Bletchley Park

Bletchley, Milton Keynes, England

Bletchley Park was chosen to be the home for the Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS) due to its proximity to London, Cambridge, and Oxford, which were all good hunting grounds for recruitment. Not all of those offered posts were mathematicians, many were students of the classics. In anticipation of what was to come, work on the Bletchley site had begun in 1938, initially just the mansion housed offices but as the theatre of war widened, and decoding technologies advanced, additional huts were built to accommodate the influx of necessary personnel. The intelligence gathered from the deciphering of codes at Bletchley, was of vital importance and would guide the direction of military operations on land, sea and in the air.

On arrival in the car park there was a familiarity, despite never having been to the park before. Stretching my legs, I realised it was the buildings that reminded me of signing onto MoD bases in the past; the military police might have been missing but the atmosphere was unmistakable. Locations associated with state security, I find to have a distinctive heavy atmosphere, along with the inescapable feeling of being monitored, which there certainly was here, despite the park being decommissioned in 1987.

I had no inkling of what awaited me at Bletchley Park, nor how the recordings would challenge my paradigm of Electronic Voice Phenomena. The messages I would receive, had startling relevance to their surroundings, demonstrating both the speakers sentience and their awareness, as we toured the various buildings together. Mulling over exceptional voices, their meanings and their significance, was to keep me up at night, for many months.

In most of the public buildings, audio and visual playbacks are presented to visitors. Whilst they are engaging and indeed necessary to educate you in the role of those who worked at Bletchley, they were a challenge to work around for capturing EVP. Thankfully there were few visitors present on site and those who shared the buildings I entered, soon left. There were more than adequate breaks inbetween the automated playback loops, for EVP recording.

Recording at Bletchey Park was a dream come true for me, it was somewhere I'd always wanted to go and a place I never wanted to leave. Thanks to those who have rebuilt and restored the buildings and site, the atmosphere is incredible and it's very easy to be swept into the 1940s. If you enjoyed listening to the voices, I would strongly encourage you to visit, they will mean even more to you after.