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Alan Turing's Treasure
There may be buried silver around Shenley but there was definitely buried gold around
Whaddon, when a substantial hoard of coins was un¬earthed in 1849. The Lord of the Manor
tried to claim the lot but the wily locals had already sold most of them to bullion dealers!
Photo courtesy of Bucks County Museum.

Sunday Citizen September 8, 2002

I was considering recently how useful - and interesting - it would be if we could travel backwards in time to revisit significant events and places. One local event particularly worth revisiting would be where the Dickens Mr Turing buried his stash of silver ingots.

As one of Bletchley Park's indispensable eccentrics in 1940, alarmed by the prospect of an imminent invasion, Alan Turing converted his financial assets into silver bars, loaded them aboard on an old pram and trundled off into the Shenley countryside.

There he buried them, until the time came to retrieve his hoard, which was somewhat difficult since he'd completely forgotten their whereabouts!

In fact there they may still quite possibly lie, unless with all the current housing developments, some fortunate labourer has made a happy discovery and disappeared hot foot to sunnier climes. One labourer who did make a lucky strike was part of a gang during World War Two putting in a new water service pipe at 35 Bletchley Road, a house then owned by the Bletchley Co-op.

Digging inside the pantry floor, he removed about six tiles when he chanced upon a tin box which, when opened, was found to contain around £300 in gold and silver coins.

At the consequent Treasure Trove, held at Bletchley police station, the coins were sent for examination by Mr Eldred, a jeweller of Leon Avenue, who declared that they dated back from 1816 to 1881.

They were then sent on for further investigation at Hendon Police Laboratory and since no relatives of the previous house owner could be traced, it was decided that the finder should be entitled to 80 per cent of the value.

In the event he received £647 which he duly shared with his workmate, further donating £10 to the tenant of the house. Perhaps his financial sense was that possessed by one of Bletchley's earlier labourers who, having amassed quite a mint through several hours of arduous overtime, spent the lot in the hostelries of Little Brickhill.

Totally paralytic, he then secured himself a homewards lift in a police vehicle - a wheelbarrow commandeered by the local Pc, who dutifully trundled him all the way to a cell at Fenny Stratford police station!