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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Code Breakers at Hurst Castle

Easter 1944 and the South Coast has the feeling something big is about to happen. In complete secrecy at Bletchley Park men and women are hard at work decoding the top secret messages flowing between Hitler and his Generals. A huge new machine has been invented to help them with their colossal task, aptly named ‘Colossus’ it is the world’s first electronic computer and built from post office spare parts. It heralds the beginning of the modern computer age we live in.

After deciphering some vital information that enables Allied commanders to set the date for D-Day, it’s time for the code breakers to finish work and enjoy a drink and song at the pub.

That’s the scenario for the Home Front History event at Hurst Castle over the Easter weekend.

The event will now be staged in memory of Captain Jerry Roberts from Liphook who recently died at the age of 93. Jerry was part of the team at Bletchley Park that cracked German High Command codes ahead of the D-Day landings.

The Garrison Theatre will become the “Victory Arms” pub where the code breakers of Bletchley Park relax after a hard day’s code cracking. Hurst Castle visitors are invited to join them for a 1940’s sing song. The show is free and there will be one show on Saturday 19th at 14.00 and three on Sunday 20th at 11.00, 13.00 and 15.00. 

In between shows visitors can see a demonstration of the “unbreakable” Enigma code machine and have photographs taken with it and “The Code breakers”. Author Philomena Liggins will also be signing copies of her new Bletchley Park book available with a limited edition Home Front stamp issue from Bletchley Park Post Office.

Visitor information for the event can be obtained from Hurst Castle at www.hurstcastle.co.uk or calling 01590 642500/642344.

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