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Secret sketches of Bletchley Park revealed in new The Illustration Game exhibition

Fri, 17 May 2019
Overview
A special display of rare wartime sketches and drawings from the Bletchley Park archive.

From 13 May to 3 November 2019, enjoy The Illustration Game: Sketches from the Archives, a special display of rare wartime sketches and drawings from the Bletchley Park archive.

  • The exhibition is running in original World War Two Hut 12
  • Features never-before-seen sketches and cartoons associated with wartime site
  • Designed for fun – a family-friendly display with games and activities
  • Join in with extra activities running Tuesday 29 – Thursday 31 October as part of The Big Draw

Featuring sometime comedic, sometimes mysterious sketches, the exhibition at the former top-secret codebreaking site in Milton Keynes, provides a fascinating insight into Bletchley Park’s wartime story. The artworks are a powerful example of how details and memories can survive in pictures.

Erica Munro, Exhibitions Manager said: “We’re really excited to be sharing these items from our archive, many of which have never been displayed before, and whose artist remains unknown. They reveal the human side to life at Bletchley Park and its Outstations, where thousands of women and men during World War Two were working in absolute secrecy under often intense pressure. I hope visitors will have fun creating their own artwork and trying out our new games inspired by these wartime drawings.”

Highlights from the display include:

  • A detailed plan of a fantastical amphibious machine by an unknown artist
  • A rare sketch of ‘The Women of Hut 4’ by Hut 8 Codebreaker Penelope Bishop
  • A caricature by an unknown artist of Josh Cooper, Bletchley Park’s Head of Air Section
  • A lively sketch of Dispatch Riders in training
  • A beautiful 1945 sketch of a Bombe Operator heading off on night duty drawn by Bletchley Park Veteran and Oscar, Emmy and Bafta award winning costume designer, Phyllis Dalton

Visitors have the chance to play games – from competing in a Dispatch Rider race game to designing their own Impossible Amphibious Vehicle. Visitors are also encouraged to create their own drawings on a large magnetic wall.

The exhibition is just one of Bletchley Park’s new activities for Summer 2019. Visitors can also celebrate Father’s Day with a special barbeque on 16 June and see if they have what it takes to become a Codebreaker with our new Family Activities (running on select dates in May, July and August). Bletchley Park’s much loved 1940s Vintage Weekend returns on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July.

Full details on all upcoming events can be found on the Bletchley Park’s ‘What’s on’ pages

Entry to The Illustration Game: Sketches from the Archives is free with a general admission ticket. Suitable for ages 8+. Exhibition design by Northover&Brown.

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