Alan's 'great patience' was not usually his most conspicuous characteristic, nor his approachability.
But Peter Hilton was in fact the fastest thinker of the new Fish group, and drew out the most rewarding aspects of the 'creative anarchy' that was Alan Turing.
It was pure joy to achieve something new, and show him, and have him grunt, gasp, brush back his hair, and exclaim, stabbing with his strange fingers, 'I see! I see!'
But there again, he began to be beset by the bureaucrats who wanted him to be in at a certain time and work till five o'clock and leave.
His procedure—and that of many others of us, let me say, not only he, who were really fascinated by the work—would be maybe to come in at midday and work until midnight the next day.
And then, the problem being essentially solved, go off and rest up and not come back for 24 hours perhaps ... they were getting much more work out of Alan Turing that way.
But, as I say, the bureaucrats came along and wanted forms to be filled in and wanted us to clock in, and so on.
Once he ordered a barrel of beer for the office, but it was 'disallowed'.
Such questions were trivial, but behind them lay more serious confrontations with the old mentality.
One day in 1942 he, Gordon Welch-man and Hugh Alexander were suddenly summoned to the Foreign Office and awarded 200 pounds each.
Alan told Joan that they could not be given decorations, so had been given money instead.
He probably found it more useful.