Bring the Kids to Over the Air and visit Family-Friendly Bletchley Park

Competition Presentations at Over the Air 2008Kids have always been welcome at Over the Air. One of our young attendees famously helped to demonstrate an accelerometer-based “sword fighting” game on stage during the competition presentations at our first event, and returned in 2009 to participate in a “teenage dragon’s den” panel.

Kids are especially welcome at our Competition Presentations on Saturday October 1st starting at 14:50 in the Marquee Tent. Kids are free to register. Just bring them along to the registration desk when they get here and we will give them an all-access badge for the event. Besides the Over the Air sessions and competition, we are also running free tours of Bletchley Park, and you are also free to visit the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley.

The weather forecast for Friday and Saturday is looking beautiful, making Over the Air 2011 an excellent opportunity to bring the whole family out to Bletchley Park. (Many have told us already that they will be bringing their kids – including the organisers!)

Although we have the Mansion booked out for the event, the Park is situated on 29 acres of lovely green trees & lawns (now just starting to turn), and there are plenty of other things to do and see – for children of all ages as well as adults.

With this weather, you may find yourself spending more time in the children’s corner or walking the grounds than in the various museums, but it will still make for a great day out.

Bletchley Park – Block-B Exhibition Centre

Officially opened in June 2004 by HRH The Duke of Kent this exhibition centre, housed within one of the original wartime buildings, tells the ‘Complete Bletchley Park Story’. The museum depicts the incredibly complex processes of interception, decryption, translation, interpretation and analysis that were needed to produce the vital intelligence that proved so important in ending the war. Block B houses Stephen Kettle’s famous Turing statue, and there is also the orientation room were you can view a short film that offers an overview of the site. It is also home to admissions and the Bletchley Park gift shop.

Check out the Young Codebreakers Zone for some great resources to inspire kids before hand.

The Toys and Memorabilia Collection

A large varied collection of playthings and domestic artefacts related to everyday life in the 1930’s to the immediate post-war period. There are toy soldiers, model trains, model vehicles, Britain’s lead farm and garden, and make-do-and-mend toys, dolls and teddies. Those who are studying or are interested in the National Curriculum ‘Britain since the 1930’s’ will find this collection of much interest.

Model Railway

Always popular with all our visitors this display features a working model railway, complete with tunnels, miniature trees and junctions.

The Society’s club room is open to the public from 12.00 – 16.00 (12.00 – 17.00 in Summer) on most Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year. There are usually two or three layouts in operation, including a ‘Thomas’ layout which is always popular with children. There are also modelling exhibits and displays about the real railways’ contribution to the Second World War.


Bletchley Park Garage

There are two 1930’s Austins on show from the film The Eagle Has Landed featuring John Standing, a direct descendant of the Leon family. The Talbot and the 1938 Ambulance (now owned by the Trust) were both used in the film Enigma. A 1940’s garage forecourt shows the cost of fuel, etc, and tools used during this period. Some post-war cars are displayed to compare design styles and are of much interest to visitors. The garages were built to house the numerous vehicles that came to Bletchley Park every day during WW2, including the vast number of dispatch riders who brought the originals of the coded mesages intercepted at the Y Stations across the country.

And much more:

Bombe Rebuild Project

Enigma Collection

Colossus Rebuild Project

The National Museum of Computing