Bletchley Park was the home of the British codebreaking efforts in World War Two and a birthplace of modern information technology. Bletchley Park is being restored to create a world class museum and heritage site and a range of Factorylux lighting – including the Bletchley Park glass lamp shade – is used for the restoration.
Bletchley Park was the WW2 home of the Government Code and Cypher School which cracked the military codes and cyphers that secured German and the other Axis nations’ communications. The code breaking efforts produced vital intelligence in advance of military operations. Bletchley Park also heralded the birth of the IT age with the industrialisation of the codebreaking processes enabled by machines such as the Alan Turing/Gordon Welchman Bombe, and the world’s first electronic computer, Colossus, designed by GPO engineer Tommy Flowers.
The story of Bletchley Park remained untold for many years after the end of WW2 but over the last 20 years it has become recognised as a place of historical importance. The first stage of the restoration was completed in 2014 with a new visitors centre in Block C. Factorylux green enamel shades and fittings were installed extensively through the visitors centre in the ‘Secrets Revealed – Introduction to Bletchley Park’ exhibition.
The restoration also required the recreation of original glass lamp shades which were installed at Bletchley Park during WW2. The shades were reverse engineered by lighting designer James Wadsworth who worked with the renovation/restoration team at Bletchley Park to ensure the lighting was as authentic as possible. The glass lamp shades are now installed at various locations, including Huts 3 and 6 where messages encoded by the Enigma machines were decrypted, translated and analysed for vital intelligence.
The Bletchley Park glass lamp shades are exact reproductions of the originals. The technical name for the shades is opal diffusers – they distribute light evenly while preventing glare. The shades are made entirely in the UK for Factorylux using specially created wood tooling, each of which can produce a maximum of 200 shades.
The Bletchley Park Glass Lamp Shades are available now as:
- ready to install Bletchley Park ceiling pendant light which uses the same fittings – cable, lamp holders and ceiling hardware – used at Bletchley
- ready to install Made For You glass pendant lights designed by you using components from Factorylux range of light fittings
- ‘glass shade only‘ for fitting to existing pendant lights
Top and bottom images courtesy of and copyright Bletchley Park Trust.