BCS Edinburgh Branch Visit to Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park Manor   The rebuilt Bombe

Saturday 4th October 2008

The BCS Edinburgh Branch is delighted to offer a very special visit to Bletchley Park Codes Centre, Milton Keynes on Saturday 4th October.

Bletchley Park is best known as the centre of wartime code breaking and is said to have shortened the war by two years. It is the birthplace of mechanised calculation - the Bombe machine replicated the sets of drums in German Enigma machines, usually finding that days code by the early hours of the morning, opening up all German messages for the whole day. The Colossus was the world's first reprogrammable computer. A machine built to decode codes punched in paper tape, it used valve-based electronic switching to achieve its results. Bletchley also hosts the National Computing Museum. For more information on Bletchley Park see www.bletchleypark.org.uk.

Our group visit has been arranged especially for the BCS Edinburgh Branch and features the following ...

  • 9:30 am (early opening just for us) to about 4:30 pm.
  • Private tour guide.
  • A demonstration of the Turing Bombe and Colossus machines working. (This is specially for us - the Bombe is usually only demonstrated on a Tuesday). We will have John Harper and hopefully Tony Sale manning these two exhibits. These were the two leaders of this work.
  • Tea or coffee and biscuits on arrival and departure.
  • Buffet lunch.
  • Time to explore all the other attractions at Bletchley Park - see www.bletchleypark.org.uk/content/visit/attractions.rhtm
  • Private bus transfer between Luton Airport and Bletchley Park (if required) - see below.

Getting there

We will not organise travel between Edinburgh and Milton Keynes. However we recommend the following EasyJet flights to join this visit ...

  • Saturday 4th October: EasyJet flight 12; Edinburgh to London Luton; depart 06:25, arrive 07:40.
  • Saturday 4th October: EasyJet flight 26; London Luton to Edinburgh; depart 18:55, arrive 20:10.

We will provide bus transport between Luton Airport and Bletchley Park to connect with the above flights. This is included in the cost.

People are free to make alternative travel arrangements. People may join the group at either Luton airport for the bus transfer (the bus will leave Luton at 8:45 am) or at Bletchley Park at 9:30am.

Cost and Booking

Cost is £22 for BCS members or £25 for non-members.

This includes bus transport between Luton Airport and Bletchley Park (see "Getting There" above). It does not include travel from/to Edinburgh. There is no reduction if you do not wish to use our bus transfer between Luton Airport and Bletchley Park. There are no concessions (over 65s, under 16s, students) for this group visit.

Booking is via the BCS Events booking section of the BCS web site: click here.
(Any problems with the web booking system, please contact the Branches Team as indicated on the booking web pages).

You are recommended not to book your flights (or alternative form of travel) until you have received the e-mail acknowledging your booking.

You are strongly advised to book well in advance. Not only will places be limited on the group visit, but the cost of the EasyJet flights will increase.

The cut-off date for booking is 18th September 2008.

Small Print

Cancellations or changes of name should be sent by e-mail to the BCS Edinburgh Branch Chair ().

Cancellations received on or before 18th September will receive a full refund of monies paid to the BCS. Cancellations received after this date will not receive a refund. Names may be changed at any time up to 2nd October.

Attendees are responsible for their own travel arrangements and costs to join with this visit.

You are reminded that it is your responsibility to keep your possessions safe on the trip.

Links to more information on Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park web site

Recognising Bletchley Park's unsung Heroines

BCS 'Women of Bletchley Park'

BBC Radio 4 iPM 'Women in Computing from Colossus to the present

BBC News 'Colossus Mark II rebuild'

In addition, members may also be interested in this petition to save Bletchley Park. The text of the petition is:

As has been reported elsewhere, Bletchley Park "have two to three more years of survival". The Bletchley Park Trust receives no external funding. It has been deemed ineligible for funding by the National Lottery, and turned down by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Please do not allow this crucial piece of both British and World culture to disappear. If ever an example were needed of Britain leading the world, this surely would be it. To allow it to fall into the hands of developers would be simply unconscionable.

You may sign the petition here: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/BletchleyPark/