Bletchley Park - 25th August 2018
Meeting as usual at The Eagle, Snaresbrook, eight of us set off for Bletchley Park. When arranging this trip Brian had overlooked that it was a Bank Holiday weekend and about two hours later we finally arrived.
A gasp at the cost of entry, a quick lunch in the café and we set off around the estate. The mansion where the more senior officers worked is very grand, a good looking building, and Kathy was attracted to the restaurant advertising afternoon tea (£18!). It rained heavily around this time which was a surprise according to the weather forecast. Near the mansion there is a small garage with typical motor cars and bikes of the period, the major donor here being Mick Jagger.
The huts where the routine (if you can call such brainpower routine) work was carried out were basic and must have been cold in Winter. The displays were very similar, a desk or two, a typewriter and a telephone being seen many times. Huts 11 and 11A were different, a model of a bombe (see photo) and interactive displays attracting the crowds. Adjourning to Hut 4 and its café, we suddenly heard the sound of Merlin engines and rushed out to see a Spitfire and a Hurricane flying over the estate. It is amazing how such a simple air display puts a smile on your face as you return to the café and your tea in an enamel mug.
The estate closed all too soon and we left feeling that we had rushed around (we were there more than four hours). We had all obtained annual tickets allowing free return for a year and agreed the place was worth a return visit at a less busy time. Then it was into the cars for the slow slog back to Snaresbrook and home.
Brian U. 26th August 2018