Family Life

Top Secret exhibition at the London Science Museum

Top Secret exhibition at the London Science Museum

If you are looking for something to do with the kids this summer in London then look no further than the Science Museum. It’s a firm favourite with our family for lots of reasons, mainly because it’s free and is a great place to learn about science! We’ve already shared our experience at Wonderlab and today went back to see their latest exhibition – Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security.

Last month we visited Bletchley Park. We had such a lovely day out exploring it. During the Second World War it was the home of the British Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) and home to thousands of British and Allied codebreakers.

Top Secret exhibition at the London Science Museum

This year sees the 100th anniversary of GCHQ, the UK’s Intelligence, Security and Cyber agency. The Top Secret exhibition explores over a century’s worth of communications intelligence through hand-written documents, declassified files and previously unseen artefacts from the Science Museum Group’s and GCHQ’s historic collections.

The children picked up an activity sheet to complete during the exhibition which kept them happy. It took them all around the exhibition, looking for clues and colouring in their activity sheets.

girl colouring

In the exhibition you can explore the story of Alan Turing and the team of Bletchley Park codebreakers who broke the Enigma code in 1941, uncover spy-craft from 1960’s Cold War espionage and challenge your friends and family to become codebreakers in the interactive puzzle zone. You can hear from GCHQ staff doing top secret work to defend against terror attacks and serious crime and discover the challenges of maintaining digital security in the 21st century.

1960s newspaper story about the Ruislip Russian spies

My favourite part was the Cold War section as it told the story of two spies who lived in Ruislip in West London. Helen and Peter Kroger were sending secrets to Russia and when their house was searched lots of spy gadgets were found, it was something straight out of a Bond film! I loved the Yardley talc container with a secret compartment. You can find out more about them in this BBC story.

spy gadgets belonging to Peter and Helen Kroger

We loved our trip to the Science Museum. Top Secret is a really interesting exhibition and great for children, with lots of puzzles to try. My two especially loved the Lego model of GCHQ and hopefully learned all about the important work they do. Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security is at the Science Museum until 23rd February 2020. It’s free but booking is essential.

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    Five Happy Things {Week 249} - the-gingerbread-house.co.uk
    July 15, 2019 at 9:58 am

    […] the weekend we went to the Science Museum as I had booked tickets to the Top Secret exhibition. It marks the 100th anniversary of GCHQ and it was fascinating to learn all about the things it […]

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