The Bletchley Park Podcast

The Bletchley Park Podcast

United Kingdom

The historic site of secret British codebreaking during WW2 & the birthplace of modern computing. Stories from the codebreakers, staff & volunteers, audio from events & lectures, and news on the progress of the development of Bletchley Park.

Episodes

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E52 - Everything but the work  

November 2016 Travel back 25 years to the party that started the campaign to save the site where codebreaking was carried out during World War Two. It was quite a party. It was sneakily planned, and those who organised it ended up feeling they’d got away something. In this brand new episode, we delve into memories shared by the Veterans that day - of fun, food and friendships, as well as a few dances and dalliances. The party was carefully timed, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the letter sent to Churchill, asking for more resources. Sent in 1941, it opened the door for Bletchley Park to expand at a rapid pace, to meet the increasing demand. Churchill’s response to that letter, ‘Action This Day: Give them all they need and report to me that this has been done’, was a real turning point. Before we go back in time to that momentous day in October 1991, we spend more time with some of the hardy annuals who turned out to this year’s Veterans’ Reunion. It’s always a great day, and once they start sharing their memories, it’s amazing how much comes flooding back. Visit Bletchley Park. It happened here. Book now. Image: ©shaunarmstrong/mubsta.com #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E51 - The Party that Saved Bletchley Park  

October 2016 The Party that Saved Bletchley Park takes you back 25 years, to the first Veterans’ reunion. On 19 October 1991 Bletchley Park was about to be bulldozed for housing. A group of local historians organised the first - and, they thought, last - reunion of Veterans of the Government Code and Cypher School in the very buildings where they did their war work. They believed it would be a chance for the Veterans to have one last look around the site before it was consigned to history, and bid it a fond farewell. That day, though, the Veterans lent their support to a burgeoning desire among those local historians to stop Bletchley Park being torn down, and the campaign to save it for the nation was born. Volunteers recorded 14 hours of audio that day, capturing conversations and informal interviews with the Veterans on cassette tapes. We’ve recently discovered that these audio cassettes had been digitised and were not, as feared, lost to history. The campaign to save Bletchley Park from being bulldozed was not the only thing that party started. It was also the first of what has become the highlight of the year at Bletchley Park - the annual Veterans’ Reunion. This year’s was another great day, with Veterans bringing their families to remember and celebrate their contribution. This year, for the first time, many of them were searching for their names cemented firmly into Bletchley Park’s future as well as its past, in the Codebreakers’ Wall. Next month, we’ll bring you more from the party that saved Bletchley Park. We’ll share some of the insights into what life was like - apart from the all-important work these people were doing - looking both inside and out the gates of Bletchley Park. Many thanks to Helen Legh & Tilda for capturing interviews at this year’s reunion. Thanks also go to Kerry Howard for roving reporting at this year's reunion, and you can hear some of the fascinating conversations she captured next month. Visit Bletchley Park. It happened here. Book now. Image: ©Bletchley Park Trust #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E50 - Action This Day  

September 2016 Action This Day! In our historic anniversary-based series, It Happened Here, we look at a paper-based act of daring which changed the course of history. Seventy five years ago Winston Churchill visited Bletchley Park, amid the utmost secrecy. He understood how important the intelligence being produced was, and valued it highly. He gave a morale-boosting speech to the Codebreakers, and we hear from Sir Arthur Bonsall, who stumbled across the PM on his way to lunch. Once the euphoria of the VIP visit had worn off, a group of young men who were feeling the weight of the task on their shoulders cooked up a plan to try to channel Churchill’s enthusiasm for Bletchley Park, to help them overcome administrative and fiscal issues they were facing on the front line of codebreaking. A letter signed by Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, Hugh Alexander and Stuart Milner-Barry, politely outlined the need for more staff and resources. One passage read: “The trouble to our mind is that as we are a very small section with numerically trivial requirements it is very difficult to bring home to the authorities finally responsible either the importance of what is done here or the urgent necessity of dealing promptly with our requests.” Stuart Milner-Barry of Hut 6 was volunteered by his colleagues to deliver the letter to Downing Street. It was 40 years before he saw the Churchill’s memo: “Make sure they have all they want on extreme priority and report to me that this had been done.” The original memo lives in The National Archive and a copy is on display in the Visitor Centre at Bletchley Park. Then we fast forward 50 years to 1991 and the party that saved Bletchley Park. The very first reunion for Veterans started as a fond farewell to a semi derelict site that was about to be bulldozed, but turned into a call to action to save it. Fourteen hours of audio recordings made that day that were feared lost, were in fact safely stashed away in Bletchley Park’s Archive, and digitised only recently. From next month, we’ll bring you highlights. The episode also features an exclusive interview with Geoffrey Welchman, whose grandfather Gordon was Head of Hut 6 and reputedly the instigator of the letter to Churchill. Find out what happened when Geoffrey visited Bletchley Park for the first time, and discovered how well celebrated his grandfather is. Visit Bletchley Park. It happened here. Book now. Image: ©Bletchley Park Trust #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History, #Churchill

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E49 - Enigma from the other side  

August 2016 Hear from a German Enigma operator for the first time in the August 2016 episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, Enigma from the other side. Sharing her unique story as part of Bletchley Park’s Oral History Project, Irmgard Enge, later Copley, tells how she was part of a secret operation to make sure the Allies did not find out how badly German aeroplanes and munitions factories were being damaged by bombs. She also recalls friendly - and less friendly - French people living near the air base where she was posted. Once the war had ended, Irmgard reluctantly agreed to go to a dance with her friend. She hadn’t wanted to go because there would be British soldiers there and she didn’t want to dance with the enemy. But her friend persuaded her and there she met her husband, an English soldier. Also in this month’s episode, we meet a man who grew up just beyond the boundary fence of Bletchley Park during World War Two. He joined a long queue in the rain to have treasures valued for the BBC antiques show, Flog It. The show’s host, Paul Martin, reveals which items he tries to persuade people to keep, going somewhat against the programme’s underlying principle. Last but not least, change is afoot at the hugely successful 1940s Boutique. The day long workshop and tutorial is opening its doors to customers who want a spot of pampering, without the DIY. As well as workshops on how to create the iconic looks of the 1940s and 1950s, the experts themselves will be styling customers’ hair and make-up; all in the tranquil surroundings of the Victorian mansion which became the site of some of WW2’s most secret work. Thanks to The Three Belles for the music in this episode, you can find them at www.thethreebelles.com Visit Bletchley Park. It happened here. Book now. Image: ©Bletchley Park Trust #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History, #Retro, #FlogIt

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E48 - Pinches and Breaks  

July 2016 Dive into stories of stolen intelligence treasures which helped turn the tide in the Battle of the Atlantic in the July 2016 episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, Pinches and Breaks. As part of the historic anniversary-based series, It Happened Here, we hear from Arnold Hargreaves, a seaman aboard HMS Bulldog, who boarded the captured German submarine, U110, and still has the spoils today. An Enigma machine, codebooks and other vital documents were among the haul taken from the U-boat before it sunk. Bletchley Park’s Research Historian, Dr David Kenyon delves into the story of HMS Bulldog and other key pinches, which helped the Codebreakers at Bletchley Park glean vital naval intelligence. Genius alone was not enough. Pinches - in other words, stealing stuff from the enemy - were vital in breaking naval codes. Also in this month’s episode, Bletchley Park celebrated Armed Forces Weekend in style this year, with a themed weekend and a very special giveaway. Two thousand free tickets were given to military personnel and their families, bands played throughout the weekend and there were stalls and activities to entertain visitors of all ages. Hear from some of the families - military and civilian - enjoying the festivities. Visit Bletchley Park. It happened here. Book now. Image: ©Bletchley Park Trust #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E47 - No Sleep on VE Day  

June 2016 No Sleep on VE Day, a brand new episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, is out now. Cynthia Humble was an intercept operator in the ATS from 1944 and was stationed at Forest Moor in the Yorkshire countryside. There she listened intently to enciphered Morse signals which were whisked off to a place she and her colleagues knew only as Station X. Her memories of the intense work, the somewhat rationed but sparkling social life and how she and her watch did not sleep a wink on VE Day, despite it falling between gruelling night shifts, are all in this month’s episode. Bletchley Park’s Oral History project has been running for five years, gathering more than three hundred rich and detailed interviews so far, with Veterans of the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park and its outstations all over the world. This rich archive is ever growing as the project continues apace. Born into an army family, Cynthia was keen to do her bit for the war effort, so she joined up at the grand old age of seventeen and a half. She went on to make memories which have lasted a lifetime. We take you to the opening of the second phase of the ground-breaking exhibition about codebreaking during World War One, The Road to Bletchley Park, which has been extended to tell stories of the impact this pioneering work had on the war at sea, on land and in the air. It also touches on the tribulations of effectively sharing intelligence without revealing its source. Phase one of The Road to Bletchley Park explores some of the people involved in WW1 codebreaking who went on to be crucial to the successes of the Government Code and Cypher School during World War Two. Now the second phase, which extends the exhibition in the Visitor Centre at Bletchley Park, explores stories including the largest naval battle of WW1 and the secret telegram which brought the USA into the conflict. Podcast producer Mark Cotton took a sneaky first peek alongside the Friends of Bletchley Park, at their exclusive preview evening. Also, we hear why another night of The Imitation Game has been laid on at the Open Air Cinema in September. The Oscar-winning film starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Codebreaker, mathematician and all-round genius Alan Turing will be shown on the lawn at the uniquely historic site where a lot of the action is set, and key scenes were filmed. Visit Bletchley Park. It happened here. Book now. Image: ©Cynthia Humble, nee Grossman #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History, #WW1, #AudioMo, #AudioMo2016

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E46 - The Bismarck  

May 2016 This month in the Bletchley Park Podcast’s It Happened Here series, we tell the story of The Bismarck. The iconic German battleship was sunk by the Royal Navy 75 years ago. While this clearly did not happen at Bletchley Park, but in the Atlantic Ocean, codebreaking and some of the pioneering techniques developed as part of it played a crucial role in locating the flagship of the German fleet. Bletchley Park’s Research Historian, Dr David Kenyon, explains how work going on in wooden huts in the Buckinghamshire countryside contributed to the ship’s destruction, which was vital for the Allies, both strategically and symbolically. Jane Fawcett worked in Hut 6 from 1940. She recalls “It may be the most important thing that any of us have ever done in our lives. We didn’t realise it at the time, but we do now.” Hear about the special Bletchley Park beer being launched at the Fathers’ Day BBQ next month, and there’s news of how the ever-popular 1940s Boutique is expanding. Also in this month’s episode, Dermot Turing opened up his family archive to give a rare insight into the man who’s become a figurehead for the breath-taking achievements of the Bletchley Park Codebreakers, his uncle, Alan Turing. Alan Turing died before Dermot was born but his legend looms large in the family and Dermot has written a book, debunking some of the myths that have grown up about this intriguing man, and giving a unique family perspective on his remarkable work and the tragic end to his life. We hear highlights of Dermot’s talk at Bletchley Park, sharing some of what’s in his book, Prof: Alan Turing Decoded. Visit Bletchley Park. It happened here. Book now. Image: ©shaunarmstrong/mubsta.com In memory of Jane Fawcett, who passed away on 21 May 2016. #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History, #Turing, #Bismarck

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E45 - Punch Cards, Porridge and a Pittance  

April 2016 This episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, Punch Cards, Porridge and a Pittance, celebrates five years since Bletchley Park’s Oral History project began in earnest. This rich archive has grown to more than three hundred interviews and this month we begin to celebrate its fifth anniversary, by sharing the very first interview that was carried out under its auspices. Doris Marshall, nee Phillips, lived just outside the boundaries of Bletchley Park and her family welcomed a number of billetees who worked for the Government Code and Cypher School. They suggested to her when she was coming of age that she too might work at this highly interesting, top secret place. Throughout this year, the Bletchley Park Podcast will bring memories from more of these fascinating oral history interviews out of storage for the world to hear, watch and read. We still want to hear from anyone who worked as part of the Bletchley Park operation and has not yet been interviewed. If you know of someone, email info@bletchleypark.org.uk and mention the Oral History Project. This month we also bring you details of the exciting new open air cinema at Bletchley Park, which will show the Oscar-winning film, The Imitation Game as well as the World War Two classic, The Great Escape, over two nights in September. Last but not least, a heartfelt letter of thanks for the vital intelligence provided by Bletchley Park has been brought out of the shadows, 70 years after it was written. Eisenhower’s 1945 letter to Sir Stewart Menzies hung on the wall in the top secret Chief’s office at MI6 for several years, inspiring today’s Bletchley Park Trust Chairman Sir John Scarlett during his tenure. It is now on public display for the first time, at Bletchley Park, and we take you to the launch with Sir John, GCHQ Departmental Historian, Tony Comer, Bletchley Park’s Research Historian, Dr David Kenyon and the NSA’s Historian, David A Hatch. All this is waiting for your ears in this month’s episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, Punch Cards, Porridge and a Pittance. Visit Bletchley Park. It happened here. Book now. Image: Freeborn Machine Section Hollerith Punch Room, Block C ©Crown. Reproduced by kind permission, Director, GCHQ #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History, #Eisenhower

Bletchley Park Podcast Extra - E49 - Bletchley's Foreign Relations with Tony Comer Part 2  

March 2016 In November 2015, the GCHQ Departmental Historian made a rare public appearance as part of the Bletchley Park Presents lecture series. Tony gave a talk titled International Partnerships - Bletchley's Foreign Relations. In this second part of his talk he picks up the story with the fundamental work on Enigma carried out by Polish Codebreakers in the years running up to the start of World War Two and the start of the UK US relationship. The simultaneous management of different levels of relationship with different countries added an often unsuspected level of complexity, and the need gradually to decouple from some relationships as the war in Europe came to an end, needed careful management. This talk added rich detail to the Bletchley Park story. Bletchley Park’s Polish Memorial Image: ©shaunarmstrong/mubsta.com #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #History, #WW2

Its significance resonates down to today  

March 2016 Dr David A Hatch, NSA Historian, explains the huge historic significance of the letter sent by General Dwight D Eisenhower, the five-star general in the United States Army during World War Two who served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, to the Chief of MI6, Stuart Menzies, at the end of the war, thanking him for the intelligence produced by Bletchley Park. In it, Eisenhower says “The intelligence … has saved thousands of British and American lives.” The letter is now on public display for the first time, at Bletchley Park. Visit Bletchley Park. It happened here. Open daily. Image: ©Bletchley Park Trust #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2, #History

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E44 - Bombe Girls  

March 2016 In this month’s brand new episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, Bombe Girls, meet some of the trailblazing women who were assigned to Special Duties X or posted to HMS Pembroke 5 when they joined the Wrens (Women’s Royal Naval Service or WRNS). These women found themselves at Bletchley Park - or, in many cases - at one of its huge, industrial outstations on the fringes of London - operating state of the art machines created to speed up the process of finding the daily Enigma settings on many different networks. They’d never heard of Enigma and didn’t know how their work fit into the wider intelligence operation, but they understood how important it was - and how essential it was that they kept it secret. Hear from the inspirational Helen Legh, a BBC radio presenter who’s been undergoing treatment for brain tumours. She took time out to indulge in some vintage pampering at the ever-glamorous 1940s Boutique. A cracking Easter approaches at Bletchley Park and this month’s episode tells you what’s being laid on for children including trails, workshops and the chance to win a Suzuki Vitara. Visit Bletchley Park. It happened here. Open daily. Thanks to The Three Belles for the music featured in this episode. You can find them at http://www.thethreebelles.com/ Image: ©Crown. Reproduced by kind permission, Director, GCHQ #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History, #AlanTuring

Bletchley Park Podcast Extra - E48 - Bletchley's Foreign Relations with Tony Comer Part 1  

March 2016 In November 2015, the GCHQ Departmental Historian made a rare public appearance as part of the Bletchley Park Presents lecture series. Tony gave a talk titled International Partnerships - Bletchley's Foreign Relations. In this first part of his talk he examined how foreign partnerships became an integral part of British signals intelligence shortly before World War Two. Although parts of the story are told, the meeting with the Poles in Warsaw in July 1939, and the arrival of the Americans in February 1941, for example, the number of different relationships is greater than many people realise. The simultaneous management of different levels of relationship with different countries added an often unsuspected level of complexity, and the need gradually to decouple from some relationships as the war in Europe came to an end, needed careful management. This talk added rich detail to the Bletchley Park story. Image: ©shaunarmstrong/mubsta.com #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #History, #WW1

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E43 - The Special Relationship  

February 2016 75 years ago, a tentative meeting was held late at night, aided by sherry, in the office of Alastair Denniston, then Head of the Government Code and Cypher School. It was to prove an important turning point in the history of both the UK and the US. That night, as intelligence secrets were shared, the Special Relationship was founded. That alliance continues to be crucial to both nations today. To celebrate this anniversary, the Directors of GCHQ and the NSA visited Bletchley Park together and spoke about how important the relationship remains today. This episode takes a peek behind the curtain of secrecy that surrounded that visit, and shares today’s intelligence chiefs’ admiration of what was achieved here. And we hear from Veteran Dulcie Klusman, who had her own Special Relationship. While serving as a civilian at Bletchley Park, she met her American beau Bill, who became her husband and the reason she moved from the UK to the US. Before that, though, her letters arranging to meet him were intercepted and inspected - in case she was giving away vital secrets. Image: ©shaunarmstrong/mubsta.com #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History, #Churchill

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E42 - It Happened Here  

January 2016 Throughout 2016, the Bletchley Park Podcast will tell stories of the Codebreakers’ successes and agonies - all of which they kept completely secret. This month, it’s not German and it’s not Enigma. With help from Bletchley Park’s Research Historian, Dr David Kenyon, we look into the high level Italian ciphers being broken by Bletchley Park, which impacted significantly on the war in North Africa. There was a continuing dance of difficulty between the codebreaking operation in Cairo and HQ at Bletchley Park. Listen now to delve into this little known story. We meet the nephew of a man who died capturing Enigma codebooks from a sinking U-Boat, a seizure which made a huge difference to the Battle of the Atlantic, but his family were told he’d perished in an unsuccessful mission. Now, the dramatic story of The Petard Pinch is beautifully told in a mini exhibition in naval codebreaking Hut 8. We take you behind the scenes at the exclusive preview. Hear from vintage stylist Sarah Dunn of Sarah’s Doo-Wop Dos about why the 1940s Boutique has struck such a chord. This highly glamorous day out is back in 2016 and Sarah tells us what’s in store. Finally this month, Veteran Betty Webb MBE gives us a sneak peek inside her Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Betty has been honoured for remembering and promoting Bletchley Park. At 92, she still regularly gives talks to schoolchildren as well as helping with fundraising and media appearances. Image: Frederick Jacob, Director, CBME in Cairo ©Kenneth Jacob You can learn more about Frederick Jacob at the family website http://www.myjacobfamily.com/favershamjacobs/frederickarthurjacob.htm #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History, #Churchill

Celebrating family pride  

December 2015 Veterans’ families encouraged to join community and buy a brick Pride burns bright in relatives of the men and women whose secret work at Bletchley Park and its outstations helped shorten World War Two. The Bletchley Park Trust is in touch with more than 1,500 Veterans of the clandestine codebreaking organisation, the Government Code and Cypher School. Many more are no longer with us. Now, for the first time, the Trust is reaching out to its Veterans’ families to join a global community, celebrating their connection to this remarkable piece of history. “I find it spine-tingling to walk into the Mansion knowing I’m walking where my father and my grandfather walked and never could tell anyone.” This was Anthony De Grey’s reaction to entering the Mansion when he visited Bletchley Park, the place where not only his father, John De Grey, and grandfather, Nigel De Grey, worked but also his aunt, Barbara De Grey, and her future husband, Patrick Vans. Anthony was touched to discover two photographs of his father in the guidebook. He said, “I find it difficult to hold back the tears at a time like that. Thank you for giving me the opportunity because I’m just delighted to contribute to this place, which is still far too secret.” Candy Connolly is the granddaughter of Commander Alastair Denniston, the first Operational Director of the Government Code and Cypher School. Denniston welcomed new recruits to Bletchley Park in his office in the Mansion, which has been returned to its World War Two appearance. Candy said, “I’m very proud and amazingly fortunate to be sitting in this office of his. When you see Bletchley Park become so strong in our modern history and in modern life, and bring us the technology that we use every day, that connection is amazing.” Michael De Grey is proud to be part of the Bletchley Park community. His grandfather, father, aunt and uncle all worked here during World War Two. Michael’s grandfather, Nigel De Grey, started out as a Codebreaker during World War One . He decoded the Zimmerman telegram, which was an important factor in drawing America into WW1. Michael said, “My grandfather is reputed to have said at a meeting in the office a few days later, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, the toast is America because now we are going to win the war.’ My grandfather did something life saving for our country. What would have happened if they hadn’t decoded that telegram?” Sarah Harding’s mother, Dorothy Harding, recalls her time at Bletchley Park with fond memories. Sarah said, “Recently she was reminiscing about her time there and she fell into a reverie. An hour later she said to me, “I can see the hut clearly. It’s all in front of my eyes. I can’t leave Bletchley.” “Is it a happy place,” I asked. “Oh yes,” she said.” Her mother’s World War Two work as a wireless operator and Morse slip reader means that Sarah is keen to be a part of the 21st century Bletchley Park. Hear more from Candy, Michael, Anthony and Sarah in the Bletchley Park Podcast. If you are related to someone who worked at Bletchley Park or one of its outstations, please email friends@bletchleypark.org.uk to join this unique community. Image: ©Crown. Reproduced by kind permission, Director, GCHQ #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History,

The Petard Pinch  

December 2015 A story full of heroism and tragedy is now told at Bletchley Park in a new mini exhibition. The Petard Pinch was the seizure of vital codebooks from a sinking U-Boat in which two young men drowned. But they didn’t die in vain - the intelligence treasures they captured were extremely valuable. They allowed the Codebreakers at Bletchley Park to break back into the naval Enigma network Shark, after a devastating ten month blackout. Image: Petard Crew 1942 ©The Petard Association #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2, #History, #HMSPetard,

The Bletchley Park Podcast - E41 - Best Ever Year  

December 2015 Bletchley Park has had its best ever year. In the whole of 2014, 196,000 people came to discover the secret world of World War Two codebreaking and this year, with nearly a month still to go, the figure stands at more than 280,000 thousand. New exhibitions which opened this year included The Road to Bletchley Park, about codebreaking during World War One, and the little-known story of one of World War Two’s forgotten heroes, Gordon Welchman. Among the treasures which went on show for the first time were secret notes stuffed into the roof cracks, found during the restoration of Hut 6, and the story of the seamen who drowned stealing vital codebooks from a sinking U-Boat which will open on 14th December. Join host Katherine and producer Mark as they look back over this memorable year, in the company of many of our Veterans and their proud families. Visit the Bletchley Park Roll of Honour to find your Codebreaker relative and email friends@bletchleypark.org.uk to find out more about how you can celebrate that connection in our Codebreakers’ Wall. Picture: ©shaunarmstrong/mubsta.com #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History, #BBC, #TheImitationGame,

Bletchley Park Podcast Extra - E47 - How computers were used against Hitler  

December 2015 Professor Jack Copeland, Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing, celebrated another forgotten hero of Bletchley Park, Max Newman, as part of the Bletchley Park Presents lecture series. His August talk ‘How Computers Were Used Against Hitler’, was a huge success. Professor Copeland explored the story of little-recognised Codebreaker Max Newman, whose work was fundamental to the construction of the first electronic computer, Colossus. The section he founded and led at Bletchley Park was named after him; the Newmanry worked on the strategic-level Lorenz cipher, used by Hitler and the high command. Newman went on to establish the Royal Society Computing Machine Laboratory. In his talk, Professor Copeland looked back at his achievements and then sat down for a chat with Podcast Producer, Mark Cotton. Picture: ©Bletchley Park Trust #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Lorenz, #Enigma, #Colossus, #WW2, #History,

Bletchley Park Podcast Extra - E46 - Last chance to see That is All You Need to Know  

November 2015 Time is running out to see That is All You Need to Know, an original play which shines a light on the Home of the Codebreakers. Created by theatre company, Idle Motion, the work pulls together three different strands of Bletchley Park’s history; Alan Turing and his team breaking the Enigma code during World War Two, Gordon Welchman writing his ground-breaking book, The Hut Six Story, in the 1970s and the campaign to save the site for posterity in the 1990s. That is All You Need to Know completes its final run next month, with shows each night from Tuesday 15 December to Saturday 19 December at the New Diorama Theatre in London. Grace Chapman and Ellie Simpson, two of Idle Motion’s Co-directors, explained the inspiration behind the play. They said, “A couple of years ago now we learnt about Alan Turing and felt very inspired to put his life on stage. However, since we started researching his life we very quickly realised that all that he achieved at Bletchley Park was not just about Alan Turing’s genius. It was actually a collection of hundreds and hundreds of people’s hard work, and we felt very inspired to get the story on the stage.” The show uses audio clips of Veterans’ interviews, provided by the Bletchley Park Trust Oral History Project, as well as multimedia projections, traditional props and even puppetry, to highlight the interweaving histories. To buy tickets visit http://newdiorama.com/whats-on/that-is-all-you-need-to-know Image: ©Idle Motion #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2, #History

Did Churchill know Coventry was about to be bombed?  

November 2015 In the throes of war, difficult decisions have to be made. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was fully aware that Bletchley Park was breaking German codes, and even received regular digests of the intelligence gleaned, known as Hut 3 Headlines. However, a myth was born in the mid-1970s that remains in circulation even now. The theory was that messages decoded by Bletchley Park warned Churchill that the Luftwaffe was heading for Coventry on 14 November 1940, and that he allowed the bombing go ahead in order to protect his secret source of vital information. It has since been debunked, however, and in this month’s episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, you can find out how. Here is an extract of this month’s episode, The Coventry Myth. Image: Prime Minister Winston Churchill inspecting members of Coventry's Warden Service in Broadgate during his visit to Coventry in September 1941. ©Mirrorpix #BPark, #Bletchleypark, #Enigma, #WW2Veteran, #History, #Churchill

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