National Radio Centre set to open at Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park

THE formal opening of the Radio Society of Great Britain’s National Radio Centre (NRC) is set to take place next week.

Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Ed Vaizey, will perform the official opening at Bletchley Park on Wednesday (July 11).

Radio communication will be brought to life at the National Radio Centre, which will be a world‐class showcase for radio communications technology.

The Centre will provide an opportunity to get ‘up close and personal’ with the history and technology of radio communications; from the first inventors in the late 19th century through Marconi to future radio developments.

Visitors will find films, interactive displays and hands on experiments. They will even have the opportunity to ‘go on the air’ using a state of the art short wave amateur radio station.

A part of the Bletchley Park Heritage site, the NRC, with its focus on radio communications today, fits naturally with other parts of the Bletchley Park museum, which show how radio communications have played a pivotal part in the history of codebreaking, counter‐intelligence and national defence.

The NRC features a small cinema and extensive descriptions of the history of radio communications interspersed with examples of radio equipment across the 20th century. A wall‐long display with video commentary, shows how the electromagnetic spectrum from DC to light is used today.

Interactive demonstrations of radio technology illustrate the basic ideas inside every radio. A working short wave radio communications station allows visitors to speak to others around the world.

President of the Radio Society of Great Britain, David Wilson, said: “We are proud to bring this outstanding exhibition and learning facility into operation.

“It is probably the leading exhibition of radio communications technology in the UK, brought to life with vivid realism and providing the opportunity for visitors to learn about this major economic force in the world today.”

And chief executive of the Bletchley Park Trust, Iain Standen, said the NRC formed an integral part of the visitor experience at the Park.

“Radio Communication is a technology that underpins many of the other aspects of our heritage displayed at Bletchley Park and we are delighted that the Radio Society of Great Britain has chosen this location for the NRC,” he added.

The NRC is open Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4.30pm.