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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Cheltenham's latest tourist attraction

Last Sunday night, a gang of "vandals" created this in Cheltenham. Allegedly it was Banksy
Cheltenham is a particularly apt place to do this as it is home to GCHQ. In years gone by, its very location was a secret with locals referring to "The Foreign Office" and the premises themselves having a sign "Joint Technical Language Service". If you knew someone who worked at the "Ministry of Certain Things" and asked them what they did, they had a standard soporific spiel about doing research and development in the field of communications on behalf of HM government".

Over the years, it became more open.  In the1980s, staff were allowed to say they were in "H" "J" or some other division although they couldn't disclose the purpose of their divisions. Nowadays, everybody knows they're in the business of intercepting communications and preventing others from doing the same.

If you were picky, you'd complain that if they do eavesdrop on telephone boxes, it's a big waste of public money and extremely boring  because hardly anyone uses phone boxes any more. Also, reel to reel tape recorders as depicted in the mural are rather dated.

As a piece of art, it's bang up to date.

That's why there seems to be a small crowd around it most of the day

People pose for photographs
I'm a bit disappointed that the local Tourist Information are ignoring it.

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