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The Code Breakers
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Bletchley Park was one of the World War II's best kept secrets. In fact it was not until over 30 years later that the importance of what went on there started to become public knowledge and, now, it is being turned into a museum. It has always fascinated us but even more so as one of the main contributors to the war effort there, and one which undoubtably shortened the war and saved inumerable lives, was made by a hero of ours, Alan Turing. Vilified in his day for his sexuality to the extent that he was eventually charged under the draconian laws of the day to be chemicially castrated, he chose to end his own life on 7th June 1954.
           
Bletchley ParkView from the lakeDarryl beside Alan's statue
Bletchley Park - the main houseView from the lakeDarryl posing with Alan's statue
Stuart beside Alan's statueAlan Turing StatueAlan Turing Statue - closeup
And now Stuart doing the sameThe statue of Alan Turing by Stephen Kettle is constructed of pieces of slate shaped and stuck together to form a layered whole. A very impressive method of building a statue.Here you can get some idea of the complexity of building a lifesize statue in slate layers.
The BombeBritish version of EnigmaCollosus
In order to break the code that resulted from the Enigma machines used by the German military it was necessary to build what was called the 'Bombe' an electro-mechanical machine, not unlike an early computer. This is a working replica.This was the Bristish version of the cracked Enigma machine. The code was typed in and the message was printed on one of the two spools.And then came Collosus. Colossus was the world's first electronic digital computer that was at all programmable and was designed by a GPO Telephones engineer called Tommy Flowers. The Colossus computers were used by British codebreakers during World War II to help in the cryptanalysis of the Lorenz cipher.
Collosus - the input endValves and more valves
And here is where it was controlled from - an adapted typewriter/telex machine.There were, of course, no such things as computer chips and semi-conductors in those days. Row upon row of relays and glowing valves provided the memory and heart of Collosus.
Bletchley Park houseChurchill Collection
Before being taken over for the war effort, Bletchley Park boasted a very impressive house. Here you can see the superb decoration that has survived.Due to some very short-sighted rules imposed by the National Lottery on Bletchley Park in order to gain Lottery funding, the Churchill collection, an eclectic private collection of all things associed with Winston Churchill, was having to find a new home. Before it moved on, we were fortunate to meet the gentleman who owns the collection seen here posing with HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, who also happened to be visitng at the tme we were, and, of course, a statue of Winny himself.
 

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