Several BPMA staff and Friends had a very enjoyable two days at Bletchley Park over the Bank Holiday weekend. We were there as part of the Post Office at War weekend, an event organised as part of the London 2010 Festival of Stamps.
The BPMA had a table where we could meet visitors to Bletchley Park and let them know about the BPMA and its collections. Several of the BPMA Friends made a much valued contribution, helping to promote us and sharing their personal expertise on a number of different topics with visitors.
They also helped us sell a variety of BPMA products, including books and postcards. The new Shire Post Offices book by our curator, Julian Stray, was particularly sought after, selling out on the second day.
Our activities for younger visitors proved very popular, particularly designing your own stamp and making secret codes.
Curator Vyki Sparkes gave a well received talk about the vital and difficult work of the GPO Rescue and Salvage Squad during the Second World War. They salvage squad had the responsibility of rescuing mail from pillar boxes that had been damaged or buried by enemy air raids.
It was standing room only in the cinema at Bletchley Park where films were being shown from our third collection of GPO films – If War Should Come. We also took a graphic display of ten panels illustrating the essential work of the GPO on the home front during the Second World War.
There was much else going on during the weekend including tours, WW2 re-enactors, several other talks (including Christine Earle’s ‘The Post Office Went to War’) some rarely seen items from the Royal Philatelic Collection and other children’s activities, including letter writing and games with a former evacuee.
Bletchley Park is well worth a visit and your ticket allows admission for a whole year.