The Bombe has arrived at TNMoC.
After more than ten hours of tense work, the Turing-Welchman Bombe
arrived safely at The National Museum of Computing on Bletchley Park.
With air lifts, wheel changes and extremely tight squeezes,
the reconstruction of the extraordinary Enigma code-breaking
machine edged its way into its new gallery that will soon be open to the public.
The move was made possible thanks to the generous contributions of more than
500 individuals and organisations who donated more than £50,000 in a
four-week Crowdfunder appeal ending in March to keep the Bombe
on the Bletchley Park Estate.
TNMOC Trustee Kevin Murrell who was present on moving day to lend a hand
described the tension of the operation:
“To transport a one-tonne machine with delicate moving parts over
flower beds, up steps and ramps and through the narrowest of gaps and
around the tightest of turns was an astonishing feat.
Even removing the door frame to the new gallery wasn't enough to squeeze
the Bombe into its new location - last minute judicious handywork was required
to create an extra half-a-centimetre of space!
As darkness fell, the Bombe finally reached its new home - and not one person
dropped the Bombe.”
The move was accomplished by the Bombe team volunteers led by John Harper,
a resident TNMoC team led by Jacqui Garrad, and a highly experienced
team of removal experts from Flegg Transport.
On behalf of everyone at TNMoC, Andrew Herbert, chair of trustees, said,
“It is a real thrill to know that so many people have contributed
to the success of the move - from the generosity of the general public
to the expertise of the reconstructors.
It is a heartfelt tribute from today’s generations to the codebreakers
and digital pioneers of the past.”
The reconstructed Bombe is now located very close to the existing
world-famous rebuild of Colossus that helped break the Lorenz cipher
of German High Command during the Second World War.
Together these two displays explore the ingenuity and inventiveness
of the Second World War codebreakers - and the beginnings of our digital world.
The new Bombe Gallery will be officially opened this summer when the gallery
refurbishment is complete.