Bletchley railway station
Bletchley is a railway station that serves the southern parts of Milton Keynes and the north-eastern parts of the Buckinghamshire district of Aylesbury Vale. It is 47 miles northwest of Euston, about 32 miles east of Oxford and 17 miles west of Bedford, it includes junctions of the West Coast Main Line with the Bletchley-Bedford Marston Vale Line and the disused Bletchley-Oxford Varsity line. This is one of the six railway stations serving the Milton Keynes urban area, it is the nearest main line station for Bletchley Park, the World War II codebreaking centre, serves Stadium MK, the home of Milton Keynes Dons F. C. at present a 30-minute walk. Fenny Stratford station, on the Marston Vale Line is closer; the London and Birmingham Railway, now part of the "West Coast Main Line", was opened from Euston as far as Denbigh Hall on 9 April 1838, where a temporary station was built. The line was opened in September 1838, there seemed no apparent need for a station in the Bletchley area at all, it was not until 1846 that Bletchley station was built following the opening of the line from Bedford.
A major intercity station, that role passed to Milton Keynes Central in 1982 when the latter was built, long after the east–west route had been downgraded, taking Bletchley's importance as a junction with it. Today, no Virgin Trains stop at Bletchley; the eastward route opened in 1846, the first station at Bletchley was built. The westward route opened in 1850; this east–west route subsequently became the Oxford – Cambridge "Varsity Line". On 14 October 1939, an express passenger train was in a collision with another train. Five people were killed and more than 30 were injured. There are six platforms in use here. Platforms 1 and 2 serve the fast lines used by Virgin West Coast expresses that do not stop here and normally see little or no use, they are only used if the slow lines are out of service for engineering work or other exceptional events. Platforms 3 and 4 serve the slow lines and are used by London Northwestern Railway services between Euston and Northampton and Birmingham New Street, along with Southern's Milton Keynes Central to East Croydon trains.
Platforms 5 and 6 are located on the eastern side and are the only ones that give access to the Marston Vale line to Bedford. Bedford trains start and terminate in platform 6, but can use platform 5 if required. There are carriage sidings to the north of the station, whilst the high level flyover carrying the former Varsity Line towards Oxford crosses the main lines to the south; the main buildings and station entrance are located on the west side of the complex, off Sherwood Drive. There are ticket barriers controlling access to the platforms; as well as being on the national north–south West Coast Main Line, Bletchley is on the east–west former Cambridge–Oxford Varsity line, though as of November 2018 only the central section, the Marston Vale line, between Bletchley and Bedford and the section between Oxford and Bicester Village are open for passenger services. Bletchley, in common with other stations on this line, is covered by the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership, which aims to promote the line by encouraging local users to take an active interest in it.
As of 2018, the route of the beyond Bletchley to the west through Winslow to Bicester is closed. The high level crossing over the WCML named the "Bletchley Flyover" and comprising seven 56 ft spans and built in 1959 as part of the British Rail Modernisation Plan, by-passes Bletchley station. At the time it was expected to carry as many as 80 trains a day and though it remains in place it is not in use. There is a funded, plan to re-open this route to passenger traffic via Bicester to Oxford by 2025 and an unfunded plan to re-open the entire route between Oxford and Cambridge. In the view of Milton Keynes Council, a key element of the plan is to build high level platforms at Bletchley so that passengers may transfer between the lines; as part of a project to regenerate Bletchley as a whole, Milton Keynes Council has proposed the creation of a new eastern pedestrian access to the station by extending the existing platform overbridge across the tracks to reach Saxon Street. The proposed eastern entrance is to open out into a new station square and a transport interchange where an at-grade pedestrian crossing across Saxon Street would give access to the town centre and bus station.
In the longer term it is planned to construct an underground concourse to link the eastern and western station entrances. Following approval on 29 November 2011 of the western section of East West Rail between Oxford and Bedford via Bletchley, the route was expected to open in 2019; the plan provides for new high level platforms to be built on the flyover as the line has no direct route through the existing station without reversing. On 7 July 2014, the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership announced that the Government had allocated £64.6 million funding for various projects that includes a £1.5 million contribution towards the cost of this work. However, as of October 2018, work on the high-level platforms or the Saxon Street entrance had yet to begin. In July 2017, Network Rail began a public consultation on the details of its proposals for the Bicester–Bedford section of East West Rail; the consultation documents provide detailed drawings for the high-level platforms but do not include any details about the station itself.
West Bletchley is a district and civil parish that covers the western part of Bletchley. The parish includes part of Bletchley, south of Standing Way, west of the West Coast Main Line, north of Water Eaton Brook.. West Bletchley contains three major districts with parish council wards within them; these wards/estates include: Old Bletchley Church Green Bletchley Park PoetsFar Bletchley Castles Fairways Racecourses Rivers SaintsWest Bletchley Abbys Scotts CountiesMost districts of West Bletchley parish are residential, but the district of Bletchley Park is important enough to be summarised here. West Bletchley is split between two electoral wards for representation to Milton Keynes Council. Far Bletchley and the golf course area is in the Whaddon Ward. Within the West Bletchley parish, in the Church Green district, is Bletchley Park. During the Second World War, this district was home to the Government Cypher School; the German Enigma code was cracked here amongst others, Alan Turing. Another cipher machine was solved with the aid of early computing devices, known as a Colossus.
Bletchley Park is now a museum, although many areas of the park grounds have been sold off for housing development. Children in the area attend a number of primary schools which include: Milton Keynes Preparatory School, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School, Holne Chase Primary School, White Spire School, Rickley Park Primary School and Chestnuts Primary School. Lord Grey School is in West Bletchley, however, a Secondary School. Bletchley and Fenny Stratford, the other civil parish for'greater Bletchley'. Edward Legg, Early History of Bletchley Park 1235–1937. 1, 1999 West Bletchley Parish Council
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Ordnance Survey is the national mapping agency of the United Kingdom which covers the island of Great Britain. Since 1 April 2015 part of Ordnance Survey has operated as Ordnance Survey Ltd, a government-owned company, 100% in public ownership; the Ordnance Survey Board remains accountable to the Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy. It is a member of the Public Data Group; the agency's name indicates its original military purpose, to map Scotland in the wake of the Jacobite rising of 1745. There was a more general and nationwide need in light of the potential threat of invasion during the Napoleonic Wars. Ordnance Survey mapping is classified as either "large-scale" or "small-scale"; the Survey's large-scale mapping comprises 1:2,500 maps for 1:10,000 more generally. These large scale maps are used in professional land-use contexts and were available as sheets until the 1980s, when they were digitised. Small-scale mapping for leisure use includes the 1:25,000 "Explorer" series, the 1:50,000 "Landranger" series and the 1:250,000 road maps.
These are still available in traditional sheet form. Ordnance Survey maps remain in copyright for fifty years after their publication; some of the Copyright Libraries hold complete or near-complete collections of pre-digital OS mapping. The origins of the Ordnance Survey lie in the aftermath of the Jacobite rising of 1745, defeated by forces loyal to the government at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Prince William, Duke of Cumberland realised that the British Army did not have a good map of the Scottish Highlands to locate Jacobite dissenters such as Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat so that they could be put on trial. In 1747, Lieutenant-Colonel David Watson proposed the compilation of a map of the Highlands to help to subjugate the clans. In response, King George II charged Watson with making a military survey of the Highlands under the command of the Duke of Cumberland. Among Watson's assistants were William Roy, Paul Sandby and John Manson; the survey was produced at a scale of 1 inch to 1000 yards and included "the Duke of Cumberland's Map", now held in the British Library.
Roy had an illustrious career in the Royal Engineers, rising to the rank of General, he was responsible for the British share of the work in determining the relative positions of the French and British royal observatories. This work was the starting point of the Principal Triangulation of Great Britain, led to the creation of the Ordnance Survey itself. Roy's technical skills and leadership set the high standard. Work was begun in earnest in 1790 under Roy's supervision, when the Board of Ordnance began a national military survey starting with the south coast of England. Roy's birthplace near Carluke in South Lanarkshire is today marked by a memorial in the form of a large OS trig point. By 1791 the Board received the newer Ramsden theodolite, work began on mapping southern Great Britain using a five-mile baseline on Hounslow Heath that Roy himself had measured. In 1991 Royal Mail marked the bicentenary by issuing a set of postage stamps featuring maps of the Kentish village of Hamstreet. In 1801 the first one-inch-to-the-mile map was published, detailing the county of Kent, with Essex following shortly afterwards.
The Kent map was published and stopped at the county border, while the Essex maps were published by Ordnance Survey and ignore the county border, setting the trend for future Ordnance Survey maps. In the next 20 years about a third of England and Wales was mapped at the same scale under the direction of William Mudge, as other military matters took precedence, it took until 1823 to re-establish a relationship with the French survey made by Roy in 1787. By 1810 one inch to the mile maps of most of the south of England were completed, but they were withdrawn from sale between 1811 and 1816 because of security fears. By 1840 the one-inch survey had covered all of Wales and all but the six northernmost counties of England, it was hard work: Major Thomas Colby, the longest-serving Director General of Ordnance Survey, walked 586 miles in 22 days on a reconnaissance in 1819. In 1824, Colby and most of his staff moved to Ireland to work on a six-inches-to-the-mile valuation survey; the survey of Ireland, county by county, was completed in 1846.
The suspicions and tensions it caused in rural Ireland are the subject of Brian Friel's play Translations. Colby was not only involved in the design of specialist measuring equipment, he established a systematic collection of place names, reorganised the map-making process to produce clear, accurate plans. Place names were recorded in "Name Books", a system first used in Ireland; the instructions for their use were: The persons employed on the survey are to endeavour to obtain the correct orthography of the names of places by diligently consulting the best authorities within their reach. The name of each place is to be inserted as it is spelt, in the first column of the name book and the various modes of spelling it used in books, writings &c. are to be inserted in the second column, with the authority placed in the third column opposite to each. Whilst these procedures produced excellent results, mistakes were made: for instance, the Pilgrims Way in the North Downs labelled the wrong route
Government Communications Headquarters
The Government Communications Headquarters is an intelligence and security organisation responsible for providing signals intelligence and information assurance to the government and armed forces of the United Kingdom. Based in "The Doughnut" in the suburbs of Cheltenham, GCHQ is the responsibility of the country's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, but it is not a part of the Foreign Office and its director ranks as a Permanent Secretary. GCHQ was established after the First World War as the Government Code and Cypher School and was known under that name until 1946. During the Second World War it was located at Bletchley Park, where it was responsible for breaking of the German Enigma codes. There are two main components of the GCHQ, the Composite Signals Organisation, responsible for gathering information, the National Cyber Security Centre, responsible for securing the UK's own communications; the Joint Technical Language Service is a small department and cross-government resource responsible for technical language support and translation and interpreting services across government departments.
It is co-located with GCHQ for administrative purposes. In 2013, GCHQ received considerable media attention when the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the agency was in the process of collecting all online and telephone data in the UK via the Tempora programme. Snowden's revelations began a spate of ongoing disclosures of global surveillance; the Guardian newspaper was forced to destroy all incriminating files given to them by Snowden because of the threats of lawsuits from the UK Government. GCHQ is led by the Director of GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, a Corporate Board, made up of executive and non-executive directors. Reporting to the Corporate Board is: Sigint missions: comprising maths and cryptanalysis, IT and computer systems and translation, the intelligence analysis unit Enterprise: comprising applied research and emerging technologies, corporate knowledge and information systems, commercial supplier relationships, biometrics Corporate management: enterprise resource planning, human resources, internal audit, architecture Communications-Electronics Security Group During the First World War, the British Army and Royal Navy had separate signals intelligence agencies, MI1b and NID25 respectively.
In 1919, the Cabinet's Secret Service Committee, chaired by Lord Curzon, recommended that a peacetime codebreaking agency should be created, a task given to the Director of Naval Intelligence, Hugh Sinclair. Sinclair merged staff from NID25 and MI1b into the new organisation, which consisted of around 25–30 officers and a similar number of clerical staff, it was titled the "Government Code and Cypher School", a cover-name chosen by Victor Forbes of the Foreign Office. Alastair Denniston, a member of NID25, was appointed as its operational head, it was under the control of the Admiralty and located in Watergate House, London. Its public function was "to advise as to the security of codes and cyphers used by all Government departments and to assist in their provision", but had a secret directive to "study the methods of cypher communications used by foreign powers". GC&CS formed on 1 November 1919, produced its first decrypt on 19 October. Before the Second World War, GC&CS was a small department.
By 1922, the main focus of GC&CS was on diplomatic traffic, with "no service traffic worth circulating" and so, at the initiative of Lord Curzon, it was transferred from the Admiralty to the Foreign Office. GC&CS came under the supervision of Hugh Sinclair, who by 1923 was both the Chief of SIS and Director of GC&CS. In 1925, both organisations were co-located on different floors of Broadway Buildings, opposite St. James's Park. Messages decrypted by GC&CS were distributed in blue-jacketed files that became known as "BJs". In the 1920s, GC&CS was reading Soviet Union diplomatic ciphers. However, in May 1927, during a row over clandestine Soviet support for the General Strike and the distribution of subversive propaganda, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin made details from the decrypts public. During the Second World War, GC&CS was based at Bletchley Park, in present-day Milton Keynes, working on understanding the German Enigma machine and Lorenz ciphers. In 1940, GC&CS was working on the diplomatic codes and ciphers of 26 countries, tackling over 150 diplomatic cryptosystems.
Senior staff included Alastair Denniston, Oliver Strachey, Dilly Knox, John Tiltman, Edward Travis, Ernst Fetterlein, Josh Cooper, Donald Michie, Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, Joan Clarke, Max Newman, William Tutte, I. J. Good, Peter Calvocoressi and Hugh Foss. An outstation in the Far East, the Far East Combined Bureau was set up in Hong Kong in 1935, moved to Singapore in 1939. Subsequently, with the Japanese advance down the Malay Peninsula, the Army and RAF codebreakers went to the Wireless Experimental Centre in Delhi, India; the Navy codebreakers in FECB went to Colombo, Ceylon to Kilindini, near Mombasa, Kenya. GC&CS was renamed the "Government Communications Headquarters" in June 1946. GCHQ was at first based in Eastcote, but in 1951 moved to the outskirts of Cheltenham, setting up two sites there – Oakley and Benhall. Duncan Campbell and Mark Hosenball revealed the existence of GCHQ in 1976 in an article for Time Out. GCHQ had a low profile in the media until 1983 when the trial of Geoffrey Prime, a KGB mole within GCHQ, created considerable media interest.
Since the days of the Second World War, US and British intelligence have shared information. For the GCHQ this me
Buckingham is a town in north Buckinghamshire, close to the borders of Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire, which had a population of 12,043 at the 2011 Census. It is a civil parish with a town council. Buckingham was the county town of Buckinghamshire from the 10th century, when it was made the capital of the newly formed shire of Buckingham, until Aylesbury took over this role early in the 18th century. Buckingham has a variety of typical of a small market town, it has a number of local shops, both independent. Market days are Saturday which take over Market Hill and the High Street cattle pens. Buckingham is twinned with France. Buckingham and the surrounding area has been settled for some time with evidence of Roman settlement found in several sites close the River Great Ouse, including a temple south of the A421 at Bourton Grounds, excavated in the 1960s and dated to the 3rd century AD. A possible Roman building was identified at Castle Fields in the 19th century. Pottery, kiln furniture and areas of burning found at Buckingham industrial estate suggest the site of some early Roman pottery kilns here.
In the 7th century, Buckingham "meadow of Bucca's people" is said to have been founded by Bucca, the leader of the first Anglo Saxon settlers. The first settlement was located around the top of a loop in the River Great Ouse, presently the Hunter Street campus of the University of Buckingham. Between the 7th century and the 11th century, the town of Buckingham changed hands between the Saxons and the Danes, in particular, in 914 King Edward the Elder and a Saxon army encamped in Buckingham for four weeks forcing local Danish Viking leaders to surrender. Subsequently, a fort was constructed at the location of the present Buckingham parish church. Buckingham is mentioned in the Burghal Hidage, a document ascribed to the early tenth century, but more of the period 878-9, which describes a system of forts set up by King Alfred over the whole of the West Saxon kingdom; when King Edward encamped at Buckingham with his army in 914, he was therefore restoring a fort which had existed for more than a generation.
This tactical move was part of a putsch against the Danish Vikings who controlled what had been southern Mercia, which involved the taking of control of Viking centres at Bedford, Northampton and the whole of East Anglia by the end of 917. Buckingham is the first settlement referred to in the Buckinghamshire section of the Domesday Book of 1086. Buckingham was referred to as Buckingham with Bourton, the survey makes reference to 26 burgesses, 11 smallholders and 1 mill; the town received its charter in 1554 when Queen Mary created the free Borough of Buckingham with boundaries extending from Thornborowe Bridge to Dudley Bridge and from Chackmore Bridge to Padbury Mill Bridge. The designated borough included twelve principal burgesses and a steward. Yeomanry House, the offices and home of the commanding officer of the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry, was built in the early 19th century; the town suffered from a significant fire that raged through the town centre on 15 March 1725, with the result that many of the main streets of the town were destroyed including Castle Street, Castle Hill and the north side of Market Hill.
The result was 138 dwellings being consumed in the fire. The current fine range of Georgian architecture in these streets today is as a direct result of that fire, but the immediate aftermath was difficult for the town. Collections were made in surrounding towns such as Aylesbury and Wendover to help those made homeless and by 1730, only a third of the homes had been rebuilt. Due to many buildings being considered to be of historic interest, a number of them have been granted'listed building' status. In the 19th century, it was connected to the North Western Railway. In 1971, Buckinghamshire County Council set up the Buckingham Development Company with other local councils, undertook a signifiant project to grow the town and provide a bypass to the south and east of the historic town centre; the population rose from just over 5,000 to 9,309 in 1991. The town is said to be the final resting place of St Rumbold, a little-known Saxon saint and the grandson of Penda King of Mercia, he was born at King's Sutton, where he died just three days later.
During his short life, he professed his Christian faith and asked for baptism. He is now most referred to as St Rumbold, the latter being the most common, as it can be found being used on a local road name and recent booklets about the subject; the town contains many 18th century buildings. There are three main roads crossing Buckingham, namely the A413, the A421 and the A422. Capability Brown's historic formal garden design at Stowe is an important attraction in the care of the National Trust. There is a medieval well known as St Rumbold's Well on the south side of the dismantled railway which borders the town; the well, now dry for much of the year, was positioned to exploit the spring line below the crest of a north facing slope overlooking the town. Suburbs of Buckingham include Mount Pleasant, Page Hill, Badgers, Linden Village, Castle Fields and Lace Hill. Maids Moreton, a village on the north eastern borders of the town has become contiguous with the Buckingham urban area. Nearby towns include Aylesbury, Bicester, Milton