Cracked! New code-breaking exhibition ready to open at The Word in South Shields

Visitors are being given the chance to test out their code breaking skills in the latest exhibition to open at The Word.

By Lisa Nightingale
Thursday, 07 February, 2019, 05:00
New code exhibition at The World, Cracked. Head of Culture Tania Robinson with Sheridan Design Jon Tennent

Cracked! showcases the varying ways people communicated in secret to pass on messages to each other throughout the years

The cryptic journey starts with the earliest examples of codes and ciphers, looking at methods of secret communication used during war times before exploring how modern technology uses code to allow people to communicate safely today.

New code exhibition at The World, Cracked. Sheridan Design Jon Tennent

Visitors will have the chance to test out their own code breaking skills using a Caesar Wheel as well attempt to try to communicate a message to friends using Flag Semaphore at the Code Station.

Ciphers and codes that have remained unsolved and still a mystery to cryptologists, are also highlighted as part of the exhibition.

It also features military communications such as Morse Code and the famous Engima machine, which heralded the emergence of computing.

Jon Ternent, Head of Design at Sheridan Design, said: “The further we delved into this subject, the more fascinating the facts we uncovered.

“Particularly, we were amazed at just how sophisticated some of the early forms of codes were. So much so, in fact, a few have still not been solved to this day.

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“We think anyone who enjoys solving puzzles and perhaps giving their brain a gentle workout will find something interesting and intriguing in this exhibition”.

The exhibition launches on Saturday and will run until June 2.

It includes touring exhibition When the Bugle Calls.

The DLI Collection explains the way bugles and other instruments were used to relay instructions to soldiers on battlefields and keep morale alive in dark and dangerous times.

Tania Robinson, Head of Culture at The Word, said it provides a fascinating glimpse into the secret world of codes, from those used by the ancient Greeks to the tricks used by modern-day internet hackers.

She said: “Some, like the WW2 codebreaking Enigma machine are obviously incredibly complex but actually some of the very simplest codes are extremely effective, too.

“And this means the exhibition has something to offer visitors of all ages with plenty to learn and discover – and even the chance to put their own puzzle solving skills to the test.”