Breaking the Code

We were a-flutter with coded messages on Saturday 1st November, as younger visitors sent secret communications to local pigeon fancier, John Fretwell. David Glover, from the Royal Pigeon Racing Association released six pigeons throughout the day to carry out their brave duties, as they would have done during World War 1.

Pigeons 2

Expert code-breaking help was also on hand with Mike Hart from GCHQ talking to visitors about encryption and decryption over the centuries, and, in particular, during the two World Wars. Exhibits ranged from a World War 1 code book, printed on silk, and, therefore, easier to conceal, to one with lead sewn into its cover to ensure that it sank if dropped overboard!

GCHQ (2)

Event co-ordinator, Adele Webb, said, “We appreciated the tremendous knowledge that our prestigious presenters offered. It made for a quality experience for all our visitors, who were able to talk to the experts and ask all sorts of questions.”


With code and cipher challenges available all day, code-busters of all ages had a field day!