Bushey JIG goes to Bletchley Park and back in time
A full coach load of friends and members of Bushey JIG enjoyed an expedition to Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes early in July 2011, accompanied by one of the key people who had worked there in World War II.
Ruth Bourne had been one of the WRNS working at Bletchley under Top Secret conditions. Having signed the Official Secrets Act, she could only tell her husband of her work there thirty years after the event.
She and a colleague showed the group from JIG around, pointing out the rebuilt Enigma and other code-breaking machines from the time of Alan Turing. These were the first computers, and a world away from the microchips of today.
Ruth is herself Jewish and has shown many groups around the site. She described to JIG members the Jewish connection at Bletchley (it had been the home of Sir Herbert Samuel, who had played a major role in achieving the Balfour Declaration) while many of the brilliant operatives employed there had been Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Germany.
The buildings on the site are heavy with the atmosphere of the past; exhibitions and displays tell the heroic story to visitors of all ages. The home of the code breakers is an educational centre with a crucial and significant heritage.