Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Wednesday 21 March 2012

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It's an enigma.

We've been to Bletchley Park,  home of British codebreaking work during WWII and birthplace of the modern computer. Here a very clever team of mathematicians, radio operators and engineers worked at breaking the enigma codes used by the Germans enabling the British army to plan their campaigns to much greater effect and shortening the war by at least 2 years.
the orignal mansion house and lake

One of the leading brains working on decyphering the enigma codes was Alan Turing. He built this machine called the Bombe which could work out what combination of code wheels was needed to read the coded messages.

Following on from the work on the Bombe, Tommy Flowers joined the team and they began work on creating this machine, the first programmable computer known as Colossus.
At the end of the war, Churchill instructed that everything at Bletchley Park should be dismantled and diposed of; machines, paperwork, everything. However various bits and pieces survived and volunteers have been able to rebuild both the Bombe and Colossus and they are in working condition.
There was so much to see and a lot to take in, it was well worth the visit.

Moving on from Fenny Stratford we also made a quick stop at Stoke Hammond

Where the village sign says it is a Thankful Village
Because none of its young men serving in the armed forces were lost in WWI.
According to wikipedia there are only 52 such villages in the UK.  I thought this was a lovely phrase and sentiment.


  1. Does your enigma have a solution? I'm not very good at codes, which makes me all the more in awe of the code breakers!

    These days, Colossus would probably be more accurately called Dot or Molecule.