Request for Help looking after the Historic Bombe Rebuild Machine at Bletchley Park

(Original posting) 30 November 2009

Summary:  Help wanted maintaining and demonstration the Bombe machine – a request from John Harper.

Bletchley Park is constantly in the news and is a growing historic site with museums on codebreaking and on computers – and one of the main exhibits is a fully working operational Bombe machine.  This machine is the result of a remarkable rebuild project led by John Harper and earlier in the year won the prestigious IMechE Heritage Award.
The Bombe Rebuild Team now has a fully working and reliable machine but do not have enough resources to demonstrate it on a regular basis. We are now looking for volunteers to operate and demonstrate after appropriate training has been given.  Demonstrations are most needed at weekends.

Many  people will have the appropriate skills and experience for this with further training.  Training will be arranged at times when the Rebuild team is on site at Bletchley Park.

The initial training will be Health and Safety orientated and candidates with a background in operating machinery and experienced in working with high voltages will have an initial advantage. H & S applies not just to those being trained but also to the precautions and procedures that need to be applied to safeguard the visiting public.

Following the H&S training a candidate will be shown how to interpret a menu, mount drums and plug up the back of the machine, etc. Jobs can then be demonstrated but it will also be necessary to identify the sort of basic problem that might be encountered. This is a similar level of competence that the WRNS operators achieved in WWII.

There is also a need in the longer term for volunteers to move from operator to maintenance mechanic where the level of knowledge will be similar to the RAF gentleman who carried out this task at the outstations during WWII. Additional training will be made available for those wishing to progress beyond the operator level.

For more information please contact;- Sarah Preston on 01908 640404 or email [email protected]

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