Bletchley Park – 3-4 October
Bletchley Park is celebrating the 70th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s appointment as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1939 with a special Churchill Weekend event on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 October. The Park is proud to host Jack Darrah’s private Churchill Collection of rare and interesting memorabilia, which provides a unique glimpse into the spirit of the man who famously described the workers of Bletchley Park as “The geese that laid the golden eggs – but never cackled.”
During the weekend there will be an additional display in the Mansion telling the story of ‘Churchill the First Lord of The Admiralty’. There will also be a series of lectures, including a special talk by Mr Randolph Churchill (Sir Winston Churchill’s great grandson) and an exhibition of crafted Churchill and Naval related furniture by the internationally renowned furniture maker, Stewart Linford.
Bletchley Park has a wide range of permanent exhibitions and private collections. It is also home to The National Museum of Computing, which houses Colossus, the first ever electronic semi programmable computer. The Bletchley Park story is told in the main Block-B museum, where visitors can see the famous Abwehr Enigma Machine, back on display after its dramatic theft in 2000.
Also on display are the Lorenz, other mechanical cipher systems and the Bombe Rebuild; a Bomber Command exhibition and a Home Front exhibition, which features rationing, evacuation and the Blitz; Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society; the Oxf. & Bucks L.I. at Pegasus Bridge display; and the 65th Nachrichten Abteilung German Signals Group.
Other things to see around the Park are the Projected Picture Trust (1940’s cinema screening wartime show reels); the Toys and Memorabilia Collection, with playthings and domestic artefacts from the 1930’s and 1940’s; the Maritime Display and Model Railway exhibition; Hut 1, home to the Diplomatic Wireless Service; the Bletchley Park Post Office, believed to have been an undercover mailroom during the war; the Bletchley Park Garage, with a number of vintage vehicles; and the Victorian Mansion, all in a parkland setting with a lake, wildlife and a children’s play area.
The café in Hut 4 serves refreshments and light lunches and the gift shop sells a range of books, DVDs, CDs, gifts and toys. Bletchley Park is easily accessible by car from the A5 and J13 and J14 of the M1.