This month we leave the codebreaking behind and focus on what became an important part of being Off-Duty for many of the staff at GC&CS during World War Two.
Working long shifts and being far from the bright lights of London and other major towns, the staff of Bletchley Park organised much of their own entertainment. As early as 1940 the management recognised that the staff needed diversions to fill their down time and encouraged the organisation of many of these.
With a staff drawn from so many clever and gifted people it wasn’t long before there was a film society, a gramophone club and various clubs for activities such as fencing, sculpture, architecture and Scottish Dancing, amongst others. One of the most successful of these was the Bletchley Park Drama Group who between 1941-1946, staged performances of established plays and wrote their own musical reviews.
Bletchley Park volunteer steward and guide, Harold Liberty, has been researching the Drama Group over the last year and we sat down with him to find out what he had discovered. Our Veterans add some colour to the story as they fondly remember the Drama Group from interviews from our own Oral History Archive – in order of appearance Kathleen Parker, Lady Elizabeth Reed, Pat Field, Rosamond and Peter Twinn and Pauline Lee.
Reproductions of original scripts performed by Harold Liberty.
Image: The cast of Saloon Bar from October 1944