MAX NEWMAN’S TANKARD AND THE MONOPOLY BOARD ON WHICH ALAN TURING PLAYED - AND LOST!
Released : May 15, 2011
Bletchley Park to Acquire Two Poignant New Artefacts Associated with Two of its Genius Codebreakers
Almost nothing tangible remains of genius Bletchley Park Codebreaker, Alan Turing. By chance, however, a hand-drawn Monopoly board has come to light, the very board on which Turing played a game with two young friends, Edward and William Newman, in the early 1950s – and lost!
William has referred to this event in his short biography of his father, Professor Max Newman, Alan Turing’s friend, mentor and fellow Bletchley Park Codebreaker. The board was drawn by William in pencil on a sheet of paper, and the properties carry the names of Cambridge streets. A feature of the Newman board is a diagonal row of properties connecting the Go and Free Parking corners. It is conceivable that this feature prevented Turing from applying certain strategies that could have enabled him to win the game.
The board was discovered recently by the current owners of the house near Cambridge that was previously the Newman family home. They returned it to William, who instantly recognised it. He is now to donate it to Bletchley Park, commenting, “It was amazing to set eyes on it after sixty years, and to recall our game with Alan. It was typical of Alan that our playing Monopoly together was his idea, and that as a result he could spend time with us, not just with our parents. We always looked forward to seeing him.”
A silver tankard, presented to Max Newman at the end of the war by members of Bletchley Park’s ‘Newmanry’ to show their appreciation for his leadership, will also be presented to the Bletchley Park Trust by William Newman for display in the museum. The Newmanry consisted of a three hundred strong team who broke the German high-grade Tunny cipher, used by Hitler and his High Command. Newman and his team successfully decrypted these enemy messages throughout the last few years of the war secretly saving countless lives. Poignantly, the tankard’s inscription reads "To MHAN from The Newmanry 1943-45."
These two new artefacts will go on display in the Bletchley Park museum within the next few weeks.
Media are invited to attend the presentation of the Monopoly Board and the Silver Tankard by Professor William Newman on Friday 20 May at 11.30hrs. To register your attendance or to request an interview with Professor Newman please contact Kelsey Griffin on 01908 272662 or email@example.com
For visitor information, contact 01908 640404, firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk