September 29th, 2016

Avoncroft Calling – special event at Bromsgrove museum

Updated: 11:02 am, May 07, 2015

A SPECIAL event to celebrate Bromsgrove’s Avoncroft Museum being the home of the National Telephone Kiosk Collection will be held this weekend.

And ‘Avoncroft Calling’ – which takes place from 10.30am to 5pm on Sunday (April 12) – will see the original Second World War Enigma Machine displayed. That featured in the hit film ‘The Imitation Game’ and links legendary code breaker Alan Turing to the town.

The Oscar-winning film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as genius code breaker Mr Turing whose school friend Christopher Morcom came from Bromsgrove. Turing has continued to visit the area after Christopher’s death.

The day of activities, demonstrations and exhibits will showcase the history of telecommunication.

Those who go along will be given the chance to operate the genuine, very rare 4-rotor Enigma machine which was used by the German navy to send secret coded messages during the Second World War. That has been kindly provided for the day by Dr Mark Baldwin, a leading authority on Second World War intelligence and code breaking.

Dr Baldwin said: “The Enigma machine is the most famous cipher machine in the world.

“Breaking its codes at Bletchley Park certainly helped to win the war and Bletchley can now be seen as the cradle of the computer revolution.

“Christopher Morcom was a very important influence on Alan Turing and after Christopher’s death, Turing promised Christopher’s mother that he would continue his mathematical and scientific work as a tribute to his dead friend.”

The National Telephone Kiosk houses phone boxes from a number of eras, including a blue police box and visitors will also be able to have fun making calls between the posts and see the historic exchanges in action.

For fans of telephone memorabilia, the Telecoms Heritage Group will have stalls and exhibits in the Guesten Hall, and there will be a guest appearance by BT icon, Buzby.

For more on Avoncroft Calling, visit www.avoncroft.org.uk or call 01527 831363.

Dr Mark Baldwin with the rare 4-rotor Enigma machine which featured in the hit film ‘The Imitation Game’. s

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