The Bletchley Park Super Visit Of 2023
The visit to Bletchley Park began by catching a train very early in the morning. Upon arrival at Bletchley, and after making the short walk up to Bletchley Park, we met up with the small group of Maths Scholars that had begun to form, collected our maps and itineraries, and went off to explore.
We began by visiting the museum and the various exhibits housed in what used to be rooms filled with computers, coded messages, and hard-working codebreakers, and although there were no longer any codebreakers working there, many original pieces of equipment remained, now on display to tell their story. After learning about the history of Bletchley Park, we set off to explore the grounds.
The buildings at Bletchley Park surround a small lake, overlooked by a grand manor house full of fascinating history. Despite it being an exceptionally chilly January morning, the historical significance of the site was not lost upon venturing out and looking across over the lake and the house. The scene was set further during the guided tour which began later in the morning. The tour helped to bring the old buildings to life, from the manor house itself, to the garages behind it, the cottages, the office blocks, and even the old tennis court, thanks to our tour guide Ralph and his extensive knowledge of Bletchley Park and the lives of those who worked there.
The next activity on our agenda was a codebreaking workshop, which involved learning more about the codes that the team at Bletchley Park were tasked with breaking during the War, as well as getting to see an original Enigma machine in action. Our next task was to practise our own codebreaking skills by learning about and attempting to solve a series of different codes in order to reveal the name of an actual spy who was known to be present at Bletchley Park during the War. We were able to solve the codes in time, and even got the chance to try out the Enigma machine for ourselves.
For the remainder of the day, we had time to explore and see the rest of Bletchley Park, including a radio museum and a temporary exhibit on information and data in the modern world. After a visit to the gift shop, it was time to leave and walk back to Bletchley station, head into Milton Keynes for lunch, and take the train back home, having learnt a lot about the difficult jobs and lives of those who were called upon by their country to travel to Bletchley Park, leave their current lives and careers behind, and do their part for the allied forces during the Second World War.
By Jacob Dobson
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