this is not your sawtooth wave (kineticfactory) wrote,
this is not your sawtooth wave

I took some time out today and took a day trip to Bletchley Park, the site of the top-secret Allied code-breaking effort during World War 2. I took the tour, which was rather interesting; the guide (an older gentleman named Stewart, who may have been in the intelligence services) showed us around the various huts, recounted the history of the facility, its pre-war owners, the code-breaking effort (including anecdotes about the Germans finding out about it in 1974 or so, and various British allies still using the Enigma machines Churchill offered them as late as 1980, oblivious to MI6's ability to easily read their correspondence), and subsequent neglect of the facility. The other people on the tour included quite a few older people (which the guide speculated would probably have included ex-MI5/MI6 personnel), a number of Americans, one Polish tourist and a German couple. I managed to get photos of various things (reconstructed code-breaking machines (some props from the film Enigma, some reconstructed as actual working models), reconstructions of German radio bunkers and British listening posts, and so on), which I may post online at some stage.

Bletchley Park appears to be struggling to get by, which may explain the presence of filler (a hut full of "wacky" old labour-saving devices unconnected to the facility, numerous knick-knacks in the gift shop and so on); the actual tour, though, is well worth the £10 (as long as the subject interests you, of course). There was one cool thing in the bookshop: a DIY electronic Enigma machine kit. It used ICs rather than mechanical parts, though worked like a German naval Enigma machine. At £120, though, the price is a bit steep.

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