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Celebrating Invisible Women of MK – May




Margaret Sale, founding member of Save Bletchley Park campaign

Margaret Sale (1932-2020)

Born in 1932, Margaret trained as a school teacher in the post-war years and brought up a family with her husband, the late Tony Sale who later led the rebuilding of Colossus the wartime codebreaking machine.

Margaret’s interest in Bletchley Park and cryptography was awakened by talking to guests at a 1992 gathering of Bletchley Park veterans when redevelopment of the site seemed imminent. She then became a founding member of the “Saving Bletchley Park” campaign and joined the board of Bletchley Park Trust in 1994, serving for six years. In addition to leading some of the tours, she undertook fundraising, set up lecture series and conferences, and even organised weddings in the mansion. As a founding volunteer and from 2011, a trustee of the National Museum of Computing she was a lead player in saving Bletchley Park and establishing the museum. She was also president of the Museum’s supporters club for a time.

Volunteering her time and boundless energy free of charge she is generally recognised as the Park’s longest-serving volunteer and became affectionately known as Mrs Bletchley Park. Right up until a few months before her death she could be found most weekdays engaging visitors in the Colossus and Tunny galleries at the Museum.

In 2017, she received a Point of Light award from the prime minister in recognition of her outstanding contributions as a volunteer. In the same year, she was also recognised as one of the most inspirational women in Milton Keynes and in 2012 she received a Sunday Telegraph/Waitrose British Volunteer Award.

Sadly Margaret died during the pandemic so was not able to have the send- off she so richly deserved but her legacy lives on in the volunteers now serving Bletchley Park.