Mid Term Reunion: Bletchley Park: 25-27 November 2016
The mid term reunion this year is going to the much requested Bletchley Park. There can be none of us that have not heard of the role of this iconic location and its role in cracking the Enigma code. There are two pages supplied by BP themselves attached to this sheet giving you an overall flavour of the what you will see. This is going to be an all day visit and will be combined with a visit to The National Radio Centre, headquarters of the Radio Society of Great Britain, RSGB, which is on the same campus. The plan is that we will not use an expensive coach this year and we will use members cars to transport us from the hotel in Milton Keynes to BP about 5 miles away. Very loosely arrival at BP will be 10.30 and departure 16.00 but this can easily be varied to individual taste. I have negotiated a group rate of £12.00 per head for the visit so all need to enter together. Good news for RSGB members is that they can download a voucher from the RSGB website which will give them FREE access to BP. If those members bring their licence every effort will be made to allow them to operate from the NRC. I have set up a QSO with NRC and they are aware of our visit. It is remotely possible that some ladies may wish to shop and in this case MK is regarded as an excellent shopping location and the town centre is very well laid out on a grid plan. Our reunions are becoming increasingly popular and allowing for this location and its easy access for most of us this could be our most popular yet. We will follow the usual formula of arrival on Friday afternoon and leave on Sunday morning. A booking form will be in September QSO.
Hotel: We need to stay in Milton Keynes, which has a very wide range of hotels, rather than the much smaller Bletchley. The chosen hotel is the Novotel Milton Keynes and I visited recently and negotiated the following: Single room £63.00 per night, Double or twin room £73.00, both rates are bed and breakfast. These figures are a dramatic reduction on their weekday rates, the weekends in general being quieter in MK, and less than we usually pay.
Due to a shortage of restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the hotel we will eat in both nights. We are going to try something slightly different this year and have a 3 course buffet on the Friday evening. This helps to keep the cost down and will provide a variety of menu choices that will differ from the Saturday evening more formal meal. The budget range is expected to be about £25.00 for the buffet and £30.00 per head for the Saturday dinner, to be confirmed
Transport: By car: MK is easily accessible from the M1, the hotel is about 5 miles from J14 and is best approached from there. By rail: MK is on the main line from London to Birmingham/Liverpool/Manchester and Glasgow. There is a frequent service from London Euston and the above stations but many also go through at high speed so check times carefully and a change may be necessary. The hotel is about 2 miles from the station. There is an infrequent and not very convenient bus service so a taxi is recommended. By air: The best airports to arrive at will be Luton or Birmingham International. It is possible to arrive at East Midlands but the onward journey is a bit more strangulated. From Luton: Much the best way is to take a National Express coach to Milton Keynes Coachway. The journey takes about 40 minutes and costs about a tenner each way for a senior. The service seems to vary between two coaches in 10 minutes and then none for 1.5 to 2 hours. You can make the journey by train but it is not easy and involves at least 2 changes. From Birmingham International: The station of the same name is attached to Birmingham International Airport. There are 4 trains an hour, one an express taking 40 minutes and the other three stop at all parish halts taking about 1h15 minutes. A super off peak return is £14.00 and an off peak return is £20.00 without a railcard so very economic.
Full details and the booking form will be published in September QSO.