Archive for May 27th, 2016

I could cycle from Bedfordshire top to bottom inside an hour with ease (and that’s with a break in between) before heading into Hertfordshire and beyond at my fittest.

In the forties, after the war there was little chess action until the Bedfordshire League resumed in 1945. Its a bloody good thing that upon its a resumption, the teams in the Beds. league were from Bedfordshire. Bletchley, who in 1975 would become Milton Keynes, were thankfully decades away from thrashing joining us still. I’ve just seen the team they fielded against poor old Oxford University, As you may know during WW2 the codebreakers working for the government were employed there, several being former British champions. The official line was that Britain’s greatest mathematicians were in great need to save our nation against the supposed ‘terrible threat of the nazis’.

Unofficially, the chess playing collective sat around all day playing blitz and smoking cigars, then at the day’s end they would take a quick glance at a few Japanese ciphers before wandering off to the nearest drinking establishment where they would consume too many pints of ale and punch a policeman on their way home, as was customary in those days (and today too come to think of it).

A dumbed-down British attempt to document Bletchley Park came out recently called ‘The Imitation Game’…I couldn’t watch it all so can’t comment but I did notice it exuded a level of flatness and mediocrity that British films typically suffer from, and the exemplification of the code-breaker machines was laughable to say the least.

The Bletchley team on the 2nd of December 1945.

1. C.H.O’D Alexander 2. H. Golombek 3. Dr J.M. Aitken 4. Dr I.J. Good 5. N.A. Perkins 6. Sgt. Jacobs (US Army) 7. Sgt. Gilbert 8. M.A. Chamberlain 9. P.J. Hilton 10. W.R. Cox 11. D. Rees 12. Lt. A. Levinson (US Army)

I suspect it would have reemed whitewashed every Bedfordshire team of its day and kindly asked to find alternative arrangements.

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