Rosie Fraser, PRT Operations Director, writes about our work at Bletchley Park:
The first time I visited Bletchley Park the hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I walked up the hill from the station past the 1940’s WWII wooden huts. These are the make-shift huts that were thrown up during the war to support the work of the 10,000 men and women who worked tirelessly at Bletchley for six long years. On my first visit we were doing a recce as we were tendering to carry out the project management, on behalf of Bletchley Park Trust, to help them appoint a number of consultants to work up plans to rescue the huts and turn the park into a world class museum. As we were fortunately successful with the tender, I have been lucky enough to spend the last two years involved with this fascinating project.
One visit to the park in no way does it justice. There is so much to see and understand that it takes several visits (and tours) to understand the complexity of the code-breaking that was carried out, but also learn about the wonderful stories of life during the war. For example an operator in hut 3 had no idea what the occupants of hut 8 were doing (they are located side-by-side and communications were via a tea tray that passed messages along the ground between the two!). Sadly lack of funding has meant that many of the huts are in a poor condition but work is now afoot to restore them. There are also a huge number of artefacts at the Park, these range from a number of hand-held enigma machines (used to encrypt and de-encrypt messages by the Germans), to the Bombe and Colossus rebuilds which were our answer to breaking the codes that were passed between the Germans and their allies.
I am extremely lucky in that I have such an interesting job and get to see and do some amazing things but being able to use an enigma machine ranks up there pretty highly in the “stories to tell the kids” bank of memories.
To see pictures of the huts before work begun: please go to our Facebook page.