Bletchley Park home of the codebreakers.

A great trip to Bletchley park home of the codebreakers. Its been ten years or so since our last visit and was pleasantly surprised they has spent a lot of money on the place. Entry fee is £21 for an Adult but we had some free tickets that where given to us by a friend. you will find some great exhibits and its all explained in great detail for you. How it all worked and how the germans never discovered it is amazing for so many people played a part in the cracking of the code thus saving many many lives and shortening the war. make sure you give it a visit you will not be disappointed.


From Wikipedia

Bletchley Park is an English country house and estate in BletchleyMilton Keynes (Buckinghamshire) that became the principal centre of Allied code-breaking during the Second World War. The mansion was constructed during the years following 1883 for the financier and politician Sir Herbert Leon in the Victorian Gothic, Tudor, and Dutch Baroque styles, on the site of older buildings of the same name.

During World War II, the estate housed the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), which regularly penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers – most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers; among its most notable early personnel the GC&CS team of codebreakers included Alan TuringGordon WelchmanHugh AlexanderBill Tutte, and Stuart Milner-Barry. The nature of the work there was secret until many years after the war.

According to the official historian of British Intelligence, the “Ultra” intelligence produced at Bletchley shortened the war by two to four years, and without it the outcome of the war would have been uncertain.[1] The team at Bletchley Park devised automatic machinery to help with decryption, culminating in the development of Colossus, the world’s first programmable digital electronic computer.[a] Codebreaking operations at Bletchley Park came to an end in 1946 and all information about the wartime operations was classified until the mid-1970s.

After the war, the Post Office took over the site and used it as a management school, but by 1990 the huts in which the codebreakers worked were being considered for demolition and redevelopment. The Bletchley Park Trust was formed in February 1992 to save large portions of the site from development.

More recently, Bletchley Park has been open to the public and houses interpretive exhibits and rebuilt huts as they would have appeared during their wartime operations. It receives hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.[2] The separate National Museum of Computing, which includes a working replica Bombe machine and a rebuilt Colossus computer, is housed in Block H on the site.

Portsmouth Naval Dockyard

date Visited 25th July 2019

Another visit to the historic dock yards in Portsmouth. It’s well worth the trip even thou it’s a little on the expensive side at £39 each and bloody £9 for car-parking.  We were lucky this time around as we see the huge new aircraft carrier HMS queen Elisabeth. Also on this trip we visited the submarine museum in Gosport docks across the water. After we had finished in the dockyards we had a nice pint in a pub on the water side.

From Wikipedia Click this link.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is an area of HM Naval Base Portsmouth which is open to the public; it contains several historic buildings and ships. It is managed by the National Museum of the Royal Navy as an umbrella organisation representing five charities: the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust, the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth, the Mary Rose Trust, the Warrior Preservation Trust Ltd and the HMS Victory Preservation Company. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Ltd was created to promote and manage the tourism element of the Royal Navy Dockyard, with the relevant trusts maintaining and interpreting their own attractions. It also promotes other nearby navy-related tourist attractions.

Offical Website Link. https://www.historicdockyard.co.uk

Chiltern open Air Museum

We had a week off work but didn’t go away so instead decided to have a few days out. The weather was gorgeous so we set off to have a trip to the open air museum. We had visited here before many years ago with Kay and Stuart and thought we would have another look. The admission was £9.50 each and parking was free. The museum is full of saved local buildings such as houses and farm buildings, my favourite building there was a pre-fab house which you can go into and have a look around, these must have seemed like luxury, although small, coming from the bombed out buildings after the war. There is also a small chapel and a newly constructed Iron Age round house. We enjoyed a cream tea while we were there and a walk round the woodland path. It was a pleasant day although there wasn’t as much there as I thought

From Wiki:

The museum was founded in 1976 and aims to rescue and restore common English buildings from the Chilterns, which might otherwise have been destroyed or demolished. The buildings have been relocated to the museum’s 45-acre (180,000 m2) site, which includes woodland and parkland. The collection has more than 30 buildings on view including barns, other traditional farm buildings and houses.

Buildings of interest include a 1940s prefab from Amersham, a reconstruction of an Iron Age house, a Victorian toll house from High Wycombe, a “Tin Chapel” from Henton, Oxfordshire and a forge from Garston, Hertfordshire. A fine pair of cottages from 57 Compton Avenue at Leagrave, near Luton which started out as a weather-boarded thatched barn with central double doors in the early 18th century. In the late 18th century the barn was converted into two labourers’ cottages.

 

Links:

Chiltern Open Air Museum

 

Birmingham Back to Back houses

A cheap train ticket to Birmingham on a wet saturday led us to the National trust back to back houses, the restored 19th century courtyard is one of the best NT attractions we have visited and well worth the trip alone. If visiting make sure you book your tickets in advance as you cannot gain entry simply by just turning up . After that we looked around the centre of Birmingham and well not a lot I can say about that really, anyway a bit from Wiki about the back to back houses below for you to read before you plan your visit.

The Birmingham Back to Backs (also known as Court 15) are the city’s last surviving court of back-to-back houses. They are preserved as examples of the thousands of similar houses that were built around shared courtyards, for the rapidly increasing population of Britain’s expanding industrial towns. They are a very particular sort of British terraced housing. This sort of housing was deemed unsatisfactory, and the passage of the Public Health Act 1875 meant that no more were built; instead byelaw terraced houses took their place. This court, at 50–54 Inge Street and 55–63 Hurst Street, is now operated as a historic house museum by the National Trust.

Numerous back-to-back houses, two or three storeys high, were built in Birmingham during the 19th century. Most of these houses were concentrated in inner-city areas such as Ladywood, Handsworth, Aston, Small Heath and Highgate. Most were still in quite good condition in the early 20th century and also prior to their demolition. By the early 1970s, almost all of Birmingham’s back-to-back houses had been demolished. The occupants were rehoused in new council houses and flats, some in redeveloped inner-city areas, while the majority moved to new housing estates such as Castle Vale and Chelmsley Wood.

IMG_4952.jpg

LInks:

From Wikipedia

From the NT website

Maps:

 

Milestone Museum Hampshire Cultural Trust

We saw this on a TV program and it looked interesting enough for us to travel nearly 2 hours to have a look. The museum is located near to Basingstoke Hampshire and first opened on the 1st December 2000. The building is very modern and all the exhibits are under 1 roof with easy access to all the displays. Inside the setup is very Victorian in style and you will find a Victorian Public House, Railway Station, Ironmonger, and terraced houses. There is a Toy shop and sweet shop where you can get some sweets they had in the 40’s still under ration. There is also large collections of things of yesteryear including Video recorders, TV’s, Vacuums and even an old Twin Tub . Many Steam engines and stored inside and old pumps and things from old Iron Foundry etc. A great day out and only £12 each to get in and this covers you all year if you are back down in this location.

Links

Photos:

 

 

 

Bury St Edmunds

The second part of the days trip took us to Bury St Edmonds in East Suffolk. The town sprung up around 1080 and was known for Brewing and Malting, The green king brewery is still in the Town as well as the Silver Spoon sugar works. Parking was easy with loads of long stay car parks and only cost a couple of Pound.

The highlight of the tour was walking around the ruins of the old Abbey , it was the Burial place of the king St Edmund who was killed by the Vikings in 869. Must say its an impressive town with some nice bars and restaurants if you are staying overnight.

History from Wikipedia

Bury St Edmunds (Beodericsworth, Bedrichesworth, St Edmund’s Bury), supposed by some[who?] to have been the Villa Faustina of the Romans, was one of the royal towns of the Saxons.[citation needed] Sigebert, king of the East Angles, founded a monastery here about 633, which in 903 became the burial place of King Edmund, who was slain by the Danes in 869, and owed most of its early celebrity to the reputed miracles performed at the shrine of the martyr king. The town grew around Bury St Edmunds Abbey, a site of pilgrimage. By 925 the fame of St Edmund had spread far and wide, and the name of the town was changed to St Edmund’s Bury.

Gloucester Cathedral

IMG_4012.jpg
Gloucester Cathedral.

We booked this trip way back in July because we wished to visit the Christmas markets and also have a look at the Cathedral. At the time of visiting there were large building and conservation works going on around the perimeter and also inside the cathedral itself, however this did not spoil the visit to the cathedral . Gloucester cathedral is the burial place of Edward II and you will find his tomb inside also other large and elegant tombs can be found inside.

From Wikipedia.

The cathedral, built as the abbey church, consists of a Norman nucleus (Walter de Lacy is buried there), with additions in every style of Gothic architecture. It is 420 feet (130 m) long, and 144 feet (44 m) wide, with a fine central tower of the 15th century rising to the height of 225 ft (69 m) and topped by four delicate pinnacles, a famous landmark. he nave is massive Norman with an Early English roof; the crypt, under the choir, aisles and chapels, is Norman, as is the chapter house. The crypt is one of the four apsidal cathedral crypts in England, the others being at Worcester, Winchester and Canterbury.

Links:

Eskdale railway from boot to ravenglass the ratty

We have visited the Eskdale railway several times and it brings good memories of time spent with Harry & Doreen. It lies in the village of Dalegarth and terminates at Ravenglass on the coast with the line running near 7 miles. Its about £13 .90 for a return ticket and £3.50 to park the car for the day. Watch what time you take your train as the steam engine does not run every time you may get a diesel, check the website carefully. In great weather the journey provides some great views and you will see the Scafell range near to Waswater. I have copied the following from Wikipedia but please visit it if you are in Cumbria it makes for a good day out and little kids will love it.

Eskdale Railway Link.

More info on Wikipedia

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is a 15 in (381 mm) minimum gauge heritage railway in Cumbria, England. The 7 miles (11.3 km) line runs from Ravenglass to Dalegarth Station near Boot in the valley of Eskdale, in the Lake District. At Ravenglass the line ends at Ravenglass railway station on the Cumbrian Coast Line. Intermediate stations and halts are at Muncaster Mill, Miteside, Murthwaite, Irton Road, The Green, Fisherground and Beckfoot. The railway is owned by a private company and supported by a preservation society. The oldest locomotive is River Irt, parts of which date from 1894, while the newest is the diesel-hydraulic Douglas Ferreira, built in 2005. The line is known locally as La’al Ratty and its 3 ft (914 mm) gauge predecessor as Owd Ratty.[1][2]

Nearby attractions include: the Roman Bath House at Ravenglass; the Hardknott Roman Fort, known to the Romans as Mediobogdum, at the foot of Hardknott Pass; the watermills at Boot and Muncaster; and Muncaster Castle, the home of the Pennington family since 1208

Quarry bank mill a national trust place

Without a doubt the best national trust property we have visited. I have wanted to visit this mill for a number of years, and with a nice drive up to Cumbria for a trail race it made a good idea to stop off. On the way to Quarry bank we drove through Jodrel Bank home to the famous radio telescope and I noticed it had a visitor centre so we will have to have a look there in the years to come. Quarry bank is an old mill that was famous for the cloth and textiles it made and played a big part in the industrial revolution.

From Wikipedia

Samuel Greg leased land at Quarrell Hole on Pownall Fee from Lord Stamford, who imposed a condition that ‘none of the surrounding trees should be pruned, felled or lopped´; maintaining the woodland character of the area. The factory was built in 1784 by Greg[4] to spin cotton. When Greg retired in 1832 it was the largest such business in the United Kingdom. The water-powered Georgian mill still produces cotton calico. The Gregs were careful and pragmatic, paternalistic millowners, and the mill was expanded and changed throughout its history. When Greg’s son, Robert Hyde Greg, took over the business, he introduced weaving. Samuel Greg died in 1834.

The Mill was attacked during the Plug Plot riots on 10 August 1842.[5]

The mill’s iron water wheel, the fourth to be installed, was designed by Thomas Hewes and built between 1816 and 1820. Overhead shafts above the machines were attached to the water wheel by a belt. When the wheel turned, the motion moved the belt and powered the machinery. A beam engine and a horizontal steam engine were subsequently installed to supplement the power. The Hewes wheel broke in 1904 but the River Bollin continued to power the mill through two water turbines. The mill owners bought a Boulton and Watt steam engine in 1810 and a few years later purchased another because the river’s water level was low in summer and could interrupt production of cloth during some years. Steam engines could produce power all year round. Today the mill houses the most powerful working waterwheel in Europe, an iron wheel moved from Glasshouses Mill at Pateley Bridge designed by Sir William Fairbairn who had been Hewes’ apprentice.