The small town of Bletchley, situated in South East England, is possibly most famous for being the home place of Station X during the second world war where Alan Turing and his fellow code breakers cracked the German Enigma machine.
For those more interested in their music than history, Bletchley is also home to the world famous Marshall Amplification factory. Marshall moved to the current site in the mid 1980's after Jim Marshall was presented with the Queen's Award for Export Achievement in 1984 and the company needed to again expand to a bigger site.
Living not too far from the factory, I have on a few occasions walked past the glass fronted building with a collection of its famed amps on display, never to see another soul enter or leave. I've always thought to myself, one day I'll go in there. Just to have a look. So... last week I was walking past the factory again and decided I would just go in. Upon entering the lobby, I was quite surprised after chatting with the friendly woman on reception who told me I could just have a look around the entrance area and take some photos of what seemed to be like a small 'Marshall museum'.
In the lobby area is a raised balcony area and a few glass cabinets filled with all sorts of paraphernalia that would appeal to any person with an interest in their rock history. There are a few guitars from artists famed for using Marshall gear, and a whole load of amps, some signed including by Jim Marshall himself. As well as all of the fascinating stuff on display, they also have a range of merchandise and collectables that you can buy straight from them, so as I couldn't walk home with another amp, I had to leave with a Marshall t-shirt and Marshall 50th anniversary whiskey glass!
After looking into it a bit further it seems if you are a bit of a geek that's interested in seeing how the amps are built, you can possibly get yourself yourself a tour of the factory. Or, if like me you are just in the area, pop in to say hi and buy yourself a t-shirt!