- News & Special Offers
- What's On
- Things to Do
- Tourist Information & Bedford Central Box Office
- About Bedford
- Where to Eat
- Getting Here
- Where To Stay
- Creative Bedfordshire
- Invest in Bedford
Get the latest guides and information from the Bedford area.
Spy Capital of Britain
by Stephen Bunker
Printed in hardback 240 pages
Published 27/04/2007 by Bedford Chronicles
Available from Bedford Tourist Information Centre and all good book shops priced £19.99
Bedfordshire born and bred, Stephen Bunker was educated in Luton, read Politics and Modern History at the University of Manchester, and received the degree of Ph.D. from University College London. The author of a number of books on Bedfordshire's history, he has formerly worked at Luton Museum, the University of Luton and is currently an Associate Lecturer with the Open University. He specializes in modern British history.
Perhaps by accident or because of its central location amidst the airfields of East Anglia and its easy access to London, Bedfordshire became the focal point for secret counter measures against the Nazi war machine. Black propaganda, code breaking, radio surveillance, the training and delivery of secret agents became a round the clock activity. Within the county there were so many sites involved in covert operations, espionage and subterfuge, that one modern-day military commander described Bedfordshire as the “spy capital of Britain”. British Special Operations Executive (SOE) dispatched many hundreds of secret agents from Tempsford; Sefton Delmer established a secret radio station at Milton Bryon, broadcasting black propaganda programmes; Japanese language de-coders were trained in Bedford; whilst the listening station was at RAF Chicksands; and decoding was carried out at nearby Bletchley Park. Even some of the first irregular weapons of war, commissioned by the MOD department, code-named ‘Churchill’s Toy Shop’, were developed and tested in Bedford. Click here to view "Bedfordshire and the Secret War"
(This is a 4 MB file and may take a few moments to open)
Please click here to view the Bedford Airfield Trail