Bletchley Park: Home of World War II’s talented minds: Part-I

Amazing Europe | | January 18, 2011 at 4:46 am




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Also known as Station X during the World War II, Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire England, is famous for housing some of the country’s innovations whose abilities aided in fighting the war. Nestled in the village of Bletchley near Milton Keynes, this is now an interesting war museum accessible easily from London as a short day trip. Formerly being the private manor house, today, the Bletchley Park is a living testament to the talents of early 1940s.

Just take up an audio guided tour that will aid you in passing through the collection of buildings as well as blocks scattered here. As you pass, you will come across the genuine cryptology machines that once deciphered the complex code such as the popular German Enigma machine along with the exciting stories of ploys and spies. In addition, you will be able to explore the permanent exhibitions of the war as well as Winston Churchill memorabilia, vehicles, prototypes of wartime railways, and Projected Picture Trust that refers to a site meant for the cinema lovers so that they can discover the legendary devices of projection. And yes, children will also have fun here as they explore the code trail as well as adventure playground. In fact, the entire family can have fun here not only by exploring the wartime exhibitions, but also by having a delicious ice-cream by the beautiful lake and meals at a wonderful cafe.

Start your tour by spotting the Engima machines such as the German, Lorenz, and rare ‘Abwehr G312′ – the main attraction at the Bletchley Park. Enigma is the ideal cipher machine offering greater security and speed. Besides Enigma, you will get a chance to see the vast private collection of John Alexander and David White as the contemporaries of the Enigma. Look for British cipher machines, Hagelin equipment, and those machines from USA, Sweden, Russia, and Switzerland.

Another highlight is The Churchill Collection that is really enticing with his privately-owned collection involving many extinct pieces such as Stephen Kettle’s new slate showing the man himself. In the National Museum of Computing, know all about the Colossal computer as well as several vital instances of computing machinery. If you are on the tour of this park, you would definitely like to know about the complete history of it. Okay, for this, be at the Block-B Exhibition Centre housed in an actual wartime edifice. In this museum, you will know about the unbelievable processes of decryption, translation, interception, interpretation and analysis due to which the vital intelligence proved so important in the war. Spot for the Stephen Kettle’s Turing statue as well as the orientation room showing a short film. And yes, there is the Bletchley Park gift shop and this is where you book your admissions too.

Your kids will love the Toys and Memorabilia collection at Block B opened on all the days, behind the Mansion for weekends, and Mansion library where vintage toys are on display. Look for the play things to artifacts since 1930′s – toy soldiers, model vehicles as well as trains, dolls, and teddies, Britain’s lead farm and garden. Open only in the weekends, the original wireless as well as landline communication tools of the war reside in Hut 1 to exchange the secret ULTRA and DIPLOMATIC messages between international bases as well as outposts. There are many more attractions, but I will cover them later.

The Cafe in Hut 4

This is where you satisfy your appetite with its variety of quality traditional items between 12.00 pm and 3.30 pm. Both hot as well as cold options are available here. Expect salads, sandwiches, tea, and delicious cake along with other local meals. Well, it is very interesting to eat in the code breaking hut that is the only one of its kind being used since it was erected.

Timings

Daily, except for Christmas Eve and Day, New Year’s Day, and Boxing Day.

Winter (1st November to 31st March): 10.30 am to 4.00 pm.

Summer Opening (1st April to 31st October): 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.

Entry fees

£10.00 per adult.

£8.00 per child (12 to 16).

£6.00 per child below 12.

£22.50 for a family (two adults and two children aged 12 to 16).

£3.00 for car parking.

Guided tours

This, included in your admission fee, is just ideal to have an educational tour of the Bletchley Park. Lasting for 1.5 hours, you will come to know about all the points of interest along with the story revealing the manner in which the Enigma as well as Lorenz codes were deciphered. And yes, no matter which guide you take, all are knowledgeable to answer your any kind of questions at the end.

Okay, just also note that considerable amount of walking of at least over a mile with stops. So, if you cannot walk, ask for a wheelchair. The quorum limit of each tour is 50 people so that you can enjoy them well. Come early to register as first come first basis is the principle of the tours here.

Bletchley Park: Home of World War II’s talented minds – Part II

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