Year 6 Trip to Bletchley Park
During World War Two, Bletchley Park was the centre of Britain’s secret code breaking operations.
There were 10,000 people working there and none of them were allowed to tell anyone, not even their family, what they did there, until the 1970s.
When we arrived we headed into the visitor centre where we were taken on a guided tour of the house and grounds. We went in the old huts, which were very basic but were where most of the code-breaking was done. One of our favourite things was going to see the Enigma Machine. This was the machine that the Germans used to encrypt messages. It had 103,325,660,891,587,134,000,000 ways of being set up and the code changed every 24 hours. It was very interesting to see the machine that cracked the German codes for the allies. It was called the Bombe machine. This machine was invented by a code breaker called Alan Turing. This was a revolutionary idea. People say that it shortened the war by two years.
We also went into the mansion, an old Victorian house with amazing decorated ceilings. This was where the head of Bletchley Park had his office in WW2. Today you can find out about what the workers did in their free time, including tennis, concerts and theatre shows. We enjoyed trying on the hats! After lunch we went to a workshop on code breaking; there were lots of different tasks including the decrypting messages in the Caesar, Pig Pen and the Rail Fence ciphers.
James was particularly keen to see Bletchley Park. As he explains, “My Great Granny worked at Bletchley Park in the Second World War as a ‘Wren’. She worked for the WRNS and helped crack codes made by the Germans using the Enigma machine. She worked on the Bombe machine made by Alan Turing.”
by Alfie and James