2015: Best Year Ever at Bletchley Park

  |  Published: Dec 19th 2015
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2015 has been an amazing year for Bletchley Park. Interest in the Home of the Codebreakers has snowballed, with visitor numbers soaring from 196,000 in 2014 to more than 280,000 this year. The Imitation Game has inspired cinema goers to discover the secret story of World War Two codebreaking and a host of new exhibitions have given visitors an even better insight into this hidden history.

Royalty visited Bletchley Park in July when the museum’s patron, HRH The Duke of Kent, opened World War One inspired exhibition, The Road to Bletchley Park. It reveals the previously untold story of codebreaking in WW1 and how it paved the way for Bletchley Park.

In September another new exhibition opened. Gordon Welchman: Architect of Ultra Intelligence focuses on the work of the forgotten genius who transformed Alan Turing’s Bombe into a workable machine, enabling countless German messages to be read. Based in the dining room, this exhibition also saw the room’s restoration as part of ongoing work to bring the Mansion back to its former glory.

The Imitation Game, The Exhibition has been a runaway success with 80 per cent of visitors pouring into the Mansion’s ballroom to see the sets, costumes and props. The exhibition has been so popular that it has been extended until at least July.

The final new exhibition for 2015 takes a look outside Bletchley Park to the Mediterranean Sea, where brave sailors captured crucial Enigma codebooks. The Petard Pinch, located in naval codebreaking Hut 8, gives an insight into the heroic actions of Lieutenant Anthony Fasson, Able Seaman Colin Grazier and Naafi Canteen Assistant Tommy Brown, who saved the books from a sinking U-boat.

In the autumn Bletchley Park Trust invited Veterans’ families to join a worldwide community of people with a special link to this unique piece of British history. Relatives can join by emailing friends@bletchleypark.org.uk They will receive exclusive e newsletters twice a year and have the chance to buy a commemorative brick in our Codebreakers’ Wall at a discounted rate.

2015 has been a year of accolades for Bletchley Park, starting with the UK Group Travel Awards. The museum beat the London Eye, the Eden Project in Cornwall and the Albert Dock in Liverpool to be crowned Best Attraction for Groups. Then in October it was a runner up in the Best UK Attraction category at the Group Leisure Awards. The year ended on a high when the museum was named Large Visitor Attraction of the Year in The Beautiful South Awards For Excellence.

 

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