Secret sandwiches

In the UK, tabloid newspaper the Daily Mirror ran an article (from Manchester Evening News) about GCHQ’s outstation at Manchester which is based at Heron House on Albert Square (where it moved in 2019). The author seemed fascinated with the fact that the office is situated above Gregg’s, a well-known sandwich shop. He should perhaps have been rather more worried that it is also above a Chinese restaurant.

The office, although there is no signage, is not secret (you can find the address with a quick Google search), it has a press briefing room and even hosts school trips. The article revealed that sixty children from St Margaret’s Primary School had paid a visit to the office on 14th November. They came for lessons in codebreaking as part of the launch for the agency’s new puzzle book “Puzzles for Spies”.

GCHQ says that the reason the office is in Manchester is because of the “strong universities” and the growing tech sector in the region. Also, the director of the office, “Liz”, said: “…we can be a little more friendly and invite people in.”

Well, if you are going to spy on people, a little bit of PR with small children can’t hurt.

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