Learn secrets of Enigma machine

Scarborough Library.
Scarborough Library.

Scarborough residents have the opportunity to learn the secrets of Bletchley Park and see one of the original World War Two Enigma machines in action at Scarborough library.

A talk on The Myths of Bletchley Park will be given by the GCHQ departmental historian at the library next Wednesday (20 July).

Bletchley was the main site for Britain’s specialist codebreakers during the Second World War, where the Enigma code, used by the Germans to send secret messages, was broken.

Those attending the talk will find out about how much of The Imitation Game, the recent film starring Benedict Cumberbatch as codebreaker Alan Turing, was fact and how much fiction.

They will also learn what life was like for the Bletchley Circle and see one of the original Enigma machines in action.

This talk forms part of an eight-week exhibition at the library showing much of the contents of the GCHQ Scarborough museum which runs until Thursday 18 August.

The exhibition, entitled Code and Chips, includes decryption machines, intercept stations and intercepted messages from the First and Second World Wars. It is the first chance people have had to see these museum pieces outside of GCHQ.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, executive member for Library and Information Services, said: “This promises to be a fascinating talk and is a coup for Scarborough library.

“It ties in closely with the unique opportunity being offered by the library’s exhibition for the public to view material from the GCHQ Scarborough listening station for the first time in its history.

Anyone who hears the talk will no doubt also want to explore the exhibition, and for those who can’t attend the talk, the exhibition will be available until next month and is well worth a visit.”

The talk will take place at 2pm on 20 July in the concert room of Scarborough library. Admission will be free, but places are limited, so booking is essential.

For more information, call in at Scarborough library, email scarborough.library@northyorks.gov.uk or call 01609 536602.