Uncover cryptic wartime messages at Scarborough library

This story was published 27 August 2021

Visitors to Scarborough library will be shown an insight into the world of intelligence and pioneering innovation in a unique exhibition launching next month.

Dr David Abrutat

The library will house the history of GCHQ in Scarborough – the oldest continually operated signals intelligence site in the world.

Library visitors can discover, among other contributions, how the intelligence and cyber agency helped to keep Britain safe during the First and Second World Wars by intercepting and deciphering enemy messages, as well as locating enemy naval vessels. 

County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “To house such a unique exhibition is a great coup for Scarborough library. Our staff and volunteers have bounced back from a very difficult 18 months so we are delighted to be able to welcome visitors through our doors once again.

“Our libraries are proving to be a community hub, drawing in new visitors with an exciting exhibition which showcases the town’s vast history. I would encourage as many people as possible to attend the launch and visit the exhibition over the next few months.”

The exhibition will be unveiled at 6pm on Thursday, September 9, in the company of Scarborough-born GCHQ Departmental Historian, Dr David Abrutat, who will share the history of GCHQ in Scarborough. Tickets are £3 and can be purchased at the library or over the phone (01609 536602) with proceeds going to the library. 

A free drop-in family event will be held at the library from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, September 11. Visitors can get involved in spy related activities, look around the exhibition and claim a unique top secret library card.

Entry to the exhibition is free. For more information please contact the library by emailing Scarborough.Library@northyorks.gov.uk or visit Scarborough library.