We’re happy to share with you the news that Baroness Trumpington, a Bletchley Park veteran, has agreed to become Patron of Celebrating Bletchley Park, the two-day event all about World War II codebreaking and wartime life.
“Life only really began when I went to Bletchley”, said Baroness Trumpington describing her wartime work. But her time with the codebreakers was only one facet of a career that, so far, has included guesting on BBC2’s Have I Got News For You (aged 90), famously defending her honour with a hand gesture as she took part in a House of Lords debate, working as a junior minister, and being Mayor of Cambridge.
Jean Alys Barker, Baroness Trumpington, was born in 1922 to a British Army Major and his American wife. She left school at 15, going to Paris to study art and literature, before her wartime work commenced. First, she joined the Land Army, working on a farm belonging to Lloyd George (a family friend) before being recruited for Bletchley Park on account of her knowledge of the German language.
After ten years on Cambridge City Council, she became Mayor in 1971; and has served in many other public roles including as a justice of the peace, a member of both the board of visitors at Pentonville prison and the mental health review tribunal, and on the Airline Users’ Committee.
In 1980, she was created a life peer, taking as her title Baroness Trumpington of Sandwich in Kent. In the Lords, she joined the campaign to achieve a posthumous pardon for Alan Turing, with whom she served at Bletchley Park. Among many other appearances in popular media, she was a guest judge in the Great British Menu in 2014, and was elected Oldie Of The Year for 2012. She serves on the Privy Council, and was appointed Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2005.
She said recently:
Once you’ve made people laugh, they keep listening, in case you say something funny again. And I do firmly believe you have to say what you think.
The Baroness’s memoirs, Coming Up Trumps were published in 2014. We are delighted and honoured that she has become Patron of Celebrating Bletchley Park.
Celebrating Bletchley Park takes place in Firle, East Sussex, on 19th and 20th March 2016. Please explore this website for full details, and to purchase your tickets. Remember, we give substantial discounts for tickets bought before January 31st.