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Bletchley Park Podcast

24.11.

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.
Audios zum Download: linkext. Link

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© Bletchley Park


Datum # Description
2012-08-04 01 Teaser 1 The official monthly Bletchley Park Podcast will be here on 10/08/12. Here's a little teaser.
2012-08-06 02 Teaser 2 Ident for The Bletchley Park Podcast, created from some of the machines on display at Bletchley Park & The National Museum of Computing.
2012-08-08 03 Teaser 3 - Spitfire Flypast The flypast of a Spitfire recorded on 28th July 2012, the 1st of this years Family Fun Wednesdays at Bletchley Park.
2012-08-10 05 BBC Three Counties Breakfast with Katherine Lynch Katherine Lynch. Bletchley Park Podcast presenter, on BBC Three Counties Breakfast
2012-08-10 04 The First Show August 2012 The 1st Bletchley Park Podcast, including an interview with CEO Ian Standen, selections from the first Family Fun Day of 2012 & an excerpt from Capt. Jerry Roberts annual Turing Lecture.
2012-08-17 06 Lord Charles Brocket & Sir John Dermott Turing on Alan Turing This is the 1st of a series of extra content we will be loading between monthly podcasts. The Turing Education Day was held at Bletchley Park on 30/06/12. This 1st selection is Lord Charles Brocket & Sir John Dermott Turing. Many thanks to AlanTuringYear for this recording.
2012-08-24 07 2012 Turing Lecture by Capt. Jerry Roberts Part 1 Part 1 of the 2012 annual Turing Lecture which was given by Bletchley Park veteran Captain Jerry Roberts. Introduced by Lord Charles Brocket.
2012-08-25 08 BBC Radio 5 Live - Outriders Chris Vallance was kind enough to feature The Bletchley Park Podcast in this episode of Outriders. We produced a 3 minute edit of the podcast a a teaser for his listeners. Go to linkext. Link for more information.
2012-08-31 09 2012 Turing Lecture by Capt. Jerry Roberts Part 2 Part 2 of the 2012 annual Turing Lecture which was given by Bletchley Park veteran Captain Jerry Roberts. including a Q&A from Jerry with Lord Charles Brocket
2012-09-09 10 Veterans Weekend September 2012 This month we will bring you highlights of the 2012 Enigma Reunion, with Sinclair McKay, Mark Niel & Bletchley Park Veterans.
2012-09-16 11 Sinclair McKay & The Y Stations This week we will bring you the full version of the talk by Sinclair McKay about his next book which looks at the work of The Y Stations.
2012-09-24 12 Jack Copeland Part 1 This first part of Prof. Jack Copeland's, Turing Education Day talk, looks at Turings early work in Cambridge & then The Bombe.
2012-09-30 13 Jack Copeland Part 2 This week we have the concluding part of Prof. Jack Copeland’s talk from The Turing Education Day, looking at the Turing Test & Colossus.
2012-10-09 14 Turing Monopoly October 2012 This month’s highlights include the launch the Alan Turing Monopoly board with Max Newman’s son William & interviews with Enigma expert Frank Carter & Bletchley Park Veteran Ruth Bourne. Many thanks also to Jenna Benson & BBC Three Counties Radio.
2012-10-17 15 Margaret Boden on Turing Another talk from this years Turing Education Day. Margaret Boden's talk was on a lesser known area of Turings work.
2012-10-24 16 William Hague & Iain Lobban This week we bring you the visit to the Park by The British Foreign Secretary William Hague and the Director of GCHQ, Iain Lobban.
2012-10-31 17 Whitfield Diffie This week we have another talk from the Turing Education Day. Whitfield Diffie gives a talk on historical turning points in cryptography.
2012-11-09 18 Ultra Mythbusting November 2012 This month we have an original code breaker joining the Mythbusters, the story of a MIA Spy Pigeon, how 1940’s tech is working better than ever & the youngest person to ever sign the Official Secrets Act.
2012-11-10 19 For Remembrance Day Recording of Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph on Whitehall from 2010.
2012-11-16 20 More Ultra Mythbusting This week we have more content from the Mythbusters event held at Bletchley Park. Organised by bestselling author Michael Smith (Station X: The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park, Britain's Spies - the Real James Bonds) who was joined by the official GCHQ historian and, in a rare public appearance, veteran Bletchley Park Code Breaker & former Director of GCHQ, Sir Arthur Bonsall
2012-11-26 21 Eileen Younghusband WAAF Veteran This week we have a talk recorded at this year’s Veterans Day. WAAF Veteran & author Eileen Younghusband gives a first-hand account of The Vital Role of the Secret Filter Room in Air Defence in WW2. Hear about the part they played in the Battle of Britain & later as the tide of war turned, against the V1 & V2 attacks. Find more information about Eileen & her two autobiographies at linkext. Link
2012-11-30 22 Baroness Susan Greenfield This week we have another talk from the Turing Education Day event that was held at Bletchley Park in June 2012. Baroness Susan Greenfield presents a lecture called, How Brainpower Goes Beyond Computer Power.
2012-12-10 23 A Year of Turing December 2012 This month we take a look at 2012 The Alan Turing Centenary. William Newman & Sir John Dermot Turing talk about The Alan Turing Limited Edition Monopoly Set & Turing in 2012. Barry Cooper, of the Turing Centenary Committee, updates us on some of the worldwide celebrations. Turing expert, Jack Copeland, gives an exclusive reading from his soon to be published book & The LGBT History Month Pre-Launch event was held at Bletchley Park to mark the centenary. Milton Keynes Poet Laureate Mark Niel reads his specially written poem that was inspired by the day he spent at our annual Veterans Reunion Day in September. Listen in as one of our Veterans, Ros Poland, is presented with awards during a recent visit to Bletchley Park.
2012-12-17 24 Kevin Warwick & Huma Shah This week we bring you a final talk from the Turing Education Day event that was held at Bletchley Park in June 2012. Professor Kevin Warwick and Huma Shah explained The Turing Test in a talk called Turing and Artificial Intelligence.
2012-12-23 25 The Christmas Special This is an X-Mas Special looking back on the first 6 months of the Bletchley Park Podcast
2013-01-10 26 Reunions January 2013 This month it’s all about reunions. 40 years ago a group of teenagers came to Bletchley Park as CAA Apprentices & they told Jessica Cooper of BBC 3 Counties Radio all about their time here when they came back last month. We interview some of the original members of the Bletchley Park Trust who talk about the early days of Saving Bletchley Park to celebrate 21 years of the Trust. Also BP CEO Iain Standen tells us all about Get Fit for 2013 & you can find out about some of the great events happening at Bletchley Park in 2013.
2013-01-17 27 Bob Horners Malta Convoys Part 1 This week we have the first of a two part talk, as part of Bletchley Park Winter Lecture Series, given by Bob Horner called Malta GC 1940-42 - The Battle for Survival. During World War II, Malta played an important role owing to its proximity to Axis shipping lanes. The bravery of the Maltese people during the second Siege of Malta moved King George VI to award the George Cross to Malta on a collective basis on 15 April 1942 "to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history". Next week we will have the concluding part of this talk where Bob will look at Operation Pedestal which has gone down in military history as one of the most important British strategic victories of the Second World War.
2013-01-25 28 Bob Horners Malta Convoys Part 2 This week we have the concluding part of Bob Horner’s talk Malta George Cross 1940-42 - The Battle for Survival. During World War II, Malta played an important role owing to its proximity to Axis shipping lanes. The bravery of the Maltese people during the second Siege of Malta moved King George VI to award the George Cross to Malta on a collective basis on 15 April 1942 "to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history. Last week Bob left us at the start of 1942, a very dark time for the survival of Malta. He now continues with the story of one of the most pivotal moments during the resupply of Malta, Operation Pedestal.
2013-02-21 29 Capt. Jerry Roberts MBE February 2013 This month we talk to Captain Jerry Roberts about being awarded an MBE and his 4 year campaign for more recognition for Alan Turing, Bill Tutte and Tommy Flowers. We have an update from CEO Iain Standen on the Heritage Lottery Funded restoration programme. Also, an exclusive interview with another Bletchley Park Veteran Nancy Jackson, who worked in the Newmanry, the section led by Alan Turing’s friend and mentor Max Newman. A message from mcfontaine This month’s episode has been late due to the death of my step-dad, Mick Chalkley. There was a really nice connection for me between Bletchley Park and Mick as during World War 2 he served in the Fleet Air Arm. A large part of which was on escort duty on amongst others, the Russian and Malta convoys. I explained to him the work that Bletchley Park did during the war, how by reading U-Boat Enigma traffic they could re-route convoys away from attack. This was something he didn’t know and like me, had no doubt that they must have helped to keep him safe and to live through the war. This episode is dedicated to his memory.
2013-02-28 30 Capt. Jerry Roberts MBE Full Interview In this episode we have the full interview with Captain Jerry Roberts, who was today (28/02/13) awarded an MBE by Her Majesty The Queen in honour of his 4 year campaign for more recognition for Alan Turing, Bill Tutte and Tommy Flowers. Jerry shares with us what it was like to work in The Testery breaking coded messages from Hitler, his memories of “a great man” Bill Tutte, working as a War Crimes Investigator and setting up the first Marketing company in post war South America. Captain Roberts was one of four founding members of the Testery, named after its leader, Ralph Tester. This team was tasked with breaking Germany’s highest-level cipher system, Lorenz, known by the Codebreakers as Tunny. Captain Roberts worked in the Testery from its inception in October 1941, after Bill Tutte made the first break into the Lorenz system, until the end of the war in 1945. Read Katherine Lynch’s blog about Jerry’s visit to the palace linkext. Link
2013-03-10 31 The Royals March 2013 This month, we hear from some of the veterans* who met Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, when she came to Bletchley Park to learn about the contribution women here made to the war effort. Thanks to Jessica Cooper of BBC 3 Counties Radio for some audio clips. We’ll bring you reaction from senior cryptographer Captain Jerry Roberts after he met Her Majesty The Queen for the second time, as he received his MBE at Buckingham Palace. We look ahead at some upcoming events & we’ll hear from Bletchley Park guide & historian Joel Greenberg, about his new biography of Gordon Welchman. *The next EXTRA’s episode will feature the full versions of these interviews.
2013-03-25 32 Veterans Storys In this episode we bring you the longer versions of some of the interviews featured in the last episode of The Bletchley Park Podcast. They were recorded by mcfontaine and our new roving reporter Kerry Howard, after the visit of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. Featuring Aileen Hasdell, Gwen Flavell, Peggy Dorrington & Alba Whiteman.
2013-04-10 33 Neptune Begins April 2013 This month, BBC 3 Counties Radio covered the 3rd Enigma Challenge. Bletchley Park Event’s Manager, Claire Urwin, tells us about some of the forthcoming Summer Events. Author Michael Smith tells us all about his new book, Bletchley Park, the Codebreakers of Station X which had just been released. Project Neptune, the HLF restoration of Bletchley Park is about to start. We take you inside the soon to be restored Huts and Blocks with the people who’ll be running the project #BPark, #Enigma, #HLF, #BBC3CR, #NickCoffer, #TonyFisher Thanks to Nick Coffer & the BBC 3 Counties OB Team for the use of the Enigma Challenge audio & Tony Fisher for the use of his Neptune interviews.
2013-04-17 34 Nick Coffer Part 1 In the last episode of Podcast we gave you just a small flavour of The Third Enigma Challenge that was held in March. For 4 days GCHQ’s Historical Section were based at The Big Bang Fair at London’s ExCel Centre were sending Enigma Coded Messages for the Bombe Rebuild Team to try and crack back at Bletchley Park. On the Friday Nick Coffer of BBC 3 Counties Radio presented his afternoon show from Block B at Bletchley Park and that’s what we will be sharing with you over the next two Extras episodes. So a huge thank you goes to The BBC 3 Counties OB Team, Emma Smith & Gareth Lloyd, Nick Coffer of course, The Bombe Rebuild Team & The 3 Belles.
2013-04-24 35 Nick Coffer Part 2 This is the second and final part of Nick Coffers BBC 3 Counties Show, which was broadcast from Block B at Bletchley Park during the 3rd Enigma Challenge. It starts with Nick being taken on a tour by Bletchley Park guide and historian Joel Greenberg. Thanks again to The BBC 3 Counties OB Team, Emma Smith & Gareth Lloyd, Nick Coffer of course, Joel Greenberg, The Bombe Rebuild Team & The 3 Belles.
2013-05-10 36 Have Enigma, will travel May 2013 This month, Jean Wallace tells us about the Fashion Show at the 40’s Family Festival & showing the Prime Minister her bloomers … Our new Education Officer, Tom Briggs, has Enigma … will travel. In 1926, at the age of twenty, a trainee dentist called Bruno Langbehn joined the Nazi party and as the party rose to power, he was there every step of the way. For fifty years after the end of the Second World War, his family kept this horrifying secret. His British grandson, Martin Davidson, uncovers the truth in his book The Perfect Nazi. Bletchley Park Veteran, Edwin Dockley, shares some of his memories of working at The Home of The Codebreakers.
2013-05-17 37 The Perfect Nazi Part 1 Martin Davidson’s mother told him a family secret shortly after the death of his German Grandfather. This sent him on a quest to discover the true story of Bruno Langbehn – The Perfect Nazi. This is the first part of a talk given by Martin at Bletchley Park as part of our recent Winter Lecture Season.
2013-05-24 38 The Perfect Nazi Part 2 Martin Davidson’s mother told him a family secret shortly after the death of his German Grandfather. This sent him on a quest to discover the true story of Bruno Langbehn – The Perfect Nazi. In this 2nd & final part, Martin looks deeper into the history of his German Grandfather Bruno Langbehn – The Perfect Nazi. It includes a Q&A session held after the talk.
2013-06-10 39 Back to The 40s June 2013 This month, we have an update on the work to restore Bletchley Park from Site Manager Rob Davies. We give you a taste of the Forties Family Festival which was held in May. Miss Luna Nightingale serenades us, we find out about Auxiliary Units from The British Resistance Archive & Dodging The Doodlebugs keep us laughing during WW2. We also have fascinating interview with WW2 Veteran Marjorie Nichols, who worked for SIS.
2013-06-17 40 From Bletchley to GCHQ Part 1 Bletchley Park as you know was the home of code breaking during WW2, its official title being the Government Code and Cypher School. After the war this became, as it’s still known now, GCHQ. First based in Eastcote, but in 1951 moving to its current home of Cheltenham. BBC Radio Gloucestershire recently ran a series of short programs in Anna Kings daily show about both establishments and have kindly said we can share them here with our Podcast Listeners. Many thanks to BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Anna King & Manpreet Mellhi.
2013-06-24 41 From Bletchley to GCHQ Part 2 This is the second & final part of BBC Radio Gloucestershire recent series of short programs on both Bletchley Park & GCHQ. This part deals more with the personal lives of some of our great Veterans. Many thanks again to BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Anna King & Manpreet Mellhi, for letting us share these programs with our listeners.
2013-07-10 42 Timely Visitors July 2013 This month it’s all about Timely Visitors Milton Keynes South MP & long time Bletchley Park supporter, Iain Stewart goes on a Hard Hat Tour to see some of the Heritage Lottery Funded restoration with the trusts CEO Iain Standen. Then a few days later it was announced that former Bletchley Park Trust director Simon Greenish had been awarded an MBE for services to English heritage in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. We took Simon on his first tour of the restoration work that he had been fundamental in planning. We also give you a taste of the Black Tie, Bremont Codebreaker Watch Launch. We have interviews with two of our amazing Veterans, Jean Valentine and Ruth Bourne. Bremont founders Nick and Giles English tell us why they wanted to celebrate the home of the codebreakers and The Three Belles keep us swinging. For more information about Bremont go to linkext. Link For more information about The Three Belles go to linkext. Link
2013-07-31 43 A Tribute to Betty Flavell In February this year Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to Bletchley Park to have afternoon tea with around 60 of our lady Veterans. One of those Veterans that I had the pleasure to interview at the time was former WRN Betty Flavell. Her son Tony, who was with her on the day, has recently been in touch to tell us the sad news that Betty unfortunately passed away in June this year. Tony told me that the visit to Bletchley Park was the last time Betty ventured out in the car with him and although it was very tiring day for her, she had a wonderful time. So as a tribute to Betty we are again going to share with you the wonderful interview I had the honour to record with her. Many thanks to linkext. Link for the use of the pictures of Betty.
2013-08-10 44 Spy Kids, Veterans, Letters & Lakes August 2013 It’s all about the past & the future this month. Former Bletchley Park Code Breaker & Director of GCHQ, Sir Arthur Bonsall, tells us why there was a stone for Winston Churchill to stand on when he visited in 1941. We talk to science & technology presenter Maggie Philbin about Bletchley Park, her mother’s wartime work & the legacy that war brings to modern tech. Kerry Howard tells us about her research into code breaker Margaret Rock for her new book Dear Codebreaker & the freedom of modern publishing. Also we give you some ideas of how to entertain your own Spy Kids during the summer holidays with the new workshops available at our Family Fun Wednesdays. For more information about Kerry’s book go to linkext. Link or linkext. Link
2013-08-24 45 Sir Arthur Bonsall In this episode we bring you the full interview with former Bletchley Park Code Breaker & Director of GCHQ, Sir Arthur Bonsall. He explains the work he carried out in the German Air Section at Bletchley Park, dispels a few BP Myths & tells us why there was a stone for Winston Churchill to stand on when he visited in 1941.
2013-09-10 46 40's Stories on Modern Tech September 2013 This month stories from 70 years ago are given a modern twist. The New Enigma event was a chance to find out if you have what it takes to be a Codebreaker, with experts from GCHQ telling us about some truly amazing new technology, which might just confuse a certain podcast producer. Rich storytelling is the key to enjoying a visit to Bletchley Park. Now included in the admission price, as well as a guided tour by a passionate historian, every visitor can take an iPod Touch based Multimedia Guided tour, created by ATS Heritage & our own experts. We take you along to the official launch where we put them to the test with visitors aged from six to eighty six. The Budd twins and their younger brother had a unique childhood, as they lived at Bletchley Park during WW2. We join all three of them as they come back for a visit. Each year we hold the Enigma Reunion for our Veterans. This year some of them were given a sneak peek at what will be the first of our new restoration exhibits to open, Hut 11 and we had the honour to be there with the very women who worked on the Bombe machines, whose story it tells.
2013-09-28 47 Doreen Sawyer Earlier in the year we interviewed some of the original members of The Bletchley Park Trust who gave us an insight into how they started to save Bletchley Park. In this episode we bring you an interview with Doreen Sawyer, the lady, that original trust member Peter Wescombe climbed through the fence to speak to, and that started the ball rolling. Doreen worked at Bletchley Park from 1955 for the CAA and she tells us some of the post war history of the park and about organising the very first Enigma Reunion. Special thanks to BBC 3 Counties Radio for use of their studios to record the interview.
2013-10-10 48 Job Up in the Hell Hole October 2013 This month we talk to actor Simon Callow, who was filming in Alan Turing’s office in Hut 8 & we discover a secret about his university tutor. Architect Janie Price, brings us a short update on the HLF Restoration of Bletchley Park; where they are looking at floorboards … one by one. Then join Bombe Wrens as they are transported back in time when they see Hut 11 restored to its WW2 atmosphere. Veterans, Ruth Bourne & Joan Toldon tell us what it was like to work on a Bombe Machine & we luckily capture a short story from Bletchley Baby, Josephine Ross.
2013-11-09 49 Frogs over the Air November 2013 This month, with so much happening at Bletchley Park recently, we have to bring you an extended episode. First we grab Hard-Hats & Hi Viz Jackets to join Conservation Architect Janie Price & Site Manager Rob Davies to get an in-depth update on the HLF Restoration of Bletchley Park, from floorboards to granite floors, via the roof. In October Bletchley Park hosted Are You Listening? The event looked at the history of communications. We spoke to members of Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society, the British Vintage Wireless Society & the Vintage & Military Amateur Radio Society. Also in October Cyber Security Challenge UK & Raytheon held an event called Today, Then and Tomorrow. It looked at the role of women in cyber security, celebrating the Bletchley Park Veterans, leading figures of today & a look into the future. Katherine spoke to Natalie Black of the Cabinet Office, after we found out just what her job title was. We will bring you the rest of this fascinating day in Podcast EXTRA’s – E29 (out on 24/11/13). Final join us as we walk around with two amazing Veterans, Norah Boswell, a Wren Bombe Operator who was stationed at Stanmore & Joyce Roberts, a WAAF Teleprinter Operator at Bletchley Park. Look out for Podcast EXTRA’s – E30 (out on 31/11/13) for even more from what was a great day for us all. You can find … Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society at linkext. Link British Vintage Wireless Society at linkext. Link Vintage & Military Amateur Radio Society at linkext. Link Pictures: Steve Horne of linkext. Link & mcfontaine
2013-11-17 50 Mavis Batey Mavis Batey, one of Bletchley Park’s leading female Codebreakers, died this week at the age of 92. Mavis’s work on Enigma was crucial to the Royal Navy’s victory at Matapan in 1941 and the success of the D-Day landings in 1944. She was part of Dilly Knox’s team, working on as-yet unbroken codes and ciphers. In this Bletchley Park Podcast Extra, we can hear her chatting with Bletchley Park historian and author Michael Smith. Many thanks to Michael Smith, Matt Rawlinson & The Open University for allowing us to share this with you.
2013-11-24 51 Women in Cyber Security In October Cyber Security Challenge UK & Raytheon held an event called Today, Then & Tomorrow. It looked at the role of women in cyber security, celebrating the Bletchley Park Veterans, leading figures of today & a look into the future. Here is a flavour of the day featuring Natalie Black, Stephanie Daman, Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, Dr Brooke Hoskins, Clare McBrearty, Lucy Robson & Bletchley Park Podcast’s, very own, Kerry Howard.
2013-12-01 52 Norah Boswell & Joyce Roberts In this month’s Bletchley Park Podcast we brought you some highlights of the day we spent with two amazing Veterans, Norah Boswell, a Wren Bombe Operator who was stationed at Stanmore & Joyce Roberts, a WAAF Teleprinter Operator at Bletchley Park. In this extended version join tour guide Mike Chapman as we roll back 70 years for these two amazing ladies & listen in as Norah gets her revenge on The Bombe & Joyce finds a dear old friend in the Hut she worked in. It is times like this that make producing the Bletchley Park Podcast such an honour.
2013-12-09 53 Blind Dates, Doodlebugs & Tweezers December 2013 This month, we join Bletchley Park historian Dr Joel Greenberg & AS Level history students from Milton Keynes College as they discover hidden treasures under The Mansion car park. Footings of what the Bletchley Park Trust believes were the first few wooden huts built at the outbreak of World War Two were found when the tarmac was removed. We find out what happened at a specially set-up monitoring station in the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park, when AMSAT-UK launched FUNcube-1, a 10cm cubed satellite weighing less than a kilogram, over Russia. We have an exclusive interview with Professor’s Barry Cooper & Jack Copeland who spoke about some of the lesser known heroes of Bletchley Park at the day of sold-out talks, Codebreakers’ Legacy. They talk about the continuing interest in Alan Turing & what also what they think about the forthcoming film of his life. Yet again we have the honour of interviewing one of our Veterans. Cynthia Legge (nee Mould) was a Wren Bombe Operator based at Stanmore during WW2. She shares her recollections with us including blind dates, Doodlebugs & the job with tweezers she describes as hell on earth. You can find AMSAT-UK at linkext. Link
2013-12-17 54 The Bletchley Circle Returns In this EXTRA episode we look back at what turned into another busy year at Bletchley Park, but also ahead to the return of the ITV drama The Bletchley Circle. The thrilling series based on the lives of four extraordinary & brilliant women who worked at Bletchley Park during WW2 returns to UK screens on ITV for a four-part series starting on Monday 6th of January 2014.
2014-01-10 55 You Must Not Mention This Conversation This month we take you exclusively behind the scenes during filming of The Bletchley Circle, hearing from the Producer, Standby Art Director & Bletchley Park Trust staff who were cast as supporting actors, to safeguard machines which belong to GCHQ. We hear from Veteran Audrey Wind, whose story is featured as a DVD extra, who was told when she was recruited: “You must not mention this conversation to any living person.” Years after the war, she was spotted by a fellow alumnus of Bletchley Park & the secrecy they shared caused all sorts of suspicion about their relationship. This month’s Podcast also lets you in on the plans for the fragile wooden huts being restored as part of the £8m, Heritage Lottery Funded restoration, with details of how their stories will be told. Hear about how actors will bring Bletchley Park to life with the Living History Project. Liv Spencer tells us what she will be looking for during the auditions.
2014-01-30 56 Audrey Wind In this episode we bring you the entire interview we recorded with Veteran Wren Bombe Operator, Audrey Wind, who recalls how she was plucked from filthy cleaning jobs in basic training & recruited to do a very, very secret job. Audrey was posted to Eastcote, an outstation of Bletchley Park, where she operated Bombe machines. She says “The pressure was enormous. It took me a long time after the war to get over it and I’m sure it did for everyone. It was terribly stressful.” Audrey’s story will be featured as a DVD extra, when the second series of the hit ITV drama, The Bletchley Circle is released.
2014-02-10 57 I hope she will smile, feel recognised & proud This month we join Bletchley Park Veteran Margaret Roland as she was asked to be the special guest at a ceremony to mark the completion of refurbishment work at White Spire School in Bletchley. We take you behind the scenes at rehearsals for February half term’s exciting Living History project, where Sorrel Meechan, one of the actors helping bring the buildings to life, tells us about her personal connection to the Bletchley Park having grown up knowing her grandfather worked as a Bombe Maintainer during World War Two. Hear the intriguing – and entirely coincidental – family connection Sarah Harding, the Director of the hit ITV drama, The Bletchley Circle had with the Home of the Codebreakers as her mother Dorothy Harding, nee Thompson, was a Wireless Operator & Morse slip reader at Bletchley Park. Michael Portillo, former Defence Secretary turned TV presenter came to Bletchley Park for an episode of Great British Railway Journeys. Between takes he shared a few insights into the absolute secrecy surrounding this place during World War Two & how some people, flying in the face of popular opinion, can keep secrets in this day and age. Finally our roving reporter Kerry Howard interviews Veteran Betty Webb, who did the tricky job of paraphrasing decrypted messages before they went out to commanders in the field, helping to cover up the very existence of Bletchley Park & how at the Pentagon she continued her ultra-secret job till the end of the war.
2014-02-27 58 Sarah Harding – Bletchley Circle Director This is the full length version* of our exclusive interview with Sarah Harding, Director of the second two-part story in series two of the hit ITV drama, The Bletchley Circle. In this month’s Bletchley Park Podcast & the first part of this EXTRA Sarah tells us about her mother, Dorothy Harding (nee Thompson) who was a Wireless Operator / Morse slip reader at Bletchley Park 1943-1945. It was a happy coincidence that Sarah had that personal connection to Bletchley Park when The Bletchley Circle script landed on her desk. Sarah has had a long and distinguished career directing theatre, film & TV dramas including Coronation Street, Queer as Folk and Agatha Christie’s Marple & Poirot, to list just a few. We talk about her life behind the camera & how the service given by Veterans such as her mother led to her generation having the freedom to pursue such careers. Now, her mother has enjoyed the series & hopes “she will smile, feel recognised and proud.” * If you have already listen to this month's main Podcast, then the new material starts at 15:48 into this episode.
2014-03-09 59 A Proud Moment Children’s TV presenters Dick & Dom came to Bletchley Park to film a programme about Alan Turing. Absolute Genius with Dick & Dom will be on CBBC on the 12th March. We caught a quick word with them between takes. Battlefield History TV is making a fascinating documentary about the Bletchley Park story which will soon be available on DVD. We bring you a taste of what will be in the finished programme with Iain Standen interviewing Veteran Bombe Wren Sue Winn & Bletchley Park Historian Joel Greenberg talking about his new biography of Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park’s Architect of Ultra Intelligence. The official histories of Huts 3 & 6 were written shortly after the war was won by the actual people who worked in them during WW2. Historian & founding member of the Bletchley Park Trust, Peter Wescombe, gives an insight into the minds of ordinary men & women doing extraordinary jobs. We take you back to February 1941 as actors brought the mansion to life with The Living History Project. The actress playing the Wren had a personal connection to the Bletchley Park story as her grandfather was a Bombe maintainer at Eastcote & Stanmore. Eric Hume came all the way from Devon to see her in action & we interview a proud grandfather.
2014-03-27 60 Captain Jerry Roberts MBE Captain Jerry Roberts MBE, one of Bletchley Park’s last Codebreakers, died this week at the age of 93. Jerry was one of the original members of The Testery working on cracking Tunny, the German High Commands code, used by Hitler & his top Generals. Their work warned the Russian’s of The Kursk Offensive, allowing them to defend until the Germans called off, what would be their last major offensive on the Eastern Front. Winston Churchill said “Stalingrad was the end of the beginning, but the Battle of Kursk was the beginning of the end”. In this Bletchley Park Podcast Extra, we bring you the interview we recorded at Jerry’s home, in February 2013 after being awarded an MBE. It is followed a short interview Katherine recorded on the day he received his MBE from Her Majesty The Queen. Sir John Scarlett KCMG OBE, Chairman, Bletchley Park Trust, paying tribute to Jerry said: “Captain Jerry Roberts MBE was a true gentleman and - to the last days of his long life - an outstanding ambassador for Bletchley Park. In World War 2 he was a key member of the team who deciphered the most secret communications of Hitler and his top commanders, work of incomparable importance for the outcome of the War. Unfailingly modest about his own achievements, he was committed to the end to achieving recognition for the work of his colleagues and the contribution of all those who worked at Bletchley Park. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his devoted wife, Mei."
2014-04-02 61 It nearly drove us mad - Margaret Reardon Margaret Reardon, ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service), Royal Signals, recalls her time listening to enemy radio messages on the Isle of Man during World War Two.
2014-04-04 62 Volunteer Actors Bring Huts To Life - John Wilkes Volunteer actors from the local community will help bring Codebreaking Huts 3 & 6 to life through their projected images & voices, created by Elbow Productions.
2014-04-09 63 It nearly drove us mad This month, we take you inside the 1940s Boutique, a new event which helps you recreate wartime glamour. We hear from the daughter and granddaughters of a woman who may or may not have worked at Bletchley Park but who, family legend has it, knew her brother had been killed in action when the rest of her family could only be told he was missing. We take a sneak peek inside the soon to be opened Codebreaking Huts, taken back to their wartime glory as part of the £8 million restoration of Bletchley Park, meeting the volunteer actors who have become part of the way we tell this incredible story. We find out just how close we came to losing those wooden huts altogether. We also hear from a woman who, 70 years on, says her work in the Y service nearly drove her mad. Margaret Reardon (nee Chapman) recalls “Quite a few people broke down. There was a joke about one man who drew ducks on the blackboard and was feeding them - he had to be carried off. It really got into you.” The music you can hear in this episode is from those brilliant Bletchley Park supporters The Three Belles.Find out more about them at linkext. Link
2014-04-11 64 The Bletchley Circle Returns to PBS The Bletchley Circle makes a welcome return this weekend on America’s Public Broadcasting Service. Series two of the hit ITV drama attracted more than 4 million viewers per episode on ITV in January and from Sunday 13 April it will be shown on PBS. You can hear more from the cast as well as the series Writer and Creator, Guy Burt, and Executive Producer, Jake Lushington, in our special December episode.
2014-04-17 65 Codebreakers’ Legacy – Prof. Barry Cooper Prof. Barry Cooper discussed Alan Turing’s life and work at last year’s sell-out day of talks, Codebreakers’ Legacy. Book now for Bletchley Park Presents Christy Campbell on Easter Sunday.
2014-04-22 66 Water Hall foundations found - Yet another exciting discovery Foundations believed to be of a house that predated the iconic Mansion have been found as part of the restoration of Bletchley Park. Water Hall was built in 1711 but by the late 18th century it had fallen into disrepair and was demolished by 1806. Bletchley Park's Media Relations Manager & Podcast Host, Katherine Lynch, spoke to Helen Legh on BBC Three Counties Radio Friday 18 April. Thanks to BBC3CR for use of this recording.
2014-04-24 67 Gordon Welchman - Bletchley Park’s Architect of Ultra Intelligence The biography of one of Bletchley Park’s lesser-celebrated geniuses, Gordon Welchman, has been launched with the handover of personal documents and possessions to the Bletchley Park Trust. They include letters and documents which had been in Welchman’s son Nick’s loft until he was approached by the author, Dr Joel Greenberg.
2014-04-28 68 Bletchley Park Presents - The Real Women of Bletchley Park On the 20th of July 2014, Bletchley Park proudly presents four women whose diverse roles within the Government Code and Cypher School during World War Two give a rare insight into the inner workings of this top secret organisation. Ruth Bourne, Gwendoline Page, Jean Valentine and Charlotte (Betty) Webb will each give a personal glimpse into their time at Bletchley Park and WW2, followed by a Q&A Session
2014-05-06 69 Operation Sealion – A Doomed Venture As the 70th anniversary of D-Day approaches, original Bletchley Park Trust member & Historian Peter Westcombe, compares the meticulous planning which preceded the Normandy landings with the doomed German plot to invade Britain much earlier in World War Two, Operation SEALION. You can hear more of this interview with Peter in the next episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, out on the 10th of May.
2014-05-09 70 A Very, Very Secret Place This month, we learn about the doomed German plans to invade Britain in 1940 with Historian & founding member of the Bletchley Park Trust, Peter Wescombe as we join him in the Bletchley Park Archive. We also take you to the launch of the biography of one of Bletchley Park’s lesser known geniuses, Gordon Welchman. Joel Greenberg has been reading up on & researching Bletchley Park’s World War Two history since the 1970s. He is a Volunteer Tour Guide & works part time at Bletchley Park. His book, Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park’s Architect of Ultra Intelligence, was launched in the Mansion in the presence of Welchman’s family, who formally handed over artefacts and documents, some of which had been in boxes in his son Nick’s loft for 25 years before Joel started his research. Get a taste of what’s to come at the Bletchley Park Presents series of Sunday afternoon talks & hear from three of the real women of Bletchley Park, Jean Valentine, Ruth Bourne & Betty Webb in a short interview with Bremont Watches founder Giles English. Finally we bring you a Wren’s memories of the absolute secrecy impressed upon her when she arrived. Elizabeth Marshall, nee Tatham, who lives in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, recalls “We were told your family and your friends must not know.’ We sat there absolutely agog, wondering what we had let ourselves in for.”
2014-05-14 71 Loebner Prize to call Bletchley Park home The Loebner Prize is making Bletchley Park its permanent home. The competition is modelled on Alan Turing’s famous test, which suggests that a thinking computer’s responses would, in conversation, be able to convince a panel of judges that it is human. The Loebner Prize was founded and is sponsored by Dr Hugh Loebner, a New York philanthropist. He says “The competition is the longest running Turing test.” Since the competition’s inception in 1991, no computer has yet managed to win anything other than the Bronze Medal prize. The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB), the world’s oldest Artificial Intelligence society, has this year taken over the running of the competition, guaranteeing its continued success. This year’s competition will be held at Bletchley Park on 15 November. In addition to the the $100 000 grand prize and gold medal, the competition offers a $25 000 Silver Medal prize for a program able to fool a majority of judges, and an annual Bronze Medal prize to the most human-like computer.
2014-05-16 72 Elizabeth Marshall - A Very, Very Secret Place When Elizabeth Marshall, nee Tatham, was recruited to Bletchley Park in 1944, she was told “This is a very, very secret place. You must never breathe a word of what you do here.” Every one of the ten thousand or so men and women who worked for the Government Code and Cypher School, a mixture of military and civilians, was sworn to lifelong secrecy. During a visit to Bletchley Park, Elizabeth recalled “We were told ‘your family and your friends must not know.’ We sat there absolutely agog, wondering what we had let ourselves in for.” Her parents died soon before the veil of secrecy was lifted in 1974. She says “I was absolutely horrified, I don’t mind telling you. My great friend rang me up and said ‘Have you heard, they’re talking all about Bletchley. It’s all over the papers.’ I said ‘What! We were told never to talk about it.’ I still find it extremely hard to take in that everything that was locked in my head for so long is now common knowledge.” You can hear the full interview with Elizabeth in the May episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast secure linkext. Link The Bletchley Park Trust is dependent on Veterans themselves and their relatives to register for their rightful place on the Roll of Honour. The Trust is also in a race against time to gather Veterans’ memories first hand in its Oral Archive. linkext. Link
2014-05-23 73 Velocity Launch - How Bletchley Park Overcame Adversity Bletchley Park CEO Iain Standen has told a new support hub for businesses how focusing on the fascinating story of World War Two Codebreaking helped transform Bletchley Park from a ramshackle, derelict site into a vibrant heritage attraction. Velocity, a new growth hub for ambitious small and medium-sized enterprises across the South East Midlands, was launched in the newly-restored Block C Visitor Centre at Bletchley Park on Friday 23 May. It will help businesses unlock their potential by helping them to find funding and support. Bletchley Park was the ideal launch location as it is in the final stages of completing an £8 million restoration programme; £5 million in Heritage Lottery Funding and £3 million match fund raised by the Bletchley Park Trust.
2014-05-28 74 Codebreakers’ Legacy – Michael Smith Bestselling author & Bletchley Park Trustee, Michael Smith discusses the life & work of John Tiltman, whom many consider may have been Britain’s greatest ever code breaker. For these highlights we have concentrated on the lesser known parts of Tiltman’s life, both before & after his time at Bletchley Park. This talk was recorded at last year’s sell-out day of talks, Codebreakers’ Legacy. If you would like to attend a similar event in the Bletchley Park Presents series, then please go to linkext. Link & look in the What’s On section.
2014-05-30 75 HRH The Duchess of Cambridge Visit to Bletchley Park The Duchess of Cambridge will visit Bletchley Park, on Wednesday 18 June 2014 to mark the completion of the year-long restoration project, which has restored the site to its World War Two appearance. Her Royal Highness will view the restored location, tour the WW2 Codebreaking Huts and will hear about the achievements of the Codebreakers whose work is said to have helped shorten the war by two years. During the visit, Her Royal Highness will meet Codebreaker veterans who worked at the Government Code and Cypher School during WW2, where encrypted messages sent by the Navy, Army and Air Forces of Germany and its allies were decrypted, translated and analysed for vital intelligence. In our next monthly episode we will take you inside Huts 3 and 6 and the new Block C Visitor Centre with the first people to see them restored to their wartime glory; the Veterans themselves. This recording gives you a taste of some of the reactions at that 1st VIP Preview.
2014-06-06 76 The Crucial Link – Bletchley Park & the D-Day Deception The importance of Bletchley Park’s role in the D-Day deception should not be underestimated. Messages decrypted at Bletchley Park showed that the feint had been swallowed whole, leading Germany to believe that the invasion would be at the Pas de Calais rather than Normandy. Katherine Lynch talked to Bletchley Park’s Senior Archivist, Richard Lewis, and historian and founding member of the Bletchley Park Trust, Peter Westcombe.
2014-06-10 77 The Transformation of Bletchley Park The transformation of Bletchley Park is now complete & on the 18th of June, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge will visit to launch the completed restoration. In this month’s episode we take you inside Code breaking Huts 3 and 6 & the new Block C Visitor Centre with the first people to see them restored to their wartime glory; the Veterans themselves. We join RAF Veteran Sergeant Bernard Morgan when he met his modern day equivalent, RAF Aerospace Battle Manager, Flight Lieutenant Vikki Thorpe, on a recent visit to Bletchley Park. He shares his D-Day memories with us & finally gets to use the once Top Secret Type X machine that he used to help direct aircraft in the days following the Normandy landings; that he thought he would never see again. The importance of Bletchley Park’s role in the D-Day deception should not be underestimated. Senior Archivist, Richard Lewis & founding member of the Bletchley Park Trust, Peter Wescombe, explain how messages decrypted at Bletchley Park showed that the feint had been swallowed whole, leading Germany to believe that the invasion would be at the Pas de Calais rather than Normandy. A new exhibition, Secrets Revealed - Introducing Bletchley Park, uncovers the Government Code and Cypher School’s involvement in D Day in depth.
2014-06-25 78 Royal Visit with BBC 3 Counties On Wednesday 18 June, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge visited Bletchley Park to mark completion of the eight million pound, Heritage Lottery Fund supported restoration project. This uniquely historic site has been restored to its wartime glory, enabling visitors to experience what it was like for the Codebreakers who worked here and creating a permanent and fitting tribute to those extraordinary men and women. Among the honoured guests was Nick Coffer from BBC Three Counties Radio, who broadcast his entire afternoon show from a great vantage point next to the Oval. Thanks to Nick, Gareth, Nia and Mark from BBC Three Counties for allowing us to bring you highlights of their show.
2014-06-30 79 Sir John Scarlett - McAfee Cyber Security Exhibit Launch McAfee, part of Intel Security, today announced the official opening of its international Cyber Security Exhibition and Computer Learning Zone at Bletchley Park, as part of its five-year collaborative partnership with the home of the World War Two Codebreakers. Sir John Scarlett gave a speech on the impact and importance of Bletchley Park, online safety and the role of women in Cyber Security.
2014-07-07 80 Guy Burt & Sarah Harding This September, Bletchley Park Presents Guy Burt and Sarah Harding, the creative partnership which brought us the second series of the hit ITV drama, The Bletchley Circle. As part of the prestigious Bletchley Park Presents lecture series, Guy will tell the story behind this ripping yarn, exploring how he created the strong female characters and why he based their lasting bond at Bletchley Park during World War Two. Sarah Harding, Director of the second two-part story in series two of The Bletchley Circle, will discuss her highly personal connection to the Bletchley Park story. After filming on site last year, Sarah told the Bletchley Park Podcast what it meant to her.
2014-07-09 81 HRH The Duchess of Cambridge at Bletchley Park This month we take you behind the scenes during HRH The Duchess of Cambridge’s visit on 18 June, meeting the Veteran who worked with her grandmother and some of those involved in the transformation of Bletchley Park. Valerie Glassborow, The Duchess of Cambridge’s paternal grandmother, worked as a Foreign Office Civilian, towards the end of the war, alongside her twin sister, Mary, in Hut 16. They went on to marry the Middleton brothers. But before that, they shared a very special moment in history with their friend and colleague, Lady Marion Body, who met The Duchess and told her all about it. Also in this month’s episode, the school holidays are fast approaching and if you’re wondering how on earth to fill the long, hazy days, look no further. Bletchley Park will hold Family Fun Wednesdays throughout the summer holidays, with spy and craft workshops, special trails, guided tours for children and the chance to handle artefacts. We listen in on Volunteer Guide Derek Cullen’s special tour, for a taste of what’s in store this summer.
2014-07-16 82 Lady Marion Body HRH The Duchess of Cambridge visited Bletchley Park on the 18th of June to mark the officially opening of the 8.5 million pound restorations, but she also had a much more personal reason for her visit as both her paternal grandmother & great aunt worked in Hut 16 at The Government Codes and Cipher School during World War 2. Lady Marion Body worked alongside the twins, Valerie and Mary Glassborow and one of the highlights of the Royal Visit was when the Princess sat down with Lady Body to find out more about what her ancestors had done during the war. In this EXTRA’s episode we bring you both an interview that Podcast host Katherine Lynch recorded with Lady Body a few weeks before the special day and one from Gareth Lloyd of BBC 3 Counties Radio, a few minutes after her meeting with HRH. Thanks to Nick, Gareth, Nia and Mark from BBC Three Counties for allowing us to bring you their interview.
2014-07-23 83 Pyry Forest Meeting - 75th Anniversary On 26 and 27 July 1939 one of the most important events in the history of intelligence took place in the woods outside Warsaw. Just three weeks before the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) moved to its War Station at Bletchley Park, its Head, Alastair Denniston, and its Chief Cryptanalyst, Dilly Knox, travelled to Warsaw to meet their Polish and French equivalents to share all they knew about Enigma. At a commemorative ceremony in Warsaw held earlier this month, BBC Security Correspondent, Gordon Corera spoke to the GCHQ Departmental Historian, on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. Many thanks to the BBC for letting us share this interview. Gordon’s original article can be found at linkext. Link
2014-08-03 84 Signals Intelligence in World War One As the centenary of World War One is marked, Bletchley Park looks back at the early intelligence career of one of its lesser-known geniuses. In this extract, recorded at the Codebreaker’s Legacy Talks in November 2013, bestselling author and Bletchley Park Trustee Michael Smith charts the World War One service of John Tiltman, Bletchley Park's Chief Cryptographer, who was awarded the Military Cross fighting in the trenches. After being badly wounded in the Battle of Arras he transferred to military intelligence beginning a brilliant codebreaking career that was to last more than sixty years. Bletchley Park became the World War Two home of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), which was formed shortly after the allied armistice with Germany in November 1919. GC&CS was the outcome of a merger between the two significant codebreaking and signals intelligence departments of the then recent war: Room 40 or I.D. 25 (part of Naval Intelligence located within the Admiralty) and MI1(b) (a sub-section of Military Intelligence located within the War Office). A number of individuals who played important roles in codebreaking during World War One, went on to perform prominent roles at Bletchley Park during World War Two, such as Alastair Denniston, Dilly Knox, Frank Birch, Oliver Strachey, and Nigel de Grey. The great accomplishments of the GC&CS during World War Two owe a great deal to the first official government codebreaking and signals intelligence departments that were established just after the outbreak of World War One. This story will be explored in an exciting new exhibition due to open in 2015 co-sponsored by BAE Systems Applied Intelligence and Ultra Electronics.
2014-08-10 85 Inspiring Women This month’s episode is all about Inspiring Women. We first take you to the launch of McAfee’s Cyber Security Exhibition and Computer Learning Zone which was held in the ballroom. The focus is on Online Safety for all ages, but especially children, as well as encouraging more women to Cyber Security. We have highlights of the speeches from McAffee’s Ross Allen & Raj Samani, Natalie Black of The Cabinet Office & Bletchley Park Trust Chairman Sir John Scalett, as well as interviews with our own Online Education Officer Nicola Halls & Veteran Betty Webb. You can find out more at secure linkext. Link Next we bring you a Q&A session held at the end of our most recent Bletchley Park Presents Event – The Real Women of Bletchley Park. Historian & Bletchley Park guide Bob Horner, put questions from the sell-out audience to four Veterans, Ruth Bourne, Gwendolyn Page, Jean Valentine & Betty Webb. Finally we bring you a truly serendipitous & heart-warming conversation between the Architect who led the restoration of Bletchley Park and the Hut 6 Veteran who inspired her. Architect Janie Price literally bumped into Veteran Jane Fawcett during the recent visit of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. Jane was Janie’s tutor in building conservation at the Architectural Association and was an expert in historic flooring.* A message from mcfontaine * The sound on The Real Women Package is not up to our usual high quality due to a technical problem that was completely out of our control on the day, but we have improved it as much as possible & felt we should include it because of the importance of the content. We hope it doesn’t spoil your enjoyment.
2014-08-16 86 Gwendoline Page In July, as part of the Bletchley Park Presents series of talks, four women whose diverse roles within the Government Code & Cypher School during World War Two give a rare insight into the inner workings of this top secret organisation. One of those women was WREN Gwendoline Page who worked first in the Naval Section at Bletchley Park, indexing U-boat signals & later on the Japanese vessels index based in Colombo. After her talk, at the end of a very long day, she was still kind enough to sit down with us to tell our listeners more about her service. Two of Gwendoline’s books, "We Kept the Secret" and "They Listened in Secret" are available from the Bletchley Park Shop.
2014-09-01 87 Codebreakers’ Legacy – Jack Copeland Professor Jack Copeland talks about ‘one of his greatest heroes’ Tommy Flowers, from his early life & career leading to working with the Bletchley Park Codebreakers. Jack explains the task faced when in mid-1942 the German High Command started to use a new encryption device, the Lorenz SZ40/42. The attack on Tunny, as it was dubbed by GC&CS, would involve some of the greatest codebreakers we had, Alan Turing, Bill Tutte & Max Newman. It would culminate in Tommy’s greatest achievement, the invention of Colossus, the world's first programmable electronic digital computer. The world would never be the same again. This talk was recorded at last year’s sell-out day of talks, Codebreakers’ Legacy. If you would like to attend a similar event in the Bletchley Park Presents series, then please go to ttp://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/ & look in the What’s On section.A rebuild of Colossus can be seen at The National Museum of Computing, a separate site on the grounds of Bletchley Park.
2014-09-04 88 Veterans’ Reunion marks 75th Anniversary of Bletchley Park As well as marking the 75th anniversary of the Government Code and Cypher School getting its vital war work underway, this year’s annual Veterans’ Reunion will give many their first chance to see how Bletchley Park has been transformed. 2014 is a landmark year for the Bletchley Park Trust, marking not only 75 years since the Codebreakers got cracking on the task of breaking enemy codes and ciphers, but also the completion of a much-needed £8 million restoration project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. At this year’s Veterans’ Reunion, many former workers of the Government Code and Cypher School will see the new Block C Visitor Centre, lovingly restored Codebreaking Huts 3 and 6 and the reinstated landscaped parkland for the first time. Visitors too can experience the World War Two atmosphere and feel what it was like for the thousands of men and women whose work at Bletchley Park and its outstations helped shorten the war, saving countless lives. On Sunday the 7th of September, they will have the rare opportunity to walk among some of those extraordinary men and women. By the time the Codebreakers arrived at Bletchley Park in 1939, a small number of Huts had already been built among the existing buildings on this Victorian country estate. The first delegation, codenamed Captain Ridley’s Shooting Party, had spent around a month setting up communications on the site in 1938.
2014-09-15 89 Walking Among Them This month we bring you a special episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, from the Annual Veterans' Reunion. 2014 is a landmark year for Bletchley Park, marking not only 75th anniversary of the Government Code and Cypher School getting its vital war work underway, but also the completion of £8 million worth of much-needed restoration, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. At this year’s reunion many of the Veterans saw those renovations for the first time. Bletchley Park's CEO, Iain Standen, brings the Veterans up to date on the work that's been carried out in phase one of the restoration of Bletchley Park and answers their questions about the future of the place that's so precious to them. We also talk to the official Bletchley Park photographer, Shaun Armstrong, about capturing history in the making. He's documented the entire restoration, Project Neptune, over the last two years and photographed one or two members of the Royal family along the way. Podcast Producer Mark Cotton and Roving Reporters Kerry Howard and Astrid Specht were also at large at this year's Reunion, talking to visitors as well as the most important guests, the Veterans themselves.
2014-09-23 90 Hurricane Fly Past at Bletchley Park As part of our annual Veteran’s Reunion this year there was a fly past by a Hurricane of the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. 14,533 Hurricanes had been built by the end of World War 2, but sadly, today, there are only 12 still airworthy worldwide; only 6 of those in UK. The BBMF is proud to operate two of these historically important and rare aircraft. For more information on The BBMF please go to linkext. Link The beautiful picture accompanying this clip was taken by Bletchley Park’s official photographer Shaun Armstrong.
2014-09-30 91 Codebreakers’ Legacy - Joel Greenberg In this final highlight from last year’s sell-out day of talks, Codebreakers’ Legacy, Dr. Joel Greenberg talks about the vitally important work of another lesser known figure from GC&CS, ordon Welchman. Welchman designed changes to Alan Turing’s Bombe Machine which was used throughout the war to find the daily settings for Enigma. He also drew up the organisational plan for Bletchley Park which ultimately would enable it to become a Codebreaking Factory”. Joel is a Guide & Historian at Bletchley Park & undertook with the support of the Welchman family to write his biography; Gordon Welchman Bletchley Park's Architect of Ultra Intelligence which are available to buy at linkext. Link If you would like to attend a similar event at Bletchley Park, then please go to linkext. Link & look in the What’s On section. The world's only fully-operational Bombe rebuild can be seen at Bletchley Park.
2014-10-09 92 THE IMITATION GAME at Bletchley Park To celebrate the release of THE IMITATION GAME in UK cinemas on 14 November, Bletchley Park will open a major new exhibition, taking visitors behind the scenes of the highly anticipated movie. The exhibition will open on Tuesday 4 November with an exclusive preview screening of the film for a select audience at Bletchley Park. The same evening, this vibrant heritage attraction will preview a major new exhibition all about the making of the film, in the very room where the bar scenes were filmed. Sarah Kay, Bletchley Park’s Digitisation and Exhibitions Officer, says “THE IMITATION GAME at Bletchley Park Exhibition is an opportunity to not only provide our existing audiences the chance to see some of the film’s set dressing and some of the fantastic objects and documents created by the film’s art department. It is also an opportunity for us to reach new audiences of film fans who otherwise may not be familiar with the secret wartime work of Alan Turing and the thousands of other heroes who undertook arguably the most important work of the their lives. “The making of the film will send the history of Bletchley Park worldwide with such incredibly impressive and intense performances by some of Britain's most elite actors. Bletchley Park is incredibly proud of what the filmmakers and actors were able to achieve.” During the filming we spoke to the producer Teddy Schwarzman & the screenplay writer Graham Moore. We will bring you the full interview & many more Exclusives in future episodes of The Bletchley Park Podcast.
2014-10-13 93 From The Red Carpet This month we come to you from the red carpet at The Odeon Leicester Square for the premiere of THE IMITATION GAME. The movie based on the life and work of Codebreaker Alan Turing was picked to open the prestigious 2014 BFI London Film Festival. To celebrate the film’s release in UK cinemas on the 14th of November, Bletchley Park will open a major new exhibition, taking visitors behind the scenes of this highly anticipated movie. We’ll bring you more on that next month, now, though, we can bring you exclusive behind the scenes interviews recorded during filming in the Mansion at Bletchley Park in late 2013. We first spoke to two members of the Turing family. Dermot Turing is a Bletchley Park Trustee as well as being Alan Turing’s nephew. His son, James, signed up as a supporting actor - once known as extras, for the film .We chatted to them both about what it was like to be involved in a film about the famous relative they’re both too young to have ever met. Then, screen writer Graham Moore and executive producer Teddy Schwarzmann somehow managed to find time in the busy schedule of filming to sit down with us to talk about how they first discovered Alan’s story and wanted to bring it to the world. Finally this month, as always, we bring you an interview with a real Bletchley Park Veteran. Dot Tuffin was a Bombe Wren based first at Eastcote and later posted to Colombo. When she visited the newly restored buildings at the Veterans’ preview in May, the memories came flooding back.
2014-11-01 94 Benedict Cumberbatch on Bletchley Park With only a couple of weeks till the UK release of THE IMITATION GAME, we can now bring you more exclusive interviews with the cast and crew. Our roving reporter Astrid Specht braved the rain with patient fans at The Odeon Leicester Square for the London Film Festival premiere last month. Podcast host Katherine Lynch sits down with Director Morton Tyldum, screen writer Graham Moore and actors Allen Leech and Matthew Beard. We also bring you what was a very special moment for all of us at Bletchley Park, when Katherine sat down to start her interview with the star of the film, Benedict Cumberbatch (hear all this interview next month). Finally, when Bletchley Park Historian and Guide, Joel Greenberg recently gave a talk on his biography of Gordon Welchman, there was a very special guest in attendance. Lord Asa Briggs served at Bletchley Park from 1942 till 1945, working with Welchman in Hut 6 and then later in Block D. He spoke to the sold out audience about his time at the Government Code & Cypher School and then sat down with us for a reflective conversation.
2014-12-11 95 Ghosts of Bletchley Park This month we again have more exclusive content for you from The Imitation Game. Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Alan Turing in the film, tells us about how nerve wracking, special and even ghostly it was filming scenes at Bletchley Park. We also take you to the opening of The Imitation Game, The Exhibition, which was held at the Home of The Codebreakers with a special screening of the film. BBC 3 Counties Jane Killick and our own roving podcast reporter Astrid Specht speak to some of the guests at the black-tie event, including David Broder, location manager on The Imitation Game and a long time champion of Bletchley Park. The Turing Test is an underlying theme of the film and it’s still confounding computer scientists to this day. For more than two decades Dr Hugh Loebner has turned that into a competition which for the second time was hosted at Bletchley Park. We find out why it is still important today from the organisers and one of the judges, BBC TV’s James May. Finally this month we hear from Veteran Kathleen Wing, an Intercept Operator from 1944 to 45, who caught up with researcher, author and roving podcast reporter Kerry Howard, at the 2014 Veterans’ Reunion.
2014-12-15 96 Help Bletchley Park hit 200,000 visitors in 2014 It’s been an extraordinary year at Bletchley Park and the icing on the cake would be to reach a record-breaking attendance level of 200,000 visitors before 31 December 2014. We can do it with the help of our listeners. The 200,000th visitor will be celebrated with prizes and greetings from Bletchley Park VIPs.
2014-12-22 97 Christmas Special 2014 has been a landmark year at Bletchley Park. It’s seen the transformation of the site, returning it to its wartime glory with phase one of the restorations. Royalty returned with not one but two Veterans in the family this time, and the stranger than fiction story of Alan Turing hit the silver screen. Join podcast host atherine and producer Mark as they take you on a virtual trip around the park and back through the year to hear Royalty, Hollywood Stars and of course lots of our wonderful Veterans. Many thanks to The Three Belles for the use of their music. Their charity single for The Royal British Legion can be purchased here: linkext. Link Thanks to everyone who took part in our show this year and thank you to our listeners. We will be back in the New Year with more stories from The Home of The Code Breakers and wish you all, Happy Holidays and a happy New Year.
2015-01-17 98 Crucial Contributions This month we are celebrating a cast of thousands who all made Crucial Contributions. Back in November, the families of the three Polish codebreaking geniuses, whose work proved invaluable in the breaking of Enigma, visited Bletchley Park. We take a look head at what’s new in 2015 with Bletchley Park’s Director of Learning and Collections, Victoria Worpole, A memorial plaque has been unveiled at the site of Bletchley Park’s largest outstation at Eastcote, where Bombe machines were housed & operated by over 800 Wrens during WW2. There representing Bletchley Park were Oral History Officer Jonathan Byrne and Podcast producer Mark Cotton. After the ceremony, they chatted about what’s been a bumper year for the oral history project. Finally this month, listen in to when we took Bletchley Park Veteran Rozanne Colchester into the newly renovated Hut 6 for the very first time.
2015-01-21 99 THE IMITATION GAME Oscar Nominations The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch & Kiera Knightley, has been nominated for 8 Oscar’s : Best Picture, Benedict Cumberbatch for Actor in a Leading Role , Kiera Knightley for Actress in a Supporting Role, Directing, Film Editing , Music (Original Score) , Production Design, Writing (Adapted Screenplay), The 87th Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on February the 22nd 2015.
2015-02-10 100 Telling The World This month best-selling author, Journalist and TV presenter Ben Macintyre talks to us about his latest book, A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal. Ben spoke to us after his sell out talk last year in our Bletchley Park Presents lecture series. Tickets are on sale now for the 2015 talks which already includes Michael Smith, Victor Madeira, Jerry White, Taylor Downing and Sinclair Mackay, with more speakers to be announced soon. Then we bring you this month’s main event. In The Debs of Bletchley Park and Other Stories, best-selling author and Bletchley Park’s chief historical advisor, Michael Smith, reveals the secrets held for at least 30 years by women including a former ballerina, a convent girl and a student of German literature as well as the debutantes of the title. Seven of those stalwarts of secrecy gathered in the Mansion at Bletchley Park to tell the world’s media. Kerry Howard & Podcast Producer Mark Cotton spoke to three of them, Jean Pitt-Lewis, Margaret Mortimer and Marigold Freeman-Attwood.
2015-02-27 101 Free School Trips To Bletchley Park Bursaries for disadvantaged schools have Been added to Bletchley Park’s expanding education programme Winton Global Investment Management is funding a pilot bursary scheme to allow free school trips to Bletchley Park. Bletchley Park welcomes more than 9,000 schoolchildren every year to its thriving education programme. The bursaries will be available to schools which might be most in need of financial support. Each bursary will cover the cost of coach hire and 40 children attending two workshops during their time at Bletchley Park. The first school to participate in the scheme was Greenleys Junior School in Milton Keynes. A group of year six students were given a Codes and Ciphers workshop, tried their hands at operating a real World War Two Enigma machine and toured the uniquely historic site. Victoria Worpole, the Bletchley Park Trust’s Director of Learning and Collections, says “These bursaries will help enormously by making exciting and engaging school trips to Bletchley Park available to children to whom it might have been out of reach. It’s vital that we inspire young minds. Encouraging children to put themselves in the Codebreakers’ shoes to solve seemingly impossible problems brings the STEM subjects to life.” The scheme forms part of a greatly improved education programme at Bletchley Park. Cyber Security Workshops are now available either as part of a school visit or at the school itself, since the appointment of the first Online Safety Officer. Schools, colleges, clubs or societies can book an Enigma Outreach visit, where Bletchley Park’s Education Officer demonstrates a real World War Two Enigma machine which participants can try using themselves.
2015-03-03 102 A Spy Among Friends In this EXTRA’s episode we bring you highlights of bestselling author, journalist and TV presenter Ben Macintyre’s talk on his book ‘A Spy Among Friends, Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal’. Kim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. It is followed by the interview we recorded with Ben after his talk, that regular listeners will have heard in this month’s normal podcast, but we have added it here again for completion. This talk was given in our Bletchley Park Presents series last year. Our 2015 season of talks is about to begin, starting with Michael Smith in March and already confirmed for later in the year are Victor Madeira, Jerry White, Taylor Downing & Sinclair McKay with more names yet to be announced. For more information on these talks please go to linkext. Link and look in the What’s On section.
2015-03-13 103 Turing’s Pay Tribute March 2015 This month join us on a very special tour of Bletchley Park, when more than twenty members of Alan Turing’s family gathered to pay tribute to his contribution to the war-winning intelligence that emerged from this unassuming country estate. It was a poignant visit for members of his family, some of whom had never been before and most who’d never met the man. Sir John Dermot Turing, a Trustee of Bletchley Park and Alan Turing’s nephew, took the opportunity to talk about exciting plans to tell the story of his uncle’s co-invention, in the newly restored Hut 11A. Find out what year six pupils from Greenleys Junior School in Milton Keynes thought of their free school trip to Bletchley Park, when they became the first school to take advantage of a pilot bursary scheme, funded by Winton Global Investment Management. Graham Moore has become a member of Hollywood’s most exclusive club, an Oscar winner. Graham won the little gold statue for his script for The Imitation Game, adapted from Andrew Hodges’ biography of Alan Turing. Dermot Turing gives us his reaction to the news and we have edited our previous interviews with Graham for this episode. We send him our congratulations and thanks. Finally this month we bring you a very poignant interview with another of our wonderful Veterans. Bombe Wren Joan Martin was one of a number of women who joined the Navy only to find they were on dry land and operating state-of-the-art machines that helped speed up the codebreaking process. Joan talks about her days working at the outstation, Eastcote, where she worked with her life-long friend Joyce Rogers.
2015-04-13 104 Rescued and Restored April 2015 This month we take you into our new Hut 12 Exhibit; Rescued and Restored, showcasing historical treasures found during the transformation of the Huts and Blocks. When conservation specialists were brought in to rescue fragile, derelict buildings as part of the much needed first phase of restoration, little could they know what they might find. In the cracks between roof beams in Hut 6 they discovered folded pieces of what appear to be scrap paper, with mysterious notes scribbled on them. Among them were the only known examples of used Banbury Sheets ever found. The system invented by Alan Turing was used to help deduce the daily Enigma settings, before the process was mechanised by the development of the Turing Welchman Bombe. Maths comes to life at Bletchley Park and that’s why the 2015 Milton Keynes Maths Challenge final was held there. Students from secondary schools pitted their wits against each other in a series of timed challenges. At the sound of an air raid siren, the groups dashed from one puzzle to the next, winning prizes including chocolate eggs, scientific calculators and shopping vouchers. The podcast takes you inside the minds of the competitors with members of Bletchley Park’s Education team. Pat Davies joined the Wrens in 1942 at the age of 19, in a bid to avoid being sent to join a ‘crowd of jolly girls’ from the Foreign Office at a place in Buckinghamshire called Bletchley Park, where her mother thought she should go. Pat wanted to go to sea, but it wasn’t to be as she was given the task of intercepting naval messages from a key vantage point on the south coast. Pat stopped for a chat with the Bletchley Park Podcast in the Block C cafe when she brought some old friends for a visit. Pat talk’s about her wartime service and her post war career working as a television producer.
2015-05-07 105 Veterans remember VE Day May 2015 70 years ago on May the 7th 1945 General Jodl signed the unconditional surrender of all German forces in Europe. The next day then became Victory in Europe Day. In this clip we bring you some of the sounds from those two monumental days along with the memories of some of our amazing Veterans that we have had the honour to interview over nearly three years now. This clip includes, Betty Flavell (WRNS 1944-1945) Joyce Roberts (WAAF 1945-1947) Dot Tuffin (WRNS 1943-1945) Marigold Freeman-Attwood (WRNS 1943-1945)
2015-05-11 106 Remembering VE Day & Beyond May 2015 First this month we talk to our official photographer Shaun Armstrong who’s pictures help to tell the story of our new exhibition; Bletchley Park Rescued and Restored. Shaun was on hand to capture images from the start of the £8 million phase one restoration project, right through to the official opening in June 2014 by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. Sarah Harding, director of the 2nd series of The Bletchley Circle was one of last years speakers in our Bletchley Park Presents series of talks. After her sold-out talk Sarah and her sister Gillian sat down to tell us about more discoveries of their mum’s Bletchley Park past. Over nearly 3 years of the podcast we have had the honour to interview around 40 of our amazing Veteran’s so far. These interviews, along with the Official Oral Archive, are building an invaluable resource of first-hand history, for not just the listeners of the podcast but for future generations to come. It is 70 years since Victory in Europe and to pay tribute to all the men and women who served we bring you the sounds of VE Day and from our own archive, the memories of our Veterans, not only remembering May 1945 but what they did next. For our Veterans their service didn’t end in 1945, as for 30 years and more in many cases, they kept the secret of their vital war work hidden from the world. The Veteran’s featured, in order of appearance are: Betty Flavell (WRNS 1944-1945) Joyce Roberts (WAAF 1945-1947) Lady Marion Body (FO Civilian 1944-1945) Gwendoline Page (WRNS 1944-1945) Betty Webb (ATS 1941-1945) Elizabeth Marshall (WRNS 1944-1945) Dot Tuffin (WRNS 1943-1945) Jane Fawcett (FO Civilian 1940-1945) Marigold Freeman-Attwood (WRNS 1943-1945)
2015-06-10 107 The Road to Bletchley Park June 2015 This month’s episode provides a peek at a major new exhibition at Bletchley Park, about codebreaking during World War One. The roots of Bletchley Park’s codebreaking success in World War Two can be clearly traced back to WW1, when several of the key figures of the Government Code and Cypher School were already engaged in the business of snooping into the enemy’s communications. The Road to Bletchley Park traces the roots of this codebreaking powerhouse back one hundred years. The exhibition is now open and will be formally launched soon. Also in this episode, steep yourself in vintage style at the 1940s Boutique, as this most glamorous of days out makes a welcome return next month. We go back to the first Boutique day last year, meeting a mother and two daughters whose mother and grandmother had worked at Bletchley Park. They had a heartbreaking story to tell about the real cost of keeping the details of her work secret from her family. And we finish with a real treat all the way from Toronto, joining one woman’s quest to find out more about her mother, a Canadian Wren who died when she was only ten. Anne Hereford worked in the Naval Section at Bletchley Park in the last year of the war. When she was being shipped home, she was briefly interviewed by a legendary war correspondent. That recording now means the world to her daughter, May, who lives in Ottawa. Hear what happened when May tracked down a woman who worked with her mother at Bletchley Park.
2015-07-12 108 Find a Codebreaker in your family This brand new episode celebrates five years of the Roll of Honour, which aims to record all those who worked at Bletchley Park and its outstations during World War Two. It now holds nearly 11 thousand names, as well as a rich archive of memories, anecdotes and photographs. Also this month, hear from Bletchley Park Veteran Betty Webb MBE, about how keeping news of her honour secret for seven weeks was harder than sticking to the Official Secrets Act for more than 30 years. Betty was named in the Birthday Honours list for remembering and promoting the work of Bletchley Park. Time is rapidly running out to see The Imitation Game, The Exhibition. It features costumes, the replica Bombe machine built for the Oscar-winning film about Alan Turing plus drawings, props and exclusive interviews with the actors and director talking about what it was like to shoot parts of the story where it really happened - in the rooms where filming took place. Hear the moving acceptance speech given by screenwriter Graham Moore when he took home the Oscar for best adapted screenplay. Plus, we take one last peek behind the scenes during filming at Bletchley Park as well, in a never-heard-before interview with the Oscar nominated Production Designer Maria Djurkovic and Location Manager David Broder. Meanwhile, the school holidays are fast approaching. Fear not, we have all the entertainment you need to keep the kids occupied.
2015-07-29 109 The Road to Bletchley Park Today Bletchley Park’s Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of Kent, will officially open a major new exhibition telling the story of Codebreaking in World War One, The Road to Bletchley Park. The Duke will meet representatives of the exhibition’s sponsors, BAE Systems and Ultra Electronics, as well as visiting new displays and exhibitions updated since his last visit in 2009. Timed to coincide with the exhibition opening, the Bletchley Park Trust is delighted to republish a unique parody of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alice in ID25 poked fun at the wartime work of the Naval Intelligence Codebreaking section Room 40, which became known from 1917 as ID25. Originally written by the Codebreakers Frank Birch and Dilly Knox at the end of WW1, it was performed privately as a pantomime in London in December 1918. The parody described life in Room 40 and the people who worked there, and remained under wraps for many decades afterwards. Friends of Bletchley Park were first to see The Road to Bletchley Park exhibition, at an exclusive preview
2015-08-10 110 Royal Patron August 2015 In this episode we take you to the royal launch of a major new exhibition, which looks at the roots of codebreaking as we know it. The Road to Bletchley Park was officially opened on July the 29th by Bletchley Park’s Royal Patron, HRH, The Duke of Kent. We have interviews with the designer, a sponsor, our friendly GCHQ Historian & family members of two of the WW1 codebreakers. This episode also features highlights of the last three years’ Veterans’ Reunions, as this year’s approaches. It’s always a highlight of the year for Veterans and their families, making new memories as they revisit their wartime workplace and learn more about the things they weren’t allowed to know at the time. Find out who’s still to come in the Bletchley Park Presents lecture series and what’s being laid on for children during the school holidays, at no extra cost. Also this month, we speak to Sinclair Mackay, who’s written numerous books about Bletchley Park, and has described researching and writing them as the best job of his life. In his most recent book, The Secret Life of Fighter Command, he tells the stories of the men and women in this unique and world famous organisation. Sinclair gave a talk on the subject as part of the Bletchley Park Presents lecture series, and the podcast caught up with him afterwards
2015-08-14 111 VJ Day - when it was still a secret August 2015 Seventy years ago on the 15th August 1945, small group of young women were quietly at work in Hut 16 at Bletchley Park. They included twins Valerie and Mary Glassborow, who later married brothers and among whose grandchildren was a girl who became HRHThe Duchess of Cambridge. Marion Graham (later Body) was also in that room in Hut 16, which Hut 6 was renamed as the codebreaking factory that was Bletchley Park grew and developed throughout World War Two. She recalls a moment of great privilege when their lives, and indeed the whole world, changed
2015-09-09 112 We Meet Again September 2015 Nearly ninety Veterans of the Government Code and Cypher School and its many outstations gathered at Bletchley Park on Sunday 6 September, to reminisce and meet old friends and new. After a summer of 70th anniversary commemorations, it was a chance for people who worked in secret at both Bletchley Park and its outstations to remember their contribution. They took the opportunity to bring their friends and families to soak up the atmosphere back in the very buildings where they did their vital war work. There were also plenty of chances to share memories with people who worked in different sections. The Veterans are now free from the obligations of the Official Secrets Act and can discuss the details of their work, in stark contrast to the strict rules to which they all adhered during the dark days of World War Two. Listen in as we speak to five Veterans making their first appearance on the Bletchley Park Podcast, some speaking publicly for the very first time. Japanese Naval Section Wren Margaret Thomas, Dennis Underwood of the 14th Army, Hollerith Operator & decoder Joan Joslin, Hanslope Park Engineer Bartram Robinson and finally Florence Cole, a WAAF Teleprinter Operator based at Chicksands from 1943 to 1944. She said "All these years, I 've never considered myself important enough to talk about it. I 've never felt I was very special but I can look back now and think maybe I did contribute a little bit. " Many thanks to roving reporters Sarah Langston and Kerry Howard
2015-09-17 113 Bletchley Park Presents Gordon Corera September 2015 Chatbots have yet to fool the judges of the Loebner Prize into believing they’re human at the Loebner Prize. The 25th annual Artificial Intelligence competition, which puts the Turing test into practice, has ended without any of the judges being duped. The BBC’s Technology Correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, was one of the four judges. He says it was easy to tell which of the conversations were with humans and which were with bots. When he started talking about keeping slugs off his vegetable garden and his dog, called Cabbage, Rory says they were soon stumped. After the judging, when Rose had been declared this year’s most human bot, he stopped for a chat with the Bletchley Park Podcast
2015-09-20 114 Rory Cellan-Jones - Loebner Prize Judge September 2015 Chatbots have yet to fool the judges of the Loebner Prize into believing they’re human at the Loebner Prize. The 25th annual Artificial Intelligence competition, which puts the Turing test into practice, has ended without any of the judges being duped. The BBC’s Technology Correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, was one of the four judges. He says it was easy to tell which of the conversations were with humans and which were with bots. When he started talking about keeping slugs off his vegetable garden and his dog, called Cabbage, Rory says they were soon stumped. After the judging, when Rose had been declared this year’s most human bot, he stopped for a chat with the Bletchley Park Podcast
2015-09-30 115 Commander Dennistons Granddaughters September 2015 On 29 July Bletchley Park’s Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of Kent, officially opened the major new exhibition, The Road to Bletchley Park, telling the story of codebreaking during World War One. Many of those World War One Codebreakers went on to work at Bletchley Park during World War Two. Among them was Alastair Denniston the first operational head of the Government Code and Cypher School. The August episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast featured an edited version of an interview with two of Commander Denniston’s granddaughters, Candy Connolly and Judith Finch. In this Extra we bring you the full interview as they talk with pride about the man they call AGD. Before that we hear from author and historian on Bletchley Park, Dr Joel Greenberg, for an overview of the Commander’s secret work. This episode was released on 30 September to mark International Podcast Day. Extra episodes follow up an earlier story with more content, allowing listeners to delve deeper into the subject. The Bletchley Park Podcast is released on 10th of each month, featuring stories told by Veteran Codebreakers themselves, world-renowned authors and historians, paid and volunteer staff and, occasionally, the odd Hollywood A-Lister. This exclusive content keeps up to date on all the events, exhibitions and lectures and of course the progress of the development of Bletchley Park.
2015-10-02 116 Last chance to see The Imitation Game, The Exhibition October 2015 You’ve seen the Oscar winning film, now visit the set and get a rare insight into how the story of genius Codebreaker Alan Turing was brought to life. Benedict Cumberbatch said Filming at Bletchley Park was amazing. It was a very important part of the film. In the Ballroom and Billiard Rooms of the Mansion, this atmospheric exhibition is all about the making of The Imitation Game, in the very room where the bar scenes were filmed. Among the many behind the scenes gems are secret documents and intercepts Benedict Cumberbatch stuffs into his socks and trousers to sneak them off site and a copy of the famous crossword puzzle published in The Telegraph. But it’s not here for much longer - The Imitation Game, The Exhibition is only open until 1st November. See it before it’s too late
2015-10-09 117 Forgotten Genius October 2015 In Forgotten Genius, the October 2015 episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, we take you to the opening of a brand new, fascinating exhibition about Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park’s Architect of Ultra Intelligence. Hear from Welchman’s granddaughter, Jennifer, who flew in specially to be at the launch and from his Hut 6 colleague, Jimmy Thirsk, who at the age of 101 is one of the last few of his kind left. Also featured is the grandson of a man who was involved in Codebreaking in both world wars, Nigel De Grey. His grandson Anthony is clearly proud of his roots - and his grandfather was not the only member of his family who worked at Bletchley Park. And on 18 October the BBC’s Security Correspondent, Gordon Corera will give a talk as part of the Bletchley Park Presents lecture series. Gordon will speak about his new book which traces the intertwined history of computing and espionage; Intercept - The Secret History of Computers and Spies. He tells the Bletchley Park Podcast how a book about technology turned out to be a book about people. You can also hear about the Family Maths Workshops designed for 5 to 12 year-olds - and their grown-ups - happening at Bletchley Park every Saturday throughout October and November
2015-10-24 118 Anthony and Michael De Grey - Cementing Family Ties October 2015 The Bletchley Park Trust is reaching out to Veterans’ families, to create a worldwide community of people with a special link to this unique piece of British history. The Trust is inviting relatives of the Codebreakers to cement their family ties with the breath-taking achievements of the Bletchley Park operation during World War Two. Their names and the importance of what they did was once shrouded in secrecy, but can now be celebrated in perpetuity. For the next six months Veterans, their families and members of the Friends of Bletchley Park have the exclusive opportunity to buy engraved commemorative bricks that will be used to build a Codebreakers’ Wall around naval codebreaking Hut 8. The opportunity to buy a brick in the Codebreakers’ Wall will then be made widely available from spring 2016. Michael and Anthony De Grey have more family links than most to Bletchley Park, and indeed part of its World War One predecessor, Room 40. Their grandfather Nigel was a key figure in codebreaking in both world wars, and the family connections didn’t end there. In both these full interviews Michael and Anthony go into much more depth about their proud memories
2015-11-06 119 When she speaks of Bletchley, a light comes into her eyes November 2015 Sarah Harding’s mother remembers Bletchley Park as a happy place. Dorothy Harding, nee Thompson, worked as a Morse slip reader in the Communications Centre from 1943 to the end of the war. Many years later, Sarah directed the hit ITV drama, The Bletchley Circle, about four fictional women who worked at the Government Code and Cypher School during World War Two and, some ten years later, regrouped in secret to solve mysteries including murder. Now Sarah is joining a worldwide community of Veterans’ relatives, who are being offered the chance to buy a commemorative brick in the Codebreakers’ Wall and cement their connection to this piece of British history. 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
2015-11-09 120 The Coventry Myth November 2015 Hindsight can be cruel. The conspiracy theory that Churchill allowed Coventry to be bombed beyond recognition, killing hundreds of civilians, in order to protect the Ultra secret - that Bletchley Park was breaking German codes - is a myth. In this episode we bring you memories of the devastating air raid on Coventry, which took place 75 years ago, on 14 November 1940. Hear from Sir Arthur Bonsall, who worked in the German Air Section, debunking the myth. And Bletchley Park’s Research Historian, Dr David Kenyon, explains how the theory came about and has since been disproved. Also this month, the Bletchley Park Trust is reaching out to Veterans’ families, to create a worldwide community of people with a special link to this unique piece of British history. Dilly Knox was instrumental in codebreaking in both world wars. He was working to break into Enigma before World War Two even broke out, but died in 1943, so never knew how the war ended and never shared what he’d done with his family. They can now celebrate his achievements and did just that on a visit to Bletchley Park, during which they shared their pride with the Bletchley Park Podcast. And we hear from Professor Jack Copeland, Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing, celebrating another forgotten hero of Bletchley Park, Max Newman. In August, his talk ‘How Computers Were Used Against Hitler’, was a huge success. This episode features an extract of that talk as well as a rare interview with Jack
2015-11-12 121 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
2015-11-24 122 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
2015-12-04 123 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
2015-12-10 124 Best Ever Year 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
2015-12-17 125 The Petard Pinch 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.
2015-12-29 126 Celebrating family pride 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.
2016-01-10 127 It Happened Here 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.
2016-02-10 128 The Special Relationship 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
2016-03-03 129 Bletchley's Foreign Relations with Tony Comer Part 1 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.
2016-03-11 130 Bombe Girls 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 linkext. Link
2016-03-16 131 Its significance resonates down to today 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.
2016-03-30 132 Bletchley's Foreign Relations with Tony Comer Part 2 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.
2016-04-11 133 Punch Cards, Porridge and a Pittance 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.
2016-05-10 134 The Bismarck 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.
2016-06-13 135 No Sleep on VE Day 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.
2016-07-13 136 Pinches and Breaks 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.
2016-08-11 137 Enigma from the other side 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.
2016-09-11 138 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.
2016-10-19 139 The Party that Saved Bletchley Park 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.
2016-11-15 140 Everything but the work Fun, food and friendships at 1940s Bletchley Park were among the most popular topics of conversation at the party that saved the site. Travel back 25 years for another dip into the memories shared by the Veterans that day in 1991, about everything but the work - from digs to dances. It was quite a party, carefully timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the letter sent to Churchill, asking for more resources. Sent in 1941, the letter 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. The party was sneakily planned, and those who organised it ended up feeling they’d got away with something. 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.
2016-12-12 141 You might have heard of Fifty years after World War Two, a farewell party was held for Veterans of the Government Code and Cypher School, at the ramshackle site where they had carried out vital intelligence work. It was about to be bulldozed for housing, but the party bolstered a burgeoning desire to save and preserve it for future generations. Then, more so than now, Codebreakers from all levels of the organisation were able to attend and enjoy the reunion. As a result, the 14 hours of audio recorded by volunteers roaming with cassette recorders that day includes some notable names, both in person and through the memories of their colleagues. They modestly recall their war work, reflecting on the significance of what they achieved. It’s worth remembering they didn’t breathe a word about what they’d done to their friends, families or loved ones - for at least 30 years. So in this, the last of three special episodes showcasing the best audio from that day and celebrating its incredible legacy, we meet some people you might have heard of. Also in this month’s episode, it’s beginning to look a lot like a 1940s Christmas at Bletchley Park, with vintage decorations throughout, festive afternoon teas and an extremely special visitor, all the way from Lapland.
2017-01-17 142 The Zimmerman Telegram The Zimmerman Telegram tells the story of how the US became embroiled in World War One. The threat from Germany came home to the United States 100 years ago this month, courtesy of an intercepted telegram sent by the German Foreign Secretary, Arthur Zimmerman. The tricky thing was, British intelligence didn’t want the US finding out they were reading what was coming over those cables. That made it rather difficult to warn the US, without giving the game away and thereby doing enormous diplomatic damage. We hear from the grandsons of two key figures in this story; Nigel de Grey played his part in decrypting this all-important message in Room 40, and went on to be crucial to codebreaking during World War Two. The other, Thomas Hohler, was our man in Mexico at the time. Last summer their grandsons met up at Bletchley Park, reflecting on the significance of the telegram and their ancestors’ involvement in bringing it to light. Also in this episode, you really never do know who you might meet at Bletchley Park. Eagle-eyed listeners may have spotted the TV historian, Dan Snow, waxing lyrical on social media recently, about the wonders of the Home of the Codebreakers. He came to visit and - like most people when they first see how brilliantly the story is now told - was moved and amazed. He stopped for a chat with Bletchley Park’s very own broadcast-friendly historian, Dr David Kenyon. Throughout this year, we’ll bring you more never-heard-before interviews with veterans of Bletchley Park and its outstations, celebrating the ongoing Oral History project, as well as freshly researched stories about what the Codebreakers achieved and the difference it made to the outcome of the war, in the Bletchley Park Podcast’s exclusive It Happened Here series.
2017-02-10 143 Unique and Precious Memories This month we celebrate the unique and precious memories being gathered in Bletchley Park’s Oral History Project. Jean Kotchie was a Royal Navy Wren who worked on the noisy, smelly Bombe machines which helped speed up the daily race against time to find the Enigma settings on hundreds of networks, so that messages could be deciphered in enough time to make the intelligence operationally pin-sharp. Hers is a story of oil stains, monotony and exhaustion in the rural outreaches of the home counties; hardly what she had in mind when joining the Navy to do her bit for the war effort. It wasn’t all fun for Jean, and she looks back on a dark chapter in her young life to help future generations understand what happened. Also in this episode, the baton of celebration is passing down the generations as more and more families of Codebreakers visit Bletchley Park to absorb the atmosphere and learn more about what their ancestors achieved. One such proud family is the Hinsleys, whose parents met there during World War Two. On 7 June 1940, Harry Hinsley warned the Admiralty that German battle cruisers were about to emerge from the Baltic. His advice was ignored, and the next day the Scharnhorst sank the carrier HMS Glorious. This was but one moment in a highly distinguished career at Bletchley Park and beyond, including becoming the author of the official history of British Intelligence during World War Two.
2017-03-09 144 Enter Japan This month’s It Happened Here story is a truly global one. It’s about what happened when the war was no longer just in Europe. In December 1941, Japan entered World War Two. This meant intelligence gathering and processing became a far bigger and more complex task, which brought about the need for a significant expansion of the top secret operation at Bletchley Park. We'll hear from two of the women who worked on Japanese codes at Bletchley Park, Betty Webb and Mary Every, who had never met until they were interviewed together for a Japanese newspaper. We look back at this seismic change with Bletchley Park's Research Historian, Dr David Kenyon. As well as all that, Podcast Producer, Mark Cotton, was allowed privileged access to the Bletchley Park Archive to look at flash cards used to help hapless Codebreakers learn Japanese in double quick time. Also this month, we bring you a sneak preview of an exciting new exhibition opening soon at Bletchley Park, Off Duty. Although few official records remain of what people did in their spare time, this exhibition will use stories pieced together from letters, diaries and surviving wartime documents from Bletchley Park. Off Duty will feature a number of Veterans’ memories gathered by the Oral History Project, which help us understand what it was like, in their own words.
2017-04-10 145 Off Duty Bletchley Park’s brand new exhibition, Off Duty, High Spirits in Low Times, is now open. It explores what happened outside of the gruelling shifts the thousands of workers did, day and night. Wartime work at the Government Code and Cypher School was stressful and tiring - but the authorities understood it was important to keep staff happy - and healthy. We’ll hear from Veterans who gave an intimate Q&A session, which launched the exhibition. Also this month, we hear memories from one of the hundreds of Veterans who’ve taken part in Bletchley Park’s Oral History project, about how she spent her precious free time. Barbara Allan, nee Grigg, remembers being in Trafalgar Square, watching Doodlebugs falling, and being told off by a passing officer for not taking cover. This was during one of many trips to London on her days off operating Bombe machines at Eastcote, where she and her friends used to enjoy cheap theatre tickets and dinners for a shilling in the crypt at St Martins in the Field. Museums at Night makes a welcome return next month, this time exploring the Night Shift. As darkness falls, visitors will get a chance to experience the hush of the huts, just as wartime workers would have done. The last Museums at Night event fell close to Halloween, and podcast producer Mark Cotton went along to see just how spooky the park could be.
2017-05-09 146 Highs and Lows Highs and lows of the codebreaking operation at Bletchley Park are the subject of this month’s episode. There were a lot of lows, but it’s not all doom and gloom. We know how the war ended but, back then, the threat of invasion still hung in the air and Hitler’s forces were making great gains, not only in Europe. This was also around the time when the German Navy decided to tighten the security of its radio traffic in the Atlantic, where Allied shipping convoys were being found and sunk with horrifying success. We explore this - and the expansion and change of leadership at the Government Code and Cypher School - with Bletchley Park’s Research Historian, Dr David Kenyon and the late Captain Jerry Roberts. Also this month, Helen Leadbetter was a wireless telegrapher in Canada during World War Two, providing the codebreakers at Bletchley Park with the raw material they deciphered and turned into vital intelligence. She told her story to the broadcaster CBC, who we have to thank for letting us share it with you. And we bring you details of some of the coming summer’s exciting events at Bletchley Park, featuring live vintage music, fashion, food and Bletchley Park’s own beer, as well as plenty to challenge and entertain young would-be codebreakers.
2017-06-11 147 Bill Tutte Bill Tutte played a crucial role in deciphering messages between Hitler and his high command. Yet he remains one of Bletchley Park’s unsung heroes. This little-known genius went straight from studying mathematics at Cambridge to the Government Code and Cypher School, where he used his analytical brilliance to help break what was believed to be an unbreakable code. His work also paved the way for the creation of the world’s first semi-programmable computer, Colossus. His breath-taking achievements are now celebrated in a new exhibition at Bletchley Park and, on the day of his centenary, it was launched with a symposium of talks about his life and work. We hear from the day’s speakers, who included the GCHQ Departmental Historian, Tony Comer, tireless Bill Tutte Memorial Fund campaigner, Claire Butterfield, David Bedford from Keele University and the BBC security correspondent, Gordon Corera. We also speak exclusively to Bill Tutte’s family, who were there to soak up the celebration, about what it’s like to learn that a kindly uncle was an unsung war hero.
2017-07-09 148 PQ17 Disaster in the Arctic What happened when the Admiralty didn’t believe the intelligence coming from Bletchley Park? The answer; huge losses at sea. But this is not to suggest blame - hindsight can be cruel. The Tirpitz was a much-feared German battleship - it was the biggest they had built. Bletchley Park provided intelligence under the banner of Ultra - the highest level of secrecy - that it had not yet set sail. But this reassuring news was not taken on board by the naval powers that be. Convoy PQ17 was scattered, in the mistaken belief that the Tirpitz was on the move, and resulting in huge losses. We look back at this moment in World War Two, when intelligence was not enough, with help from Bletchley Park’s research historian, Dr David Kenyon.
2017-08-09 149 Our 5th Anniversary Hear some of the best bits from five packed years of this podcast, primarily from the Veterans themselves, but also a smattering of prestigious visitors down the years, from movie stars to heads of foreign security agencies. The highlight of the calendar at Bletchley Park is without doubt the annual Veterans’ Reunion, when people who worked at the Government Code and Cypher School and its outstations during World War Two return to revive and share their memories, helping to keep the story alive for future generations. The Bletchley Park Podcast has been capturing the Veterans’ trips down memory lane for five years now, not least on this wonderful day each year. To celebrate this podcast’s 5th anniversary, hear the best of the reunions so far with snippets of conversation, interviews and emotional reminiscences from the stars of this story, the Veterans themselves. Each year, they meet new friends among the thousands of people who were part of the Bletchley Park operation as, even if they worked in the same section, it was often at a different time or on an opposing shift pattern. Veterans’ families who attend either with, or to represent, their relative, also shine with pride when they learn more about their incredible achievements.
2017-09-12 150 Veterans' Reunion 2017 Part 1 More than 110 Veterans returned to Bletchley Park for this year’s reunion - the highest number in recent years. They came back to the headquarters of the Government Code and Cipher School, where they, among thousands of men and women, carried out vital war work which made a huge difference, not only to the outcome of World War Two, but to the digital age in which we live today. Once in the tranquil grounds of the Victorian mansion, they met up with friends old and new, and took the opportunity to celebrate that this special place is not only still standing - which is, in itself, quite an achievement for wooden huts that were thrown up in haste some 80 years ago - but is also thriving, welcoming more than a quarter of a million visitors every year, to absorb the fascinating story of what happened here. The regular Bletchley Park Podcast team, Producer Mark Cotton and host Katherine White, were joined by special guest roving reporters Niki Arthur and Myra Brooks. Meet them and the fascinating Veterans they met on a glorious September afternoon in Buckinghamshire. We captured so many fascinating conversations that we’re bringing you two special episodes this month. This is part one of two.
2017-09-26 151 Veterans' Reunion 2017 Part 2 There were so many memories shared at this year’s Veterans’ Reunion, that we’ve split this month’s episode into two parts. This time, we’ll hear some of the longer conversations, as people who spent part of their youth carrying out vital war work, tucked away in the Buckinghamshire countryside or at one of Bletchley Park’s equally secretive outstations. They went on to keep their lips sealed about what they’d done for at least another 30 years. Now, when the memories begin to flow, the best thing to do is sit back, listen and feel inspired by their incredible achievements.
2017-10-23 152 The End of the Beginning 75 years ago, one of the most decisive battles of World War Two marked the end of the beginning. El Alamein was of huge strategic importance to both the Allied and Axis forces in North Africa. Rommel and Montgomery’s forces clashed twice. The second battle would become famous, making a household name of this obscure outpost. The intelligence was a crucial weapon. Rommel’s attack plan was confirmed by intercepts which were deciphered and translated by the top secret Government Code and Cipher School at Bletchley Park, giving the Allies an unseen advantage. In this episode, we bring you a personal perspective on this slice of history, with Bletchley Park’s good friend, the historian Dan Snow. He made an unforgettable trip to the desert with his father, Peter, where they traced the soldiers’ footsteps through the sand for a memorable TV documentary. He looks back on that experience, with Bletchley Park’s Research Historian, Dr David Kenyon.
2017-11-16 153 Women at War This month, it’s all about women. A century ago, the Women’s Royal Naval Service - aka Wrens - were founded. They went on to play a crucial part in the codebreaking effort during World War Two. By November 1917, Britain was three years into a bloody, devastating war. In this episode, we explore what kind of work women did during both wars and what they - and the men - thought of it. A new pop up exhibition is now open in the Visitor Centre at Bletchley Park, celebrating the contribution of Wrens to the codebreaking effort during WW2. We delve into a few of the many the stories behind it, with Exhibitions Manager, Erica Munro. Award winning author Clare Mulley tells us about The Women Who Flew for Hitler, among others who did incredibly daring and dangerous war work - on both sides. We also find out what Hush WAACs were. They were stationed in France, and their work was top secret. Some kept journals but - unsurprisingly - they don’t divulge much about what they were doing. Dr Jim Beach from the University of Northampton talks to podcast producer, Mark Cotton. Also in this episode, Bletchley Park has been urging people to knit one, post one. People have been creating authentic wartime knitwear, for display in the dressed rooms. We discover some of the treasures that have been sent in, with Exhibitions Assistant, Emma Treleaven.
2017-12-13 154 In Their Words Part 1 Bletchley Park’s Oral History project has been running for six years, interviewing more than 400 veterans so far. These personal testimonies capture the unique and precious memories of people who worked at Bletchley Park and its outstations. Not only are these interviews a great source of historical facts, adding to what we know about the work carried out by the Government Code and Cypher School during World War Two, they’re also a treasure trove of lesser-known details about the processes and what life was like during that time. Adding reminiscences about food, fun and uniform to the official records of how the codebreaking was done make this truly a people’s history of Bletchley Park. In this episode we hear from Phyllis Keates, who operated Britain’s answer to Enigma; a Typex machine. We learn more about the stringent security in the recruitment process from Kenneth Nicolson, who served in the Royal Signals and we listen in on Morse slip reader Daphne Canning’s account of a V1 attack on her accommodation.

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