The Secret Life of Bletchley Park, Sinclair Mckay

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park 001We are all aware of the work of Alan Turing and his development of the Bombe machine that was able to decipher the Enigma code used by the Germans during the Second World War. A visit to Bletchley Park (ours was on a grey and damp day) reveals it as a rather cold and bleak set of buildings in its Buckinghamshire environment, only enlivened by the enthusiasm of the people who are still happy to give detailed explanations of the many exhibits.

There were thousands of people involved in the work at Bletchley Park, including Wrens living in comfortless billets with outdoor toilets. Their work was shrouded by the Official Secrets Act so that even their own families were not aware of how they contributed to war work that saved the lives of so many.

Sinclair McKay takes us back, tracing the work of the code-breakers against a backcloth of the lives of real people. We learn about their cultural activities, their frictions, their furtive love affairs and their successes. He paints a picture of what live was really like, back in those war years.