I could really get used to this long-weekend thing! It’s so nice having a few days off to relax; the weekend always goes so quickly after a lie-in, some shopping, cleaning etc.
We went to Bletchley Park yesterday which was really interesting. For those of you who haven’t heard about it, it was the base of the Government Code & Cipher School (GC & CS – now know as GCHQ) during WWII. Basically it was the place where all German communication was intercepted and attempts were made to decipher the encryptions. (The Bletchley Park website is http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/.) We already knew a lot of the history from having read books on Enigma, code-breaking and similar. However, it was really nice to see the place where it all happened
They have also built a working replica of Colossus, the worlds first ever programmable computer. It was huge, but so impressive; especially given how little information about the original they had. Colossus was used to find the encryption key for the Lorenz Cipher – the cipher used for communication sent by the German High Command and one of the, if not the most, secure ciphers used during the war. (Tony Sale, head of the rebuild team, has a website with more information: http://www.codesandciphers.org.uk/.) Another team are also close to completing a rebuild of the Bombe – the machine used to try and crack daily Enigma settings. What they have so far is amazing so it will be brilliant to go back later in the year and see it in action (estimated completion in July 2007). Photos are all online on Revado – http://www.revado.com/pics/filmView.php?e=Bletchley07
Today we have stayed a little closer to home but it was too sunny to just sit in the house all morning. We ventured over to Raven’s Court Park and had a little wander around in the sunshine. Very pleasant!