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Topic: Father's Day at Bletchley Park  (Read 793 times)

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Father's Day at Bletchley Park
« on: June 17, 2019, 12:08:28 PM »

Since it was father's day, I convinced my wife and Son to go to Bletchley Park for some tourism.  I've Read a few books about cracking the enigma code so I was reasonably excited about going.

Unfortunately, right from the start it was obvious that this place was designed for the benefit of those running it rather than the punters.  It was too crowded, there was a shortage of people willing to explain and there just wasn't that much interesting stuff.  And it was horribly expensive.

After a few hours of irritation, we went to the National Computer Museum just down the road.  A small museum run by enthusiasts  with a reasonable entrance price.  AND it had a better exhibition of the machine used to crack the enigma messages that you could actually touch. 

Finally, there were tons of random old computers like this
Cray Supercomputer


Plus lots of cool old video games.

In short, go to Bletchley but skip Bletchley Park.


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Re: Father's Day at Bletchley Park
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2019, 12:12:26 PM »
Since it was father's day, I convinced my wife and Son to go to Bletchley Park for some tourism.  I've Read a few books about cracking the enigma code so I was reasonably excited about going.

Unfortunately, right from the start it was obvious that this place was designed for the benefit of those running it rather than the punters.  It was too crowded, there was a shortage of people willing to explain and there just wasn't that much interesting stuff.  And it was horribly expensive.

After a few hours of irritation, we went to the National Computer Museum just down the road.  A small museum run by enthusiasts  with a reasonable entrance price.  AND it had a better exhibition of the machine used to crack the enigma messages that you could actually touch. 

Finally, there were tons of random old computers like this
Cray Supercomputer


Plus lots of cool old video games.

In short, go to Bletchley but skip Bletchley Park.
Thanks for that tip! I had wanted to go the last time we were in MK, but was a tad too hungover. The computer museum sounds awesome!

Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk



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Re: Father's Day at Bletchley Park
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2019, 01:10:15 PM »
Thanks for that tip! I had wanted to go the last time we were in MK, but was a tad too hungover. The computer museum sounds awesome!

Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

It was pretty cool to see a bunch of old computers that were once so secret that you would have had to sign the Official Secrets Act to be in the same room. 


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Re: Father's Day at Bletchley Park
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2019, 03:52:03 PM »
The thing with Bletchley, it's the roundabouts getting there. That area has every possible layout. There is one you drive straight through. Google map lady always is a little late with the callouts too.
I just hope that more people will ignore the fatalism of the argument that we are beyond repair. We are not beyond repair. We are never beyond repair. - AOC


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Re: Father's Day at Bletchley Park
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2019, 07:40:44 PM »
The thing with Bletchley, it's the roundabouts getting there. That area has every possible layout. There is one you drive straight through. Google map lady always is a little late with the callouts too.

I did notice a few roundabouts that were especially wierd, but I don't think we got into Milton Keynes proper.  Luckily, I married the Google map lady so I rarely have trouble with navigation. 


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Re: Father's Day at Bletchley Park
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2019, 02:41:32 PM »
Aww, Jimbo, I'm sorry your Father's Day outing was half-disappointing.  Our experience at Bletchley was different to yours.  It wasn't particularly busy on the day we went (in September, 2016), so we were able to get up close to view everything.  I feel like I remember one or two school groups there... something was going on that let us get more information than just wandering around would've given.

We also went up to see the computer museum after our mostly self-guided tour of Bletchley, but we left it too late and the museum closed just before we got there.  However, one of those enthusiastic people you mentioned saw us peering in through the windows and she brought us into the Tunny and the Colossus Galleries to show us those computers.  She gave us a lovely talk about them and powered up the one in the Tunny gallery.  It was lovely of her, and fascinating.  I'm sorry we didn't get to see the PC Gallery, or some of the other stuff, but what we were shown was interesting, and it was more than we deserved, since we were there after closing time!

On our same trip up that way (the day before Bletchley), we also went to the Imperial War Museum - Duxford (about 50 miles east of Bletchley), where they have a decommissioned Concorde, an American B-52 (*sigh*), and a bunch of other interesting aircraft.  All in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend that involved a LOT of walking... but still very enjoyable, nonetheless *emphatic nod*.  Plus, after the IWM, we followed the advice of some TripAdvisor reviews and discovered an out-of-the-way pub called The John Barleycorn near Duxford that was amazing.

I wasn't driving back then, so I did not notice anything to do with roundabouts.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 02:44:06 PM by jfkimberly »
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Father's Day at Bletchley Park
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2019, 03:21:22 PM »
Thanks for that JFKimberley, my boy wants to go back since we only looked at the computers HE was interested in for the last 10 minutes.  I wasn't so thrilled about making the trip again just for that, but if we could combine Duxford and that pub with it.....

Actual father's day was fine, after Bletchley we went to my favourite Italian restaurant for a family + boyfriend meal.


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Re: Father's Day at Bletchley Park
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2019, 04:36:21 PM »
Thanks for that JFKimberley, my boy wants to go back since we only looked at the computers HE was interested in for the last 10 minutes.  I wasn't so thrilled about making the trip again just for that, but if we could combine Duxford and that pub with it.....

Actual father's day was fine, after Bletchley we went to my favourite Italian restaurant for a family + boyfriend meal.

The building that houses the American aircraft at the Imperial War Museum is impressive... plus, B-52!  And there are soooo many planes there!  Someone had paid for an experience day on the day we were there, so we got to watch one of the older aircraft (I don't remember which, and I don't have many pictures from that day) take off and land and taxi about on the runway.

You let your wife take her boyfriend to family dinner on Father's Day?!  ;)
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: Father's Day at Bletchley Park
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2019, 07:04:30 PM »
The building that houses the American aircraft at the Imperial War Museum is impressive... plus, B-52!  And there are soooo many planes there!  Someone had paid for an experience day on the day we were there, so we got to watch one of the older aircraft (I don't remember which, and I don't have many pictures from that day) take off and land and taxi about on the runway.

You let your wife take her boyfriend to family dinner on Father's Day?!  ;)
Nobody but dad can make a dad joke on father's day.

Next time you are down this way, check out Brookland's for lots of airplanes and cars.  I haven't visited since they opened the stratospheric chamber, but apparently it's something to see:


https://www.brooklandsmuseum.com/explore/our-history/buildings-and-landmarks/stratosphere-chamber



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Re: Father's Day at Bletchley Park
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2019, 11:23:02 PM »
That sounds incredible!  Next time we're down that way, we'll have to make it part of our visit. 
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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