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IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 14 Number 2 -- Happenings

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129742D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jun-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 5 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

JUDY O'NEILL: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The Happenings department reports on past, present, and future events that are of interest to the history of computing. These events include conferences, appropriate sessions from meetings, exhibits, projects, awards, publications, collections, general memorabilia, and important dates in the history of computing. Contributions to the department are encouraged and should consist of a description or report of the event, highlighting its specific relevance.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1992 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Happenings

JUDY O'NEILL, EDITOR

The Happenings department reports on past, present, and future events that are of interest to the history of computing. These events include conferences, appropriate sessions from meetings, exhibits, projects, awards, publications, collections, general memorabilia, and important dates in the history of computing. Contributions to the department are encouraged and should consist of a description or report of the event, highlighting its specific relevance.

Reunion at Bletchley Park

On October 19,1991, a reunion was held at Bletchley Park, site of the wartime work of the United Kingdom's Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), the precursor of the present-day Government Communications Head Quarters. It was organized by the Bletchley Archaeological and Historical Society, in collaboration with the National Science Museum, and with support from various local organizations.

Bletchley, about 40 miles from London on the railway line from Euston to Northampton, is now part of the postwar "new town" of Milton Keynes. Bletchley Park contains a fine Victorian mansion, together with a number of the wooden huts and low brick buildings that were added to it during World War II as GC&CS expanded rapidly. The wartime role of Bletchley Park remained unknown to the general public for many years after the war, until the book The Ultra Secret was published. The only explicit reminder at Bletchley Park of these wartime exploits is a plaque in the entrance hall of the mansion. The plaque bears the following words:

Bletchley Park was occupied by the HQ of Britain's cryptanalytic and signals intelligence organization, the Government Code and Cypher School, between August 1939 and March 1946. Here some of the best brains of Britain were pitted against the enemy s enciphered communications during the Second World War. Their success forged for Britain a decisively powerful intelligence weapon which saved countless lives and helped significantly to shorten the war.

(Image Omitted: The King hath note of all that they intend by interception which they dream not of. Henry V Act II Scene II)

(Image Omitted: Figure 1. Hut 6, where work on the Enigma was originally centered.)

The mansion currently is used by British Telecom, and the brick building where the reunion was held (the wartime teleprinter section) houses a Civil Aviation Authority training school. The remaining wooden huts -- including Hut 6 where the main Enigma work took placer and Hut 8, the Naval Enigma hut (see Figures 1 and 2) -- are no longer in use and are very dilapidated, but amazingly little changed since the war. Now, however, the whole site is due to be vacated and sold for redevelopment, with only the mansion, because of its architectural merit, being under the protection of an official...