The Taylor Kellar Partnership continues to support Bletchley Park, “Home of the Codebreakers”.
The Turing Welchman Bombe Rebuild Trust has been set up to own and manage the Rebuilt Bombe. As a Trustee, Paul Kellar remains heavily involved.
The Bombe is now a fully operational replica of its target machine, and a complete code-breaking process has been re-created.
A series of Challenges have been successfully run with GCHQ Cheltenham.
Each day, the Enigma key is broken using only the original techniques and equipment of the Bletchley Park codebreakers (with one exception: Twitter has been used for message transmission) enabling the Bombe Team to decode and reply to intercepted messages from the GCHQ event.
During the complete decoding process, the Checking Machine is used to validate a Bombe stop and find the Steckerung as part of the key of the day.
The final stage, known as ‘Clonking’ by the original codebreakers because of the noise made as a wheel was manually turned through all 26 positions, was much facilitated by a chance discovery during a team visit to the GCHQ museum at Cheltenham: a specially-made slide-rule.
This device, previously unidentified by GCHQ, proved to be the missing link in our understanding of the Clonking process, saving at least twenty minutes from the daily key-breaking process.
To date, the Bombe Team has scored a 100% success record on sixteen occasions.
Our work has been recognised by GCHQ with certificates of appreciation for all the Bombe Team participants.
In addition to his Bombe work, Paul Kellar has become involved with the continuing work on the tape drive mechanism of the replica Heath Robinson machine,
also on the Bletchley Park site at The National Museum of Computing
This machine, christened “Heath Robinson” by the Wrens as soon as they saw it, was the fore-runner of the much more famous Colossus.
Although the need to read two tapes in exact synchronism at high speed was a continual source of difficulty (well appreciated by today’s engineers),
it was sufficiently successful to justify the commitment required for Tommy Flowers to create the more successful Colossus machines.
As always, this is the sort of challenge which Paul is unable to resist.