Bletchley Park is embracing the change of season this Autumn with something for everyone to help make the most of this colourful time of year. The former top-secret home of Britain’s World War Two Codebreakers, now a vibrant museum, has a packed calendar of interactive exhibitions and events that tell the story of this historic site.
This time of year sees not only a change of weather, but also marks the 80th anniversary since the beginning of World War Two and the point that the Government Code and Cypher School (GC & CS) occupied Bletchley Park permanently. Follow in the footsteps of the 10,000 people who worked at Bletchley Park and its outstations and visit the unique Bletchley Park mansion. Set in former parkland, enjoy the 166 trees as they change colour over the coming weeks and the picturesque lake in the 25-acre site.
Not just for adults, Bletchley Park is free for the under-12s and half term sees popular artist Emily Tracy hosting drop-in sessions for children. Activities include creating 1940’s origami uniforms, secret sketching, flip books, patterns, coded messages and invisible ink; all part of the Big Draw 2019 – Drawn to Life.*
The workshops will take place in the new temporary exhibition – The Illustration Game: Sketches from the Archives, located in Hut 12, a fun exhibition with interactive games to play. The display also showcases some rarely seen sketches and cartoons created by signals intelligence staff and Veterans.
Unique family tours are also available to discover more about the people behind the machines that helped break the Enigma cipher at Bletchley Park during WW2. In this interactive tour guests will learn some surprising new facts, explore everyday life at Bletchley Park in 1941 and might even take part in some secret war work.**
As the nights draw in, it’s also an opportunity to learn something new. Venture behind the scenes of secret messaging and sign up for our popular one-day course – Past, Present, Future: Codes and Ciphers. Learn how a selection of codes and ciphers work, from those used in ancient fields of battle to important cryptographic algorithms that form the basis of many of today’s secure communications systems. You can also get to grips with a WW2 Enigma machine before dipping a toe into what might happen in the future.***
Recently named as one of the UK’s top travel experiences, in Lonely Planet’s Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist, Rebecca Foy, Director of Public Engagement at Bletchley Park said: “Our programme of exhibitions and events is always changing meaning there is lots to see and do here throughout the year. We were thrilled to be ranked 145th out of 500 of the most memorable, beautiful, surprising and compelling experiences to be had across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, and we pride ourselves on offering a visitor attraction that’s both fun and informative.”
New for this year is also a permanent exhibition coinciding with the 75th anniversary of D-Day, ‘D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion’, presenting the vital impact intelligence produced at Bletchley Park had on the invasion plans.
Bletchley Park’s popular 1940s vintage weekend will be taking place on the 28-29 September and join us once again for the annual Remembrance Parade on Sunday 10 November.
Residents living within 10-mile radius of Bletchley Park can also take advantage of 50% off tickets until 31 December 2019. All visitors only need to pay for entry once to enjoy a free annual pass allowing them to return again and again to enjoy free on-site activities, one-day events and changing displays.
* These drop-in activities are included with admission and are suitable for children aged 5-14, accompanied by an adult. Sessions will be running on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 11am and 3.30pm, with last admission at 3pm.
**This is a full-day course that is designed for adults with confidence in maths up to GCSE level and an interest in delving a little deeper. It will be accessible to older children who want to find out more about secret communication but must be accompanied by a paying adult.
***Family Tours are only available on Monday 28 October and Friday 1 November. The tour is suitable for families with children aged 5-14, last approximately 45 minutes and takes place outside. Please visit the information desk on arrival for tour timings and to book your place.
Milton Keynes Reggae Festival brings stars and sunshine to MK
Milton Keynes Reggae Festival being held in Campbell Park is set to bring some of the biggest names in reggae to Milton Keynes. Taking place on Saturday 14th August, the all day reggae festival will see performances from vintage reggae artists like Aswad, Maxi Priest and arguably the most influential reggae band, The Maytals.
Also performing on the all-day reggae festival are a selection of artists that have taken Reggae to new audiences. These include Lover’s Rock stars Carroll Thompson and Janet Kay, legendary Dub specialists Channel One Sound System (Mikey Dread and Ras Kayleb), The Marley Experience and many more acts.
Limited tickets are available online. Standard tickets are sold out.
Five reasons to attend Milton Keynes Reggae Festival
With such a good lineup, it was hard to pick our favourite artists to see at the festival but we have shortlisted our five favourite reasons to attend the Milton Keynes Reggae Festival.
1. The Maytals Band at Milton Keynes Reggae Festival
The Maytals Band also known as Toots and Maytals are one of the most influential reggae bands of all times. Some even credit the term Reggae to the bands ‘Do The Reggae’ 1968 hit written by the late Toots Hibbert who sadly passed away last September.
The Maytals Band have had numerous international hits including Pressure Drop, 54-56, Funky Kingston and Monkey Man.
2. Aswad at Milton Keynes Reggae Festival
After over fifteen albums and two decades on the music scene, Aswad remains one of Britain’s best-loved reggae bands. With hits such as Don’t Turn Around and Shine, Aswad are a large part of UK reggae history.
3. Maxi Priest at Milton Keynes Reggae Festival
UK Born Max “Maxi Priest” Elliott was born in South London in 1961 and over a ten year period from 1986 to 1996, notched up a string of UK chart hits with two of them hitting the big time in America where Reggae was relatively unknown.
Known best for his international chart hits Wild World and Close To You, Maxi Priest has gone on to have hits with Shabba Ranks (Housecall) and Shaggy (I’m Alright).
4. David Rodigan at Milton Keynes Reggae Festival
David Michael Rodigan MBE or just Rodigan needs no formal introduction. The DJ, Selector and all-around soundclash champion has established himself as a major force on the international reggae scene. His performance on stage at soundclashes across the world are legendary.
5. Hear something different at Milton Keynes Reggae Festival
With such an incredible lineup, you will definitely get to experience something new. Many new musicals genres have come out of Reggae from SKA to rocksteady to Ragga and UK favourite, Drum & Bass. King of Drum & Bass General Levy is also on the Milton Keynes Reggae Festival lineup. Check out this Incredible video of General Levy.
Campbell Park Milton Keynes
Campbell Park managed by The Parks Trust is located in the heart of Milton Keynes, this central city park stretches from the theatre end of Central Milton Keynes down to the Grand Union Canal.
Could this be the biggest clue for a Five Guys in Stevenage?
Regardless of lockdowns and coronavirus, people want food. Fans of Five Guys could be getting a late Christmas present with a new Five Guys in Stevenage. A recent job post on the Five Guys recruitment page for a General Manager in the Stevenage area has got locals excited about the possible arrival of the much loved American Chain.
Could this be the biggest clue for a Five Guys in Stevenage?
Spotted by an eagled eyed member of ‘Stevenage Chit Chat‘, the advert for a General Manager drops a few clues at a possible opening of a Five Guys in Stevenage.
Clue No.1 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – The perfect scene
Nothing cements a clue in a mystery more than a location. The recruitment team have placed a X on the spot and that is 51°54’02.4″N 0°12’33.7″W. For all the normal people reading this, that is Unit 10 in Stevenage Leisure Park. This was home to Pizza Hut since late 2002 but this recent Google treasure map shows the unit is currently empty.
Clue No.2 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – A job for an ‘accomplice’
Did we mention there is a second job advert for a ‘Assistant Manager? If one job advert was not enough proof, two should be enough to convince you that plans are afoot for a Five Guys in Stevenage.
Clue No.3 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – A motive
What more motive do you need than hungry people in Stevenage in need of a good burger? A Five Guys in Stevenage is well overdue. It could even tempt Sir Lewis Hamilton back to Stevenage.
Special offer from our sponsor Sparky Friend
If you only saved £10/week that’s £500 of FREE food making it a real no brainer!
Hertfordshire’s Paradise Wildlife Park sets out reopening plan
Family run Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne is set to reopen later this month with a social distancing strategy that will see a staggered entry system put in place. Less than a week ago, the team were in despair not knowing when they would reopen.
The good news is Paradise Wildlife Park’s official opening date is the 27th of June 2020 for the general public. As one of Hertfordshire’s top destinations, Paradise Wildlife Park’s re-opening will be a godsend to families across the Three Counties and beyond.
You can book tickets for 27th of June 2020 and onwards on their website. Please note you will need to select a time of your arrival so that staff can ensure staggered numbers of visitors entering the park, thus complying with social distancing rules.
The management team at Paradise Wildlife Park are keen to highlight they are working hard to follow all of the government’s advice to ensure social distancing and safety measures are in place to keep all visitors on site safe.
“We have implemented a one-way system, put up regular hand sanitizer stations on site and much more to give you and your family peace of mind that you are safe. We are also limiting the number of tickets available each day to allow plenty of space.”
“We are so excited to finally welcome our visitors, members and supporters back to Paradise Wildlife Park after a long 12 weeks of closure. We are truly grateful for all the support and donations we received and cannot wait to give you the family day out you have been sorely missing.”
Further details on the safety procedures that have been put in place at the park can be view here. Paradise Wildlife Park is a family run wildlife park based in Hertfordshire. It is also a fully registered charity under the Zoological Society of Hertfordshire (charity number 1108609). Paradise Wildlife Park is rated Hertfordshire’s No.1 Attraction and is Europe’s leading zoo for animal experiences. Paradise is home to over 800 animals including tigers, white lions, snow leopards, jaguars, penguins, red pandas, lemurs, monkeys and reptiles, including the largest anaconda on display in the UK.