantime ...

  21. Hi Chel, thanks so much for the second part of your lovely tour. I really enjoyed looking and learning about it. Have a wonderful week.

  22. Once again, I am so jealous of your visit there...it's so fascinating! The most I can do from my little American home for now is watch the Bletchley Circle on Netflix...

    Alan Turing's story is simultaneously fascinating and utterly tragic, and the statue of him is haunting and beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing!

  23. Such a interesting place to visit...
    Amanda xx

  24. Your two Bletchley Park posts have been absolutely fascinating, Chel! The code-breaking devices are amazing, and the personal items so touching. My husband, P, has wanted to visit for a while - maybe we'll manage it this year. Thank you for taking us with you :)
    Cathy x

  25. I adore this place, such rich history. Alan Turing's story is so sad, and seeing the teddy bear and the watch adds to the sadness surrounding his story.

  26. Thank you so much for this tour. We just watched the movie over Father's Day weekend.
    I agree with Sarah in the above comment, seeing the teddy bear makes it so much more sad.

    Thank you for sharing.

  27. Very interesting posts Chel and, as always beautiful photos. Turings personal belongings are so poignant, I can't believe how despicably he was treated. I lived just 10 miles from MK for 20 years and never got round to visiting!! Must try harder after reading your great posts x

  28. Chel, very informative and interesting posts. You do feel like a fly on the wall but know how lucky we are over here to not have been in the thick of it. In reading some other comments, I will have to order the Bletchley Park film on Netflix. The closest I've ever gotten to other times and stories is in a visit to Alcatraz, in the San Francisco bay. To learn the history that we have is very powerful..Judy

  29. Fascinating! I really enjoyed both posts.

  30. Wow, thanks for sharing, Chel, it does look like such an interesting place to visit.mXx

  31. This is so very interesting, Chel. I really need to see the movie! Thank you for sharing your detailed post and photos. Have a great week ahead.


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