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Bletchley Park is back in action following refit

And gets a visit from the Duchess of Cambridge
Thu Jun 19 2014, 15:44
Kate Middleton at Bletchley Park - copyright Shaun Armstrong

BLETCHLEY PARK has reopened its doors on Wednesday following a refit, and the marked the occasion with a visit from the Duchess of Cambridge.

The visit and the reopening happened on Wednesday morning at Bletchley Park, the code breaking where the Duchess of Cambridge's grandmother worked during the Second World War.

A royal statement said, "Her Royal Highness will view the restored location, tour the World War Two codebreaking huts and will hear about the achievements of the codebreakers whose work is said to have helped shorten the war by two years."

The restoration project lasted for two decades and has seen Bletchley Park add new interactive features and a refreshed visitors' centre and refurbishment of old blocks, such as block C, pictured left.

The park now has a more authentic and of the time look, and visitors are expected to get more of a feel of what it was like to work there as a codebreaker in the 1940s.

"Bletchley Park's restoration project has seen more building work on the site than at any time since 1944, at the peak of war," Bletchley Park said in a statement.

"The work carried out over the last year allows visitors to experience what it was like for the codebreakers, as Bletchley Park has been returned to its wartime appearance and atmosphere, and now boasts a vibrant new Visitor Centre, which will continue to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors each year."

Bletchley Park completed its renovations after more than two decades of work on the site. A final push in the last two years, which included restoring the code-breaking huts, was thanks to £8m in funding, including around £5m in Heritage Lottery cash, which was awarded in 2012.

The Duchess of Cambridge planted a tree at the start to celebrate the event. She was also given a tour of places where her grandmother worked and got to try out some of the equipment.

The Duchess of Cambridge visits Bletchley park copyright Shaun Armstrong and

"Our many visitors can now experience the conditions in which the Codebreakers worked during World War Two," said Iain Standen, CEO, Bletchley Park Trust.

"During her visit, The Duchess of Cambridge was able to hear first-hand memories of her grandmother from her Bletchley Park colleagues, demonstrating how Veterans' recollections are central to telling this remarkable story, which is why they are embedded throughout our new displays." µ


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