No Image today because.....

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Most of you do not know this, but I work at a place called  Bletchley Park, the following is a true fact

On Saturday 6th September 1941 Churchill pays a visit to Bletchley Park. He is taken into the Huts, and Alan Turing is asked to tell him about the great breakthrough, but the hopelessly shy Alan is unable to say anything so Gordon Welchman takes over and explains that there are three points they wish to make to the P.M.  When he finally gets to the end of the second point the Director, Alastair Denniston, interrupts to suggest that Churchill might wish to be moving on; Gordon describes “…whereupon Winston, who was enjoying himself, gave me a grand schoolboy wink and said ´I think there was a third point, Welchman’”.  He goes on to visit the machine room, Hut 7, where Ronald Whelan noted that as he passed the sentry on-guard at the entrance “his bodyguards attempted to follow but in a voice which would have done credit to that of a huge bear, he rasped out ´Not You!`  causing them to stop dead in their tracks”.  The Head of that Hollerith machine installation in Hut 7, Freddie Freeborn, was a great showman. “On entering the Machine Room the visitor was presented with a scene of intense activity. There were 45 machine operators in action at as many machines. Then all the machines were halted at the same instant, and in the complete silence that followed Mr Freeborn gave an introductory explanation….At the conclusion of the demonstrations all machines were brought back into action as the visitor was conducted to the exit, but all brought to rest as Churchill paused on the threshold to make his farewells”.   Finally standing outside Hut 6 on a pile of builders rubble, Churchill addresses some of the Codebreakers and starts with the somewhat inauspicious words “You all look very innocent; one would not think you knew anything secret”. But he made up for this by calling them “The Geese that lay the golden eggs – and never cackle!”  John Herivel remembers “In just a few words, with deep emotion, he said how grateful he was to us for all the great work we were doing. So that was our finest hour”.  But it would seem that Churchill was not entirely reassured by the sight of these clearly ill-disciplined and eccentric folk, more reminiscent of an old University Common Room than of the key battleground of the Intelligence war.  When he drove off it is said that Churchill wound down the window of his car, and said to the Director “About that recruitment - I know I told you not to leave a stone unturned but I did not mean you to take me seriously”.