Bletchley Park should not be turned into a "Disney theme park" according to Baroness Trumpington

Don't turn Bletchley Park into 'Disney theme park'

Bletchley Park should not be turned into a "Disney theme park" according to Baroness Trumpington, who worked there during the Second World War.

The 91-year-old Conservative peer was speaking ahead of the opening in June of a new visitor centre and the huts where German codes were cracked following an £8m renovation of the site where the Enigma code was broken.

Opening a debate on the future of the site, she told peers: "I hope that those involved will avoid creating a Disney theme park experience for the visitor. The Hollywood films that have been made to-date bear little resemblance to the Bletchley I recall."

Bletchley Park has recently been at the centre of controversy following public rows between the Bletchley Park Trust and the National Museum of Computing, which is a tenant at the site, and several peers called for the two organisations to work out their differences.

Liberal Democrat Lord Sharkey said the leadership of the organisations, which share the Bletchley site, were "obviously dysfunctional".

He said: "It is quite clear the relationship between the Bletchley Park Trust and the National Museum of Computing has broken down. It is quite clear that some kind of intervention is needed – common sense needs to be restored."

Tory Lord Cormack, a patron of the Bletchley Park Trust, said: "It would be very bad indeed if we allowed any disputes between individuals to confound the preservation of Bletchley Park."

He said it was "nonsense to have disputes between two essentially worthwhile organisations".

Former chief of the defence staff Lord Stirrup said he was sure the leaders of the two organisations were "mature and experienced enough" to find a way to work together.

For the government, Lord Gardiner of Kimble referred to the "discord" between the Trust and the National Museum of Computing.

"I want to acknowledge the work of both these organisations and I very much hope that both museums will look to collaborative solutions to their problems," he said.

"We look to both museums to tell the incredible history of Bletchley in its most innovative and accurate way, which will enable Bletchley to be in the nation's consciousness for many generations to come."

He said visitors at the Bletchley Park Museum had risen from 40,000 in 150,000 in 2012 with "remarkable" further growth expected.

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