A short, informative film plays to visitors setting the scene in this once top secret site where up to 10,000 men and women worked at it's height processing intercepts to provide the Allies with a vital edge over the Axis powers. I think it was said by Eisenhower that the work done here was so important that it shortened the war, in his estimate, by 2 years!
Moving outside into the grounds there are many utilitarian wartime huts and workshops surrounding the magnificent Mansion House situated in the centre of the park. Some of the buildings house some incredibly rare exhibits, all beautifully presented and even a working model of 'Turing's Bombe' demonstrated and explained in laymen's terms by one of the site's staff members. A number of the huts have been laid out as they were during wartime and absolutely ooze atmosphere, you get a real feeling of the urgency, importance and the heavy weight of the decisions taken here by GC&CS and SIS (MI6) personnel.
The Mansion house, where the Senior Staff had their offices, is beautifully restored and part of the film 'The Imitation Game' was filmed here and we even managed a photo sitting on the set of the bar scene with what turned out to be a depressingly empty bottle of beer!
We would also like to make special mention of the staff at Bletchley Park many of whom are volunteers. Everywhere we went there was plenty of friendly, knowledgeable staff who enthusiastically informed us about the areas they were looking after and all regaled us with fascinating anecdotes to bring the site alive. The Cafe staff were equally as friendly and helpful and so whilst the subject itself was completely absorbing and impressive it was the people that made our visit truly special. Thank you to all and well done!
It will come as no surprise then that we cannot recommend Bletchley Park highly enough so we urge you to visit and support this historic site and learn about the remarkable achievements that were accomplished there. In these uncertain times it is especially important to remind ourselves why we should be proud to be British!