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53rd International Rally -
The Mansion House at Bletchley Park
One of the greatest secrets of World War II, Bletchley Park was home to the Codebreakers. 11000 people worked here in 3 shifts, 24 hours a day, capturing and deciphering enemy communications. It is now thought that the information gathered helped shortened the war by two years, consequently saving unknown thousands of lives.
This was the venue for the first of our visits over the International Rally Weekend.
The Cars started arriving at lunchtime and were all parked in a central area where they made a good display for other visitors. After refreshments, which comprised coffee/tea and delicious muffins we were split into 2 parties and each allocated am experienced guide. Most people found the tour of the mansion, postoffice, huts and codebreaking equipment fascinating, as well as the descriptions pf the lives of the people involved. There was so much to see and understand. We were told what the Enigma Code was, how it developed and how it was cracked. Later, more complex codes were cracked using the first programmable computer.
Though those valve driven computers were broken up as "Secret" immediately after the war, one of them, Colossus, has been painstakingly reconstructed to working condition and we were given a guided tour by a suitably looking boffin. All in all a great success. Although we had been there over 3 hours, many declared the tour was too short and vowed to come again for another visit
The cars then set off on a short guided run to Horwood House where the party were able to check into their rooms and into the Rally itself.
Below: Early arrivals at Bletchley Park ( Graham Lpckley)
Click on these thumbprints to see the enlargements: