Tuesday, August 19, 2008

UK: Bletchley Park - A National Disgrace

Via The Independent.

Sixty-six years ago in Block B of the old Bletchley Park, a discovery was made that saved thousands of lives. A young woman, doing the filing, noticed a lot of coded messages, all concerning fuel deliveries to a small village in northern Germany called Peenemünde.

She didn't think much of them at the time. But she reported the information upwards – and the Allies stumbled on the concealed factory site where the Germans were constructing the V1 and V2 flying bombs. An air strike later and the factory was destroyed. Proof, if ever it was needed, that a well-run filing system can help win a war.

Today moss, weeds and wild flowers have taken over in Block B, a place where the course of history was changed. Nature has reclaimed its ceiling and its floor, and unless something is done soon it will either collapse or be pulled down.

Bletchley Park is one of the world's greatest and most neglected wartime monuments. But large parts of it are being left to rot. The north wall of the main building, a 19th-century country house, is now covered in scaffolding, and part of the roof is missing. The Bletchley Park Trust scraped together £100,000 to repair a quarter of the roof. The rest of the building also needs attention, but the money is not there.

More here.

Image source: The Independent / David Sandison


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