Rain Stops Inside Codebreaking Huts
Sheltering from the rain under scaffolding surrounding wooden Huts 3 & 6, Conservation Architect Janie Price from Kennedy O’Callaghan Architects says “Every time I came I was being rained on inside as much as outside.”
Site Manager with Fairhurst Ward Abbotts, Rob Davies, explains that they had to build a scaffold considerably larger than the huts themselves, as they’re so fragile: “Hence why we have this rather grand scaffold towering over Bletchley Park.” He adds “I think we are over the worst with the Huts now,” explaining that if the roofs had remained intact the rest of the buildings would not have been in such disrepair. “We didn’t know what we were getting into until we started pulling things apart. But the repairs in Hut 6 are pretty much complete.” Wherever possible, original materials and fittings have been retained. During WW2, Enigma messages sent by the German Army and Air Force were deciphered and translated in Hut 6 then passed to Hut 3 for intelligence analysis.
Meanwhile in Block C, where Hollerith punch-card machines carried out rapid analysis of encrypted message systems to assist the Codebreakers, Rob says “Things are going great guns, everything is starting to come together.” Five and a half thousand original acoustic ceiling tiles have been salvaged in Block C, matching a further eight thousand sourced from the US. Rob adds “We are very close to the finish now.”
You can hear more about the progress of the restoration in the November edition of the Bletchley Park Podcast.