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Station Xtra

A cache by oldun Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 06/07/2004
Difficulty:
4.5 out of 5
Terrain:
2 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire. The co-ordinates are for the Village Hall Car Park. A walk of less than 15 minutes to the cache.There is a good pub in the village. For those with small children there is a well-equipped play area close to the Village Hall parking.

The pleasant village of Drayton Parslow is the location for this cache. Not because the village has been around for some time and was mentioned in the Domesday Book, nor because the church has some interesting architectural features, nor even because the Chandler family had a bell foundry there for a long time and many of the churches in the surrounding area still have bells that were cast there, several hundred years ago.

None of these reasons, but because, unlikely as it may seem, it was an ‘outpost’ for Station X at Bletchley Park, about 4 miles away.

Herman Hollerith, an American who died in 1929, invented the punched card sorting machine. By putting information on cards and punching a pattern of holes, it was possible for the machine, after sorting, to find where holes coincided on different cards and so extract the information automatically. Linked with the codebreaking at Station X there was of course a vast amount of data to store and after sorting, recall. This little known aspect of the work done at Bletchley Park was carried out originally from 1940 in Hut 7, using Hollerith punched card machines. The record index grew so much that in 1942 C Block was built to house it, but by 1943 even more space was needed and a site on Prospect Farm land, about 500 yards West of Drayton Parslow, was chosen. This unit, with several Hollerith sorting machines, had direct teleprinter lines to Bletchley Park. Mr Freeborne was in charge of it as well as C Block at Bletchley Park.

The Army controlled and guarded it and the Foreign Office recruited civilian women to operate the machines and teleprinters, many from banks because of their ready-made experience.

Masses of five figure codes came from Bletchley Park for sorting and processing, before being sent on to Oxford.

After the War, ‘The Camp’ as the collection of huts was known locally, was used for a relatively short time as a temporary POW clearing station (according to local knowledge, but not officially confirmed) and perhaps also as a displaced persons hostel. It was maintained on a caretaker basis until 1948, when it was taken over by the GPO and used for technical training.

It was finally closed in 1970.Like many other secret places, there is now no trace of it to be seen. The land was built on by developers in 1987 and is now a posh housing estate, called Prospect Close, opposite Love Row, near the bottom end of the village.

To find this cache will need a bit of preparation and the hint will be useless on the trail! To help you to sort out the decrypting have a Google for Vigenere cipher. The hint just gives the word lengths of the final script and the word length of the keyword. The keyword crops up several times in the description above.

So, in Station X style, here is how to get to the cache!

ZSRWL BCFHF MPRNA UYPIL GFRKA MALGZ CHEVZ LCKAM PGUVV EWPGL WFGBU KUCFK LVTSH VLNBX LVVVI PNWOI XNVLL MFGMQ KYFVX ASOXH PLMIK FDFBV GZZFV XHRXG NVKWA UJHYT VQFWF FSMEU RSIHL RMJSV LNBXL MJBFC UABKL MIKFG VOMAZ ZFVXE RYLMF NEVRD DIHJN HDMEX MQZGU VMWAE GIIAI AJKOE WSAKW GKHTR GFCMX ZGNWK RETOE LVVIW FZHZV TARCW RXXBU KUOTA MOUPP RVSPG JSWNT YE.

Please note that there is a theme of key-rings for this cache. Why? Because ciphers and key-rings like keys!

The container is a 1.1 litre ‘lock & lock’ plastic box. 16x11x7cms.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Sbhe sbhe gjb guerr frira guerr sbhe fvk gjb gjb guerr svir rvtug. Guerr ryrira guerr guerr svir guerr svir guerr frira svir svir svir svir sbhe sbhe svir guerr sbhe sbhe sbhe frira svir guerr svir svir svir svir sbhe. Guerr sbhe rvtug sbhe gjb guerr gjb sbhe svir guerr svir gjb sbhe sbhe guerr sbhe gjb guerr sbhe. Fvk svir guerr svir guerr sbhe avar. Ab ulcuraf. Xrl yratgu frira!

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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