Infotourist Goodbyes

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Infotourist Goodbyes

We've had the pleasure of some great listeners over the 23 years of the show. Here are a few of the comments received as the programme came to a graceful conclusion.

From Andrew Farrell

This is a sad day! It seems like forever that Mike's been on the air and he will be sorely missed! He is literally irreplaceable.
I understand that you cannot make your recordings publicly available for copyright reasons. What would be the chances of getting a copy on disc for personal listening?! I would reimburse you any costs of course. It would be a lovely memory to have of the last few years of infotourist.

I hope we can all keep in touch as a community - it would be a shame to lose the shared connection we have built up.

From Les Wylde
The end of Infotourist is going to leave a big hole for us all....what will I do between 9 and 10 pm now? More than anything I will miss infotourist when I am in Wilderswil, especially those weather reports alowing us to decide whether or not to walk in the mountains the next day.

Mike your show was simply the best and you will be missed so much. I hope you have a long and enjoyable retirement. Thanks for the immense pleasure you have given us all.

From Audrey and Dave
Is it really all those years since we first tuned into Radio BeO's InfoTourist?!

It seems just like yesterday!  After over-nighting with the caravan we were south bound on the A6 toward Interlaken.  Dave was fiddling around with the car radio when these 'English' sounding voices came over the airwaves.  It was in the days when Mike and Rosemarie had the early morning programme.

From that day on 88.8FM was, on our summertime visits, a fixture on both the car and caravan radio, tuning in daily, even on a Sunday evening, for information on what was happening in our beloved Bernese Oberland.  The weather forecasts proved invaluable in determining our daily excursions - they would decide which end of the BOB we would board i.e.  if the weather was better in Grindy then we would get on the rear section of the train and vice versa for Lauterbrunnen!

January 1992, being a treat for Audrey's birthday, was our first winter holiday staying at the Hotel Beau-Site in Unterseen.  88.8 was again set on the hotel radio for our daily 'fix'.

With the advent of Internet streaming 'Radio BeO Live!' was added to our favorites!  Mike and Rosemarie had been joined by Carlyboy and they kept us up-to-date with events in the Jungfrau Region.  Mike's voice was always very soothing after a hard days work.  So much so that we were lulled to The Bernese Oberland each evening!  And those quizzes - what prizes - wunderbar!!!  Oh how we miss those 'frenzied' surfing sessions!

One of our treasured and everlasting Oberland memories is that of visiting the Radio BeO studios to see Mike, and not forgetting the lovely Rosemarie, on Jungfrau Marathon day in September 2008.  Even though the schedule was hectic that morning the 'dynamic duo' showed their true professionalism even finding time to give us 'tourists in paradise' travel tips 'off air'!  Also, Mike played, without any requests, our most favourite music!!!

Mike, you will be missed by everyone!!!  But most of all enjoy your well earned 'giving-up-work'.  You will now have time to enjoy ALL those football broadcasts, 'live' on TV, and not have to rely on  keeping those recorded scores secret anymore.

With all best wishes for a long, happy and healthy retirement.

From Alan Wells & Sue Bundy

What a comfort and fun this has been over the years. How you will be missed, thanks for all the hours and information, there will be a big hole in the Oberland.

From Martin, Ria and family
It was in May, some 7-8 years ago, we were in our caravan on the camping place "near lake Thun", and the rain made us put on the radio, trying to start understanding Swiss German, when suddenly in the evening there was this english hour; and so we got to know InfoTourist and Mike Parkin. Very quickly I was addicted, the first time when answering the quiz, I thought he wouldn't mention me, so I just signed "Martin from Holland", and that is what it stayed since then. The quiz and the requests were something to stay home and awake for, and although it was not for the prices, they were great to receive, (years of calendars still on the walls in my son's room!). And the show was highly interactive, so often sending just an email resulted in a reaction over the air. The studio visits were very exciting and big fun, and the InCrowd became our best friends, so organising gettogethers in the middle of summer was just a small step but ever so much fun.
We have learned so much about BeOland, by the tourist items, and the special recordings by Carl (and Monty Marmot) over and over again!
So Mike, thanks for a wonderful time, which is carved in our hearts as a great memory forever, and for Carl: thanks for all the effort you put in it and for the stage you created with your website and everything you did around it! So please accept all the best regards "down from Holland"!

From Liz and Rod
Rod and I began listening in 1991 when we found you on our very first visit, keeping us abreast with news and information in English. I particularly remember hearing news on the radio in Swiss German, understanding bits of it and then Mike came on and it all made sense!!! A valuable programme of news, weather and information that became a daily ritual for the Cole family in our caravan, which often influenced our holiday activities.
However more importantly, Mike you have kept me company, over the internet, especially in the last 7 years since Rod has been working away from home. The evenings have been made so much more bearable and less lonely with your company. The quizzes in particular made me feel as though I was in touch with a number of people and not just at home on my own. I will really miss this connection. The prizes that dropped through the post were a lovely bonus especially the calendars, which I put in the office and have become regular talking points and have also been instrumental in getting some of my colleagues to the Bernese Oberland for their holidays.
We have also enjoyed our visits to the studio, the boys (and I!) were thrilled to take part in the show the first time we visited. For them it was the first and only experience of a radio studio.
I am sure Rod will add to this page of memories as I will have left things out. 
Thanks you so much Mike and have a fantastic retirement. I will miss you.

From Radio BeO ( translated from the BeO Zytig magazine)
The latest edition of the quarterly Radio BeO Zytig has a couple of goodbyes to Mike. You can download the magazine here or read my somewhat poor translation below.
Radio BeO's studio boss writes in the December Zytig;-
Dear Mike
I will never forget our first encounter. It was towards the end of 1986, at a public Radio BeO launch presentation in Spiez, along with Paul Gunter and Thomas Morgenthaler. The event was well attended event and afterwards when most people were already gone, you came to me and said: 'Hello, my name is Mike Parkin' If you're interested I've got a lot of singles and LPs you can use to get started and maybe I could help you out with my knowledge of music.
Of course I was interested, even excited; because with a new radio station unexpectedly an incredible Geschenkgemacht(Sorry any ideas? Carl): here was a 'man of music' with many records!  The rest is BeO history- a unique history, a cooperation between Radio BeO and you. Mike, our radio has not only benefited from your immense musical knowledge, producing many of our music programmes, but you were also prepared to accept the assignment of presenting «BeO info tourist» in 1987. Since then you have built up a music library unique in the Switzerland: Thanks to you we can click on 750'000 tracks This is sensational! I know of no other private radio that has such an archive.
Your music library and your music knowledge is legendary and your music programmes with the many top-class guests  einTeil(?) the beautiful history of radio. you've had them all...
You have also done much for tourism in our region used: your «BeO info tourist» is unique in Switzerland and that you did it, over all the years, without missing a show over 7,400! is inexplicable to me. It's impossible to describe all your achievements here from the broadcasting and performances throughout the early Beo years, to all our guests and all that we have jointly produced, broadcast to entertain our audience; This was obvious in our 14 hours working days 7 days a week. Of course, we have had plenty of laughter too  remember the show when I got a laughter attack?
You have been there for Radio BeO since the beginning, but we all understand that your decsion to stop after 24 years.  As you say Mike, everything has an end, but I also add that each end is the start of something else. Your new beginning is your retirement in the next year, one you have more than earned; And although we're glad that that you will stay connected to Radio Beo, we all wish you well and that in the future you find more time for yourself.
Thank you on behalf the whole team - today for all you have done over the past 24 years. You are, and remain, an important figure in the history of Radio Bernese Oberland, and I personally will never forget our many experiences together at Radio BeO. For the coming years  I wish you happiness and good health; may you always remember you BeO time with a smile.
Take care
Martin Mürner

From the BeO country music team (also translated from the Zytig)
For us the end of 2010 is the end of an era. Our long-standing BeO presenter with the distinctive voice and the sympathetic accent, Mike Parkin, is retiring. So we not only lose a distinctive Radio BeO identification figure, but also for lovers of country music, one profound expert in this musical genre.

From Stella and Les
Where do we start?
We first heard Mike when we were at Camping Aaregg, in our caravan, many years ago. We listened to his Infotourist programme (Do you remember him saying "60 minutes of 'touristic' information??!!). Our daughters, Suzanne and Michelle, made up their own version of 'Infotourist' on cassette (remember  'cassettes'?) and we took part in Mike's programmes, both at the old studio and the new one. Mike was always welcoming, warm and very calm and relaxed - a true professional!
We got to know Rosemarie (what a wonderful lady!) and made so many friends through the 'In-Crowd' - not only at the reunions, but in the UK (with Carl and family), in Switzerland (with Diana and 'Louisiana Pete' and, of course,our ex-pat friends in Wilderswil,Pat and Mick) and in Holland with Martin and family.
All of these friendships were created directly because of Mike and 'Infotourist'!
Another highlight of 'Infotourist' must be 'Quiz nights' - how many people across the world raced home, or took time out from work, to participate?
Mike has had an enormous influence, not only on those of us who regularly listen to 'Infotourist' (when at home or in BeOland) but also upon tourists who, on holiday and stumbling across Radio BeO, have benefited from his (and Carl's) news and warm, welcoming presentation.
The loss of 'Infotourist' and, in particular Mike's presentation, will indeed be a loss to the soundwaves of the Bernese Oberland- Mike, we shall miss you!

From Basil Thrift
Have visited my wifes home village of Brienz for the last 40 years we have always enjoyed your informative infotourist programme. What am I going to advise our friends/visitors to listen to of a Weekend when they go to the Axalp?  Thank you for all your interesting little facts about Switzerland you have broadcast over the years, enjoy your semi retirement!!!!
Good luck with the future

From Jane Atkinson
Fond memories of when Mike interviewed Julie and I for Infotourist in the summer of 1988 in the old studio (can't forget those eggboxes!)We were celebrating 20 years of first working in Wilderswil and Mike helped us with advice on visiting Luzern and mountain biking (then a new sport!)
Looking forward to chunky dunking in Lake Brienz with Mike in his retirement.(too late for skinny dipping as in 1968!)
Love and best wishes on your retirement,Mike
from Jane x

From Glyn and Pam
Glyn first listened to Mike in the late 1980's when on holiday in Interlaken and the weather forecast was always very welcome before a day in the Alps. More recently we have loved the quizs and request programmes via the internet and meeting Mike and guesting on Infotourist during our summer visits to Interlaken. We will really miss Infotourist, what will do with ourselves on a weekday evening? Have a happy retirement Mike, all our Love and best wishes for the future.

From Pete Wilson
Great Things About InfoTourist and Mike Parkin:
1-Hours of great radio listening
2-Quiz Day
3-Request Day
4-Great Looking Calendars
6-Studio Visits
7-Too much more to mention, thanks for the great times. Best wishes from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and we will all miss your more than you know. Take care, Louisiana Pete
The website of the Goss family.