Harold decodes the secrets of Bletchley Park
When Harold Liberty steps into the wooden huts at Bletchley Park, where intelligence staff, including the mathematician Alan Turing worked tirelessly to break the German Enigma code during World War 2, he is transported to another time.
Harold, 70, said, “I still get a bit spooked. The conditions in the huts are so incredibly spartan – trestle tables, folding chairs and bits of paper. They’re cold in winter and hot in summer. I wonder how the people who worked there created these systems to do the extraordinary job of breaking the codes and getting the intelligence out.”
As a volunteer steward and guide at Bletchley Park – the country house in Buckinghamshire used as a code breaking centre during World War 2 – Harold enjoys sharing the extraordinary story made famous by the 2014 film The Imitation Game. The timing of the film starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing was fortuitous – an extensive restoration of the site (including the wooden huts) had been carried out with the help of National Lottery funding.
Harold said, “The huts are crucial to the story; they’re where the Enigma code material was tackled and the intelligence processed. And we might well have lost them without the restoration work.”
Each week, National Lottery players raise over £30Million for good causes all over the UK, supporting hundreds of fun days out like Bletchley Park, London Zoo, Eden Project, Roald Dahl Museum, the Tower of London, Cardiff Castle and many more.
Now we want to say a special ‘THANK YOU’ to you, the players, so get ready to have some fun of your own. For a limited time only, we’re offering you a £25 voucher‡ to use at hundreds of top participating attractions and venues across the UK – including Bletchley Park.
All you need is a Lotto ticket (purchased on or after 1st October 2021). Just visit NationalLotteryDaysOut.com to find out more.
Harold first took an interest in the Bletchley Park story when its secrets were declassified in the mid-1970s. When he retired as a teacher in 2013 he didn’t hesitate to sign up as a volunteer. Since then, he has worked 2 to 3 days a week as a steward, a guide and part of the Bletchley Park outreach team.
What does he find so compelling about the place? He said, “It tells a unique story: there is no place like it, or a set of events like it. I’m fascinated by the extraordinary intellectual achievement of the men and women who worked there and found new mathematical techniques and machinery to process all this data. Bletchley Park moved from being a code breaking facility to an intelligence factory – a place that is fundamentally important not just to World War 2, but to our contemporary world.”
You don’t have to have an interest in code breaking or mathematics to enjoy Bletchley Park. Harold said, “It’s a great day out. You’ve got space and greenery, but beyond that there’s a unique story of what people did there during the war.”
7th October 2021
‡Subject to availability. Full terms and conditions apply. Players must be 18+.
The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK since 1994. In that time, there have been more than 6,100 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise over £30 million for good causes every week.Discover more