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Alan Machin: Tourism As Education
Home page: blogs, introductions, links to main pages
Berlin: Editing a Townscape
... and reading a city that has had many rebuilders
Making Sense of The Travel Learning Experience- 1
1 Information Streams
Making Sense of the Travel Learning Experience - 2
Some basic theories
Back to Basics: Presentation given at the Cuba EduTourism Conference
The CETA Conference in Havana, Cuba, 8/9 November 2010
About the author
Comments - CV - photos
At the heart of the tourist experience
Learning through Landscapes
Exploring Oxfordshire (and a bit of Gloucestershire!)
The Environment As Data: Building New Theories For Tourism
How tourists relate to places
Sail Gives Way to Steam
A return visit discovers just how much has been achieved in this iconic restoration
Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth Reenactment
Visits to Leicester and the battlefield event, 2013
Along The Way
Recollections and Reflections of 60+ Years' Learning about the World and its Ways
On the Edge of the New World
Shaping New England
Exploring Holderness in East Yorkshire; October 2012
Past Historic
Graf Zepplin, Spain 1968, OS History, Much Wenlock Olympics, Chatham Dockyard, Hawes Tourism, Colonial Williamsburg,
A Summer of Travelling / Matthew Starr
Three months' backpacking in Africa, Asia and Australia
East Anglia
The Broads, Pensthorpe natural history, Radar Museum, Caister Lifeboat Service and more!
A Richer Earth
Discoveries in the landscape and attractions of Shropshire
Blog Index Page
Blog pages from 2009 listed
From Strip Map to Sat Nav
'Finding the way' aids to exploration
Showcasing the World
How the Tourist Microcosm took centre stage
Doing A Dissertation
Notes to help students preparing their proposals
The Japanese Tsunami Destruction at First Hand
Sarah and Tom Wadsworth saw for themselves
Showcases: Examples
The range and variety of tourism's focal points examined
Jigsaw: Frameworks of Knowledge
The tourist jigsaw puzzle of - knowledge
Books and other works useful in studying tourism as education
Tourism's Educational Origins: Part 2
The development of tourism as education, 1845 -
Tourism's Educational Origins: Part 1
Tourism's educational origins and management
Impressions of Tourism in Cuba
Thoughts on having seen some of the country myself
Captain James Cook: North Yorkshire Days
Tracing the early life of Britain's greatest maritime explorer
Hunting the Hound of the Baskervilles
Tracking down places that inspired the famous detective story and moulded Dartmoor's image
Exploring the Idea of Dark Tourism
What is it? Is it a useful idea?
Talking to Tourists
Visitor interpretation - guide books, visitor centres and other media
Shades of Light and Dark in the Garden of England
An exploration in East Sussex and Kent, June/July 2010
Hunting the Gladiator and the Gecko
A thirteen-year search for a wartime adventure
Steam Up For A Famous Film's Birthday Party
The Railway Children weekend on the Worth Valley line raises questions about heritage presentations
Anne-Marie Rhodes: Making a Difference in South East Asia
Leeds Met graduate of '07 describes her activities
Discoveries in Northumberland, April 2010
Alnwick Gardens; Winter's Gibbet; Holy Island, Cragside, Wallington Hall
Discoveries in the Midlands, March 2010
Bletchley Park National Codes and Cipher Centre; and the Rollright Stones
Alan Machin's Blog - April 2010
The development of tourism as education continued
Jigsaw Puzzle!
The Adventure of the Timely Tourist
Leaders Into The Field
People who inspired everyone to explore
Alan Machin's blogs - February and March 2010
Postings on the history tourism as education - redirection
Alan Machin's Blog - January 2010
Tourist photography and souvenirs
Earlier front-page blog postings - January 2010 onwards
Archived after being on the Home Page
News from higher education and - beyond
The Development of Educational Tourism
Key dates in the development of educational tourism
Alan Machin's Blog - December 2009
Christmas Quiz and other postings
Analysing Heritage Tourism
Ideas and perspectives on a hugely important sector
Alan Machin's Blog - November 2009
Visitors' Views of Stonehenge, West Sussex - and other Postings
Are Universities Losing Their Way?
Reflections having retired
Teaching Tourism At Leeds Met
Remembering the Best
Alan Machin's Blog - October 2009
Thoughts about university life and discovery by travel
Alan Machin's Blog - September 2009
Further postings about a trip last month to the USA, and about higher education
Alan Machin's Blog - August 2009
Postings about a trip this month to the USA
Alan Machin's Blog - July 2009
The Story So Far reaches the summer
Alan Machin's Blog - June 2009
The Story So Far looks back on seventeen years at Leeds Met
Alan Machin's Blog - May 2009
Another month of The Story So Far
Alan Machin's blog - April 2009
Yet more of the Story So Far
Alan Machin's blog - March 2009
More of The Story So Far
Alan Machin's Blog - February 2009
The Story So Far - pioneers, people and places
Alan Machin's Blog: January 2009
The Story So Far .... first postings of '09
Alan Machin's Blog: December 2008
The Story So Far .... latest postings
Alan Machin's Blog - November '08
The Story So Far.... continued
Alan Machin's Blog: October 2008
The Story So Far....
No Place Like Rome
The eternal city with the eternal tourists
Charleston, South Carolina
A photo essay about a fine historic city
Idealog - December 2007
Ideas, notes and comments
Idealog - November 2007
Ideas, notes and comments
The Educational Origins of Tourism
Discussion paper
Idealog - October 2007
Coton Military Cemetery; Education and Tourism; Chatham Maritime; Dickens World; Quiz Answers; Tourist Guides; Mediation In Tourism
Idealog - September 2007
Plane Paradox;Tour Guiding; Where in the World?; Do Tourism Students Know Where They Are?; Leeds Met's Wow!; Sea Harrier; Scarborough and Tourism As Education; Doing A Dissertation; Types of Tourist; A Media Lens; Cost of Travelling Alone; Risk of Bias?
Idealog - August 2007
A People Industry; Heritage Interpretation; Lud's Church; Tourists Go Home!; Stone Gappe YHA; Insight Guides; Eyewitness Guides; Bramhope Tunnel; Elizabethan Progress; Information Quality Matrix
Idealog - July 2007
Hidden Heroes, Health Tourism, Holme Fen Posts; Harrogate (again); Whitby Abbey; Dramatic Interpretation; Harrogate Interpretation, Attractions and Royal Hall
Idealog - June 2007
Christian Pilgrimage; Cincinnati Museums Centre; The Coming of the Guide Book; Talking to Tourists - Media, Stages of the Visit, The Service Journey; Tourism's Missing Link; The Final Call; SATuration level; Halifax's Edwardian Window on the World
Idealog - May 2007
Martin and Osa Johnson, Wensleydale Creamery, Malham Tarn, Thomas Cook, Northern Ireland's Tourism Rebuild, Jamestown Festival Park, Cite des Sciences
Idealog - April 2007
The Promenade Plantee, The Jardin des Plantes, Environmental Data, Victorian Beauty Spot Rediscovered, Jamestown, The Anglers' Country Park, Children's Museums, Fairburn Ings
Idealog - March 2007
A Sense of the Past- The 'Amsterdam', The Outdoor Classroom, Film-Induced Tourism, Making Tracks for the Coast and Country, Pictures, Context and Meaning, Classics-on-Sea, Hi Hi Everyone!, Dark Side of the Dream, Holodyne - The Action Cycle
Idealog - February 2007
Don't Go There!, Space Tourism, The Crystal Cathedral, New Books on Tourism, Dark Tourism - Undercliffe Cemetery, Showcase - The Louvre, A Class Act, First Impressions Count, Postal Pleasures, Canaletto in Venice, Serpent Mound, Capsule Culture etc
Idealog - January 2007
Capsule Culture,Seaside Style, Poble Espanyol, Mallorca, Edgar Dale, Children's Holiday Homes, Representations of Reality, Outdoor Education in Germany, Baedeker Guides, Geography Textbooks, Environmental Data Theory etc
Idealog - December 2006
Writers on Landscape, Story Books, The Deep, Flour Power and the Archers,Showcases: Grand Tour, Halifax Piece Hall, Books of Concern about Tourism, Tourist Traces, Tourist Typologies, The Growth of Educational Tourism, The Field Studies Council, etc
Idealog - November 2006
A blog of ideas, comments and notes
Travel To Understand: Belfast
Telling the stories of troubled times
World Quiz 2010
Geography with a tourism angle
The Monterey Bay Aquarium
An outstanding educational facility in California
Chicago: Tourism Re-Imaging
A closer view of an iconic city
Colonial Williamsburg
A Virginia history showcase
A Social Club Outing By Train, 1935
How to do Scotland in 30 hours flat
Going Dutch
Presenting the past in the Netherlands
Keukenhof: Business is Blooming
Using tourism to promote an industry
A View of Italy for the City
Trentham Gardens Revived
A Case Study in Heritage Management
A curious tale of misleading publicity
Old Rice Farm
The story of the house in the 'holler'
Perfection in Paradise: The Eden Project
New page being added: The Eden Project's design for success
Escaping From Slavery: Facing Our Past
The US National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Prague Tourist Shows
Outstanding showcase attractions in the city
Retracing the Steps: Tourism as Education
ATLAS Conference paper given in Finland, 2000
Tourism and Historic Towns: The Cultural Key
A background paper for a Council of Europe Conference
The Social Helix
Visitor Interpretation as a Tool for Social Development, 1989
Malta Residential, 14-21 Feb 2006 - Page 1
Reports and Pictures
Malta Residential, 14-21 Feb 2006 - Page 2
Photos and reports of Friday 17 Feb onwards
Malta Residential, 14-21 February 2006 - Page 3
Reports and pictures from Sunday, 19 February onwards
Tourism Alumni Reunion, 8 March 2003
Leeds tourism students reunion 2003
World Geography Quiz 1
A test of your knowledge
The Adventure of the Timely Tourist
The answers
Tall Ships Race 2010 Converged on Hartlepool
A major event-based boost for tourism in the town
Plymouth: From the Tamar to the Sea
Starting point for explorations round the globe
Plimoth Plantation
A reconstruction of the Mayflower settlers' village of the 1620s on the north east coast of North America
World Geography Quiz 2010 - Answers
Geography with a tourism angle
World Geography Quiz - Answers
Christmas Quiz 2009 - Answers
A day in the city including the Botanic Garden
Tourist Showcases
Examples from around the world

Discoveries in the Midlands, March 2010

The Rollright Stones


Prehistoric stones have a fascination for people. It’s easy to understand why. Their age makes them as venerable as lumps of rock can be. Frequently their sheer size (like the Devil’s Arrows at Boroughbridge) makes one marvel at the labour and ingenuity of the people who hauled them overland and positioned them upright or in crude arches. When they are in complicated groups like Stonehenge their mysterious arrangements spanning thousands of years of construction make them objects of great speculation. They invite everyone to have a theory about their meaning and purpose with little chance of being right because there is – so far at least – no means of proving them wrong.

The Rollright Stones on the border between Oxfordshire and Warwickshire are a good example. There are two groups, known as the King’s Men and the Whispering Knights and a single stone called the King’s Stone. Those names illustrate the folklore that has grown up around them. The oldest are the Whispering Knights (middle picture above) with four tall stones around a fallen capstone. Apparently a burial chamber with the covering earth eroded away, they leaning-inwards stones gave rise to ideas that these were knights plotting against a king. A witch was supposed to have turned them in to stone. The single stone (not shown above) called the King’s Stone was also the work of the witch who is said to have turned the plotted-against king into limestone, and who then went on to do the same for a circle of his knights who were discussing his chances of ruling England. They evidently had different ways of deciding who would run the country in those days. Among the genuine pieces of history connected to the Stones is their name: I always have to remember that it is nothing to do with Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones but derives from “Hrolla-landriht” meaning the land of Hrolla.

In reality the stones are of very different dates. Oldest are the Whispering Knights, somewhere between 4,000 and 3,500BC. The 77 King’s Men date from 2,500 to 2,000BC and the King Stone from around 1,800 to 1,500 BC. That circle formed by the King’s Men is, by the way, 33 metres in diameter. There were once 105 stones but many were robbed for other uses. The Whisperers form a group occupying two square metres. There is a large chunk of missing material from the King Stone which is said to be due to people breaking off bits which were supposed to act as lucky charms against illness and injury.

We were at the stones a few days ago when spring was struggling to make up its mind that it should have arrived. The winter had been long, the daffodils were late but the sunshine broke through in between me photographing the stone circle and the two smaller locations. The Whisperers is graced by an interpretation panel, courtesy of the Rollright Trust which now owns and cares for the stones and the patches of land on which they stand. Maybe they will provide similar interpretation for the others. It was late morning and by the time we were completing our visit there had been around thirty others calling in – quite a mixed group of old and young, home-grown and overseas visitors. Some looked like students with a course to be followed. There was a lively family group, possibly from Eastern Europe, who asked me to take their photo with their camera. They came and went quickly but had clearly been excited to make the visit. The two young women in the photo with my wife above were halfway round an AA country walk – the guide book being shown told them which paths to follow and what they were seeing over a walk of several miles. In fact the site is also on the Jurassic Way running for 88 miles between nearby Banbury and Stamford in Lincolnshire.

Back in 1978 Tom Baker was filmed here for a Dr Who adventure in time and space. Visitors can drive and walk to the Rollright Stones and other places nearby for free in their own exploration of history and geography.



Bletchley Park - the Bombe


Bletchley Park was once a state secret but is now an international showcase. Its most famous occupant met his death in depression over what would now be considered an irrelevancy. Yet he was an outstanding pioneer within his field and is now considered one of the computer world immortals.

The house and grounds known as Bletchley Park lies in a town of the same name and is part of the Milton Keynes urban area. During World War II it was Station X, the headquarters of the government’s operation to break German military codes and crack the thousands of messages that were transmitted by the enemy. Several thousand people worked in austere conditions round the clock under conditions of absolute secrecy. The Germans were using a special coding device known as the Enigma machine, first used commercially but then adopted throughout their military forces. Thanks to the Polish Cipher Bureau who had broken codes used by the machine before the outbreak of war the British were able to understand much about the principles of how it worked.

The difficulty that was presented by the machine was that messages could be intercepted by listening stations in Britain but would takes several weeks to decode because of the highly complex variations in settings available on the machine. These meant that the way messages were coded was hardly ever the same, being changed by the operators daily at midnight. So a method of working through the possible permutations at very high speed was needed. The result was the use of an electro-mechanical testing machine – not a computer as such but a device designed to work out which settings had been used by Enigma machines each day. It was designed by a team working under Alan Turing with important principles built in suggested by Gordon Welchman.

Turing was an outstanding mathematician (as was Welchman) who used the Polish ideas as a foundation but rapidly developed a design for an advanced machine that he called The Bombe. The Poles had used a device called a Bomba (‘bomb’) in order to break the codes they encountered from the Germans. Later, Turing devised many other methods for cryptanalysis. After the war he worked at the National Physical Laboratory and then at the University of Manchester. Among many other contributions to his field of work he proposed the Turing Test, which was a measure of the success of artificial intelligence. But Turing was homosexual. At that time that could mean prosecution, imprisonment and social rejection. After investigations and so-called medical treatment Turing took his own life.

Bletchley Park is associated very strongly with Alan Turing, his work, achievements and life story. It has a range of wartime buildings around the late Victorian mansion that is its focal point. A trust has taken on the task of caring for and finding uses for its many buildings. Now, the wartime story of the code-breakers is only one of its main themes as it houses the National Museum of Computing as well. That Museum has a wide collection of main frame and desk top computers plus devices such as slide rules and calculators that were used before modern computers existed. The greatest treasure is probably the rebuilt version of Colossus, the first digital, programmable computer, which also started life as a machine to decode high-level German messages sent by another encoder, the Lorenz machine. There are also exhibitions about Sir Winston Churchill, cinema shows, toys, a period garage and the Bletchley Park post office.

The photos at the start of this posting show a statue of Alan Turing with an Enigma machine and a recently-completed working replica of a Bombe as used to analyse Enigma settings.


Colossus Computer
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