Not being particularly good at cryptic crosswords the chances of me possibly working at Bletchley Park code breaking during World War II, I suspect would have been very much out of the question.
Perhaps making the tea, but cracking codes would not have suited my type of brain, being rather more arty, I feel.
However the fine and distinguished brains that did turn the tide for the allies one and can only admire. The work they carried out at the then very secret base called ‘Station X’ during the war can now some 70 years on be freely spoken and written about.
During World War II it was one of the most secret places in the UK and somehow it got missed by the Germans as had they have known the significance of what was going on there then the town of Bletchley would have been flattened for sure!
Even when the place was expanded to around 10,000 people working on the site and with dozens of wooden huts and other major buildings being constructed on the site but somehow it still seemed to go unnoticed by the Nazi’s.
Alan Turing the famous mathematician and cryptographer was one of the key members of staff at Bletchley Park and with a close team of fellow engineers around him they came up with the idea of building a machine to help speed up ways to crack the German Enigma codes.
This story has recently come to the big screen with the film ‘The Imitation Game’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch so this extra publicity will help Bletchley Park to build their visitor numbers that have over the last year increased by around 25%.
Around £8M has been spent on refurbishing some of the wooden huts where some of the key code breaking work was done and the museum has attracted Royal visits with both The Queen and Katherine, The Duchess of Cambridge touring the saved buildings.
Later this year there will be a er exhibition that will look at the earlier code breaking work done during World War I and that is expected to generate even more visitors.
The museum is just 5 minutes walk from Bletchley railway station so it makes it perfect for visitors to London to have a day trip there as it takes only 50 minutes on the train from Euston.
With on-site parking and numerous signs around the town centre its easy to drive there plus with two catering outlets on site and with the extensive grounds it makes a really good day out for both young and old.
The museum gives and excellent insight into the work of the code breaking on an industrial scale but also it shows the human side of what the staff had to deal with as they worked in tiny wooden huts intensely studying ciphers all day, every day, knowing that their work was making a huge contribution to winning the war, but they could never talk about it.
It is now thought that the work done at Bletchley Park shortened the war by around two years!