The Huts themselves have a story to tell
“This is not a fairy tale. Not everyone was always content. There were grumbles. Some will make themselves heard here. But we were a happy ship.” This extract from the official History of Hut 3, written after the war was won, gives an insight into the minds of ordinary men and women doing extraordinary jobs.
As the £8 million, Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of Bletchley Park approaches completion, the buildings themselves will start to tell their own stories.
The History of Hut 6, written by Stuart Milner-Barry, reveals the emotion experienced when breakthroughs were made. He casts back to February 1940. “It is not at all easy now to recapture the atmosphere of those days. The main sensation of the bewildered newcomer was that he was participating in a miracle which he was entirely incapable of comprehending. I may say that this sensation has never entirely left me and that no amount of success staled the thrill of a break.”
Peter Wescombe, historian and founding member of the Bletchley Park Trust, says “People think they were very mathematically minded automatons. They weren’t, they were human beings. When they achieved something, they stood on a chair and whooped.”
These official histories, the originals of which reside in the National Archive, have helped to inform the light touch interpretation of the Huts, along with the personal recollections of Veterans who’ve given interviews to the Bletchley Park Trust’s Oral Archive project. The restoration is due to be completed by June 2014. Block C has been restored to its wartime layout and appearance and will become a Visitor Centre.