Art & Culture

More than 40,000 visit Top Secret exhibition at Science & Industry Museum over 10 weeks

The major cybersecurity exhibition - curated by the Science Museum Group with the help of expert advisors at GCHQ - has attracted five-figure crowds since launching in May.

The Manc The Manc - 11th August 2021

Over 40,000 people have attended Manchester’s Science & Industry Museum to see the first major exhibition since the venue reopened following the national lockdown. 

Top Secret: From ciphers to cybersecurity has proven a smash-hit with crowds since being unveiled in May. The exhibition, which is the first to be held in the new £5m Special Exhibitions Gallery, has been curated by the Science Museum Group with the help of GCHQ – the UK’s intelligence and cyber agency. 

Designed to offer unprecedented insight into communications intelligence over 100 years, Top Secret is home to a wide range of never-before-seen objects, interactive puzzles, and artefacts from the codebreaking arena of Bletchley Park where Alan Turing worked in World War II. 

The exhibition is finally set to end on August 31 – meaning people have just a few more weeks left to discover Top Secret. 

Highlights of the exhibition include the Turing £50 note; a walkthrough the quiet suburban house which turned out to be the dwelling of two Soviet spies; the laptop infected with the WannaCry ransomware that threatened to bring down the NHS network in 2017, cipher machines used during WWII; and an encryption key used by Her Majesty The Queen.


Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum said: “It has been fantastic to be able to give our visitors the opportunity to have access to such incredible objects and stories, especially those that have never been seen before.

“It’s a great opportunity to unearth a century of historical and modern secrets in our new Special Exhibitions Gallery.


“There has been an amazing reaction to the exhibition from visitors, and we want to make sure that before the exhibition closes at the end of the month that as many people as possible get to experience [it] for themselves.”

Top Secret also tells the story of The Krogers – a Russian couple who secretly transmitted coded messages from an unassuming house in Ruislip / Image: Science & Industry Museum

Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security will run until Tuesday 31 August. 

The exhibition is free, but booking is required.


You can reserve a slot online or by calling 033 0058 0058. Visitors will also need to book a general admission ticket.

More information can be found on the Science & Industry Museum website.