It is a typical thing for a foreigner to visit the country’s museums not just to see the artefacts that is stored and preserved in the building but also to be more aware of the history and basic life of the ancient people who have lived in the country thousand years ago. One of the places to visit in my agenda when I was in England is to visit museums like other does. We visited The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Science Museum and National History Museum which is just opposite the V&A Museum and none but the least is this computer museum in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England called Bletchley Park which currently houses The National Codes Centre and The National Museum of Computing.
“It was 1938 and the threat of war loomed as Hitler invaded Austria and then Czechoslovakia. The Government Code and Cypher School, that was based in London, needed a safer home where its intelligence work could carry on unhindered by enemy air attacks. At a junction of major road, rail and teleprinter connections to all parts of the country, Bletchley Park was eminently suitable. Commanded by Alastair Denniston, the Park was given the cover name Station X, being the tenth of a large number of sites acquired by MI6 for its wartime operations. After meticulous preparation and a series of trial runs, the codebreakers arrived in earnest in August 1939. They masqueraded as ‘Captain Ridley’s Shooting Party’ to disguise their true identity. It was to be the first instalment in one of the most remarkable stories of the Second World War. “ Source: Bletchley Park’s Early History.
It was a day tour again when we visited Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire on a Saturday morning. Family, students and group of old people were in the same place to visit the park, itself. It was my boyfriends instinct and plan to visit the park because he wants to see the old computers that was preserved and showcased in this museum. We paid £12 each adult for the admission and started to go round the park. We first invaded the Enigma Collection where they display the different types of Enigma machines and it is also the Europe’s largest public display of Enigma Collection. We then step into another room where we saw the Bombe Rebuild Project where group of elderly standing in-front of an old guy that serves as a speaker who tells the story of the project and how it works. Also, I have seen the old living of the people during WW2 in their Home Front Display. They have old irons, a pram, old clock, fridge and more basic things that were needed in the old days. We proceeded and got fascinated by the Churchill Collection that has many rare and interesting pieces owned by the late Sir Winston Churchill (Ex-Prime Minister of England that time in WW2). From photographs, books, awards was all in that special room. Then, we went to the Model Railway where I have seen miniatures of trains, railways, junctions, trees and complete tunnels. I felt like I went back in my younger years where we used to play toy trains and railways and say the “CHOO-CHOO” words as sounds effects.
We also had a little glimpse of the Toys and Memorabilia Collection. I’ve seen the old money of Britain (shillings) but it was a bit scary in the end as we walk farther cos of the faces of the old dolls I have seen in the corner so we didnt stay much in that part of the park. We had an alfresco lunch in The Cafe in Hut 4. I had hunters chicken with mashed potato with Heinz BBQ sauce and melted cheese while my boyfriend had a sandwich. Then, we went inside the mansion (next to the restaurant) and had a little tour. They mostly used the mansion for weddings and gatherings, nowadays. We went to the garage where they showcase post-war vehicles used during WW2. Two of the cars were used and featured in the film Enigma starring Kate Winslet that was shoot in England, Scotland and the Netherlands. We have also seen old stamps and the park’s Post Office which they call it as the Britain’s Secret Little Post Office. It looks like a souvenir shop for me cos you can buy post cards and some memorabilia about Bletchley Park.
Of course, the day trip in Bletchley Park wont end without visiting the National Museum of Computing where they showcase the development of computing in its broadest sense from the pioneering war-time efforts that resulted in Colossus, to the products and systems we use today. It was my very first time to see very large types of computers.
You need to pay extra £5 for the admission for TNMOC.
Seeing my boyfriend going round checking things and big machines makes me feel so happy. He has been wishing to visit the place for many years but didn’t have a chance because of his busy work schedule and he don’t have any companion that has same interest as his and understands what he feels. I don’t have the amour on PC’s but I understand the feeling of wanting to see a place of your interest. I am so glad looking at him very serious, checking the old stuffs around the museum and go home with all the smile on our faces which is the most important thing of all. We have enjoyed our day trip, at the same time my boyfriends satisfaction on seeing the things he likes is already enough to serve as happiness to me as his partner.
Hoping you had a nice day! Cheers!