Artefacts from the 100-year history of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are being displayed at the 'Top Secret' Science Museum exhibition in London, helping to mark this year's GCHQ Centenary.


One of the exhibits - an Enigma M1070 showing the rotor settings.
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, GCHQ

In a first for a UK intelligence agency, Top Secret: from Ciphers to Cyber Security, explores a century's worth of intelligence through unseen artefacts, anecdotes, and the rich personal and technological stories that underpin GCHQ's role at the heart of the nation's security.

Free tickets are available to book on the Science Museum's website. The exhibition runs in London from 10th July 2019 until February 2020, moving to Manchester's Science and Industry Museum in October the same year.

Jeremy Fleming, Director GCHQ said: "This unique collaboration between GCHQ and the Science Museum is a great way to mark our Centenary and give visitors previously unseen insights into how GCHQ has helped protect the UK over the past 100 years.

"For the first time the public will be given a glimpse into our secret history of amazing intelligence, world-leading innovation, and most of all brilliant people. And - as the threats to the UK become more diverse and more complex - it's a chance to encourage the next generation of recruits. Because at GCHQ we believe that with the right mix of minds, anything is possible."

The exhibition - which coincides with GCHQ's centenary year - takes visitors through the history of secret communications, including the role Alan Turing and Bletchley Park played in breaking the Enigma code during World War II, revealing spy-craft developed during the Cold War, and investigating the technologies that will help keep the UK safe into the future.

Visitors are invited to step inside this fascinating world and hear from the individuals carrying out top secret work today to defend against terror attacks and serious crime and discover the challenges of maintaining digital security. As would be expected from the minds behind the best-selling GCHQ puzzle books, there is also the opportunity to challenge friends and family to codebreaker challenges in an interactive puzzle zone.

GCHQ's work has never been more relevant; pioneering a new kind of security in an ever more complex world. The changing threats the country faces will demand ever more of the ingenuity for which GCHQ is renowned. From its inception, the agency has valued different perspectives and diversity of skills and GCHQ's history is full of ordinary people solving extraordinary problems.

it is hoped the exhibition will give everyone a flavour of the role and activities of GCHQ and inspire a new generation.