Huts nearly blew away
The fragile wooden Codebreaking Huts 3 and 6 at Bletchley Park have been restored to their World War Two glory in the nick of time. Rob Davies, site manager with Fairhurst Ward Abbotts, the specialist conservation contractor carrying out the £8 million, Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of Bletchley Park, says had the work not been done before the wind storms in January, the Huts would probably have been reduced to piles of rubble.
He says “Even when we arrived we were amazed that the Huts were still standing. In some places they seemed to be levitating because all the sole plates had rotted away. Considering the heavy rain and high winds we’ve had, I would have thought, after that, they would probably have fallen down.”
Work to restore these hugely historically significant buildings began in Spring 2013. They were designed to last only a few years and erected in haste in 1939. If work to restore them had begun just one year later, they could have been lost to the nation altogether.
Rob says “It would have been heartbreaking. We were able to salvage quite a lot of the original fabric of the buildings, and it would have been extremely difficult had we been picking stuff out of a pile of rubble.”
CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, Iain Standen said “This shows just how vital this restoration project is in securing the long term future of Bletchley Park as a fitting tribute to the thousands of men and women whose determination and ingenuity helped to shorten the war.”