Bletchley Park

27 04 2015

My trip to England was a busy one. I arrived late on Saturday evening so not a lot was done that evening, then Sunday was spent at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford with my brothers and nephews, after all, it was a “boy’s day out”. Monday was spent with team zelger caching in the area around Wokingham, Berkshire. See post JJEF circuits

Tuesday was a day split between visiting Bletchley Park, just outside Milton Keynes and a stroll around the nearby Caldecotte Lake to find a series of letterbox-hybrid caches. Bletchley Park houses the museum portraying the code-breaking activites performed there from the second world war to sometime during or after the cold war and the National Museum of Computing. As it was the need to break codes/ciphers that sparked off the quest by Alan Turing to build a complex electro-mechanical computing machine to handle vast numbers of ciphers – the Bombe. It can be considered to be the underlying platform for the development of the first computer in the world – Colossus by Tommy Flowers working for the General Post Office (GPO). Of course, there are many others claiming to have invented the first computer so I won’t push the point.

There was a multicache on the Bletchley Park site, (Station X)but as a cipher had to be cracked to get the information about where the cache was it was more like a mystery cache.

Station - X located in the grounds of Bletchley Park

Station – X located in the grounds of Bletchley Park

The tours were interesting and the guide who showed us round NMoC was very knowledgable and a great presenter.

An Enigma machine

An Enigma machine

Code or cipher breaking the hard way

Code or cipher breaking the hard way

A reproduction of the "Bombe" used to crack the Enigma cipher during WWII

A reproduction of the “Bombe” used to crack the Enigma cipher during WWII

Details of the lubrication system in the electromechanical "Bombe"

Details of the lubrication system in the electromechanical “Bombe”

Tunny machine - one of the early cacluating machines

Tunny machine – one of the early cacluating machines

"Colossus" - the first computer

“Colossus” – the first computer

Nontheless it was good, when the tour finished to get out into the wonderful spring weather and stroll around Caldecotte Lake which was the home to eleven letterbox hybrid caches. Most of them were just film canisters containing a stamp and a log sheet. After finding all the caches I have now found 36 letterbox-hybrids and zelger have found twenty three.

Caldecotte Lake

Caldecotte Lake

A notebook full of letterbox-hybrid stamps with half of team zelger looking on

A notebook full of letterbox-hybrid stamps with half of team zelger looking on

Smileys around Caldecotte Lake

Smileys around Caldecotte Lake

We were done caching around 6 pm and decided that we would eat on the way back to Wokingham at a pub located on the Grand Union Canal called The Three Locks. Before we ate we found our last cache of the day which was a nearby earthcache, making it my 112th earthcache find.

The Three Locks where we ate an excellent dinner

The Three Locks where we ate an excellent dinner

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