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Bletchley Park comes to CLS

Thursday, 09 March 2017

On Tuesday March 7th, Thomas Briggs from Bletchley Park visited CLS to talk to both of the OG classes. He delivered a fascinating session on codes and code breaking in World War Two. His talk covered the complexity of code breaking, its importance and how the code breakers at Bletchley were able to ultimately break into German signalling during the war. Members of OG had to try and break codes that they were presented with.

The centre piece of the session was the demonstration of a genuine Enigma machine that Mr Briggs brought with him. Mr Briggs gave a mathematical demonstration of the sheer number of combinations that the Enigma machine was able to turn messages into and indicated that to manually try and test the combinations out on an Enigma machine would take trillions of years!

At the end, boys were invited in pairs to come and enter a coded message into the machine, with one boy entering and the other writing down the jumbled up letters that came out. Another pair of boys were then invited to re-enter the message (once the rotors had been re-set) to demonstrate how the scrambled letters would then come out as a meaningful message. The boys really enjoyed the sessions which really brought to life one of the very colourful aspects of Britain's war effort.

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