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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Enigma, Colossus, codes and Bletchley Park

It was my great fortune to be taken on a guided tour of Bletchley Park by the author of a book based there.  Andy Mellett-Brown has just published his first book called The Shelter, using his extensive knowledge of the place to set part of his story there during the war.  My tour was personalised to show me the places where, the main character - Harry Stammers - worked and operated as a BP employee and amateur sleuth.

Vintage fans, particularly for WWII will love BP as much of it is set up as it would have been back in the day of the code breakers. If you are unaware of the history then please have a thorough google, basically, here during the war, code breakers de-cyphered the codes of the enemy, a breakthrough which helped us win the war eventually.  Inventions in code breaking lead to  the first computer and on the site of Bletchley Park is a computer museum which houses the most famous of all machines, The Colossus. So if you are motivated to go then please don't forget to find Colossus which is round the corner. 

an Enigma machine, one of many portable code generators

The American Bombe - on of the many code breaking machines developed at the park

Lorenz Cipher machine, a large non portable code generating machine 

Andy Mellett-Brown the author of The Shelter

most of the staff at BP were women and its great to see the huts furnished with clothes and handbags

not authentic war time food, more like school dinners.

the whole place became derelict, as some of it still is, but with the perseverance of dedicated volunteers, the park was saved, although there is still plenty more to do and they need your help

sculpture of Alan Turing soon to be played by Benedict Cumberbatch in a new film about his life called
The Imitation Game 


If you like a good detective story then get yourself over to Amazon and order a copy of The Shelter


  1. It looks a fascinating place! I've been meaning to go for a while as it's just up the road really.

  2. Great photos, Janice. They really evoke the feel of Bletchley Park. I've been a few times, the last was for the Forties Family Festival last year and there's always something new to see each time. Mind you, its the derelict huts that I find really evocative.

  3. Thanks to Patricia Mellett-Brown for passing on this blog URL to The Bletchley Circle Watchers @

    Great for those who haven't yet been to Bletchley!!

    We're sharing it this week, and will be talking about Andy Mellett-Brown's books soon on the page, too.


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