How to be a spy: late night at the Churchill War Rooms

Briefing at the Churchill War Rooms

I sat down and wrote a bucket list for London, not really a finite list to do before I go*, but just something to keep me motivated and engaged over winter. At the top of the list was to attend a late night at one of the museums.

Late nights are when the big museums (V&A, Science Museum et al) stay open till 10pm and it’s just for adults. There are special activities, a bar and entertainment to make it worth the extra ticket price (although the fact that there are no screaming children around is worth paying extra in itself). So when I saw a tweet about the late night at the Churchill War Rooms I got a little excited, when I saw that it was spy themed I got a lot excited.

Thankfully I knew the perfect man for the job, so off we went to Westminster. We were greeted by a WW2 army officer, who gave us out mission cards and a fierce warning about talking to the enemy…trust no one.

First mission (not on the card but I feel it was so obvious that we didn’t need to be told) was to find the bar. Champagne in hand we were ready to start on the official missions.

First was to find some facts in the Churchill Museum, very important war winning facts of course. We were given a devise that would beep faster the closer we were getting to our target – we put our hearts into it and found the Gladstone Box in record time. Man we are good at this spy thing. We then were able to wander round the museum – which by the way is freakin cool and has all sorts of audiovisual props to make history hugely entertaining and real.

Churchill Museum

Then onto mission number two. After sitting through a lecture/play about training to become a spy we were given some basic code cracking training. See if you can figure out the code below.

Lastly was the bit that we were looking forward to the most…the bomb. That right, on a casual Friday night in London two trainee spys were locked in a small room and given 3minutes to defuse a bomb. Judging by all the blood splatter on the wall there were many unfortunates who had not quite made it.

But in 1minute and 29 seconds we achieved greatness (or at the very least didn’t achieve splatter), we solved the ten clues and figured out which coloured wires to disconnect in what order. I always knew I would be an awesome spy.

Once our mission was complete we were then able to wander the museum, champagne in hand. We marvelled at the map rooms, giggled at Churchills chamber pot and wondered how the hell they poured that much concrete in secret.

It was a brilliantly fun night and well worth paying the extra few pounds to experience. I am for sure going to keep my eyes peeled for other museum late nights – and now that I’m a spy spotting them shouldn’t be hard at all.

*as if I could leave London any time soon!

IWM Mission Card

3 Comments

  1. Jade
    October 27, 2013 / 12:33 pm

    This sounds really cool! I have been meaning to check out the Imperial War Museum but this one sounds even better!

    • runawaykiwi@gmail.com
      October 30, 2013 / 9:27 pm

      I’m waiting for the IWM to be completely finished with the referb before I go back – it is an amazing place!

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