On Friday 30th January despite the snowy conditions, forty OBs, Past Parents and partners spent a very enjoyable day at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, or to be precise the “Government Code and Cypher School” as it was known from 1939. The group enjoyed a tour and catching up over lunch.
Bletchley Park was an ideal location for the School as it had good communications with London, Oxford and Cambridge. It was fascinating to find out more about breaking the Enigma code and the secretive work of Alan Turing (whose father was an Old Bedfordian) and Gordon Welchman in developing “the bombe”, which is an incredible electro mechanical device. In simple terms, on a daily basis, it reviewed a vast number of code configurations to identify the most likely ones being used by enemy forces. Due to the success of this incredible piece of equipment Winston Churchill referred to Bletchley as "the goose that laid the golden egg and never cackled".
Although many had recently seen the film 'The Imitation Game' much of Bletchley Park’s incredible history has only become available in recent years due to the declassification of military records. Even though in its peak ten thousand people worked there, it still retained a certain mystique for many years after the War.
Many thanks to Niall Creed (70-79) who gave an amusing and informative lecture which covered how Bedford was affected by the Second World War and the link between Bletchley Park and Harpur Trust Schools. It was particularly interesting to hear about the Japanese Language School being run out of 52 De Parys Avenue by Commander Tuck. We could tell you lots more, but…
Thank you to all that braved the weather conditions. The OB Club runs many DVP gatherings all over the World and we hope that you will join us at an event in your region in the near future.