In Mailbox today: listening in Canada, listening in Australia and New Zealand, reactions to Radio Prague’s new website, Radio Prague’s socialist-era tuning signal. Listeners quoted: Christine Bresee, Henrik Klemetz, Jonathan Murphy, Donna Gilhooly, Andrea Lazzeri.

Thank you for tuning in to Mailbox, Radio Prague’s listeners’ letters programme. First up we have this e-mail from Christine Bresee from the Canadian city of Ottawa:

“It's 3:15 am and as usual I have CBC radio Overnight on with your program. I heard you mention a listener in Montreal, so thought I'd send a ‘hello, we're here’ from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. When I was in my teens backpacking around Europe in 1985, I stayed seven days in Prague and fell in love with the city and its generous people. While I have heard that the city has changed a lot since then, even still, it will always have a special place in my heart.”

We are happy to hear that “Canada is listening” as Christine put it in the subject of her email. And equally, we would like to know whether Australia and New Zealand are listening. The problem is that transmission paths from Central Europe to Australia and New Zealand are quite a bit influenced by variations in shortwave propagation conditions and that’s why monitoring observations and reception reports from that region are especially useful for the frequency management of Radio Prague. So if you can hear us “Down Under”, please let us know in whichever way and tell us what the signal is like. There is a series of beautiful QSL cards featuring historic steam locomotives to be sent as a thank you for your reception reports.

Meanwhile your comments are still coming in regarding the new design of Radio Prague’s website. Henrik Klemetz from Sweden writes:

“Here is what I have to say regarding your web page. My mail was posted on September 3 but so far the Spanish language service has not mentioned my (negative) comments. Maybe I ought to have sent you my comment in the first place, as I can see that the topic has come to the fore in your Mailbox. To sum things up, I am unhappy with the new look. ‘Never change a winning team’. I used to check three or four of your language sites regularly, but now I am afraid I won’t do that any more.”

Thank you for that comment – we will pass it onto the internet section along with this observation from Jonathan Murphy from Ireland who had commented on the new website before and now responds to another listener’s view aired two weeks ago:

“Glad you’re getting reaction to the new website. I would agree with the listener who said there is a little too much white in the background. The blue was nice. Could you offer a more detailed search function, for example allowing results to the given by date order?”

Thank you for the comments, we will forward all your feedback to our internet department.

Now let’s hear from another Canadian listener, Donna Gilhooly:

“I live in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada which is at the head of Lake Superior in the centre of Canada. I heard a programme in the middle of the night which featured an eclectic group of musicians (Chinese, Kurds, and so on) who formed what I think is called the All Star Fugitive Orchestra. How do I find out more about them and where do I go on your website to replay the programme so I can hear the music again?”

What you heard was last week’s edition of Magic Carpet hosted by Petr Dorůžka and the ensemble is called The Allstar Refjúdží band. For copyright reasons we are unable to archive the programme in audio, but you'll find at least a couple of sentences about the band on our website as well as a link to the band's album.

Staying with music – our listener from Italy Andrea Lazzeri recently wanted to know more about the song “Kupředu levá” or “Forward Left” that used to be Radio Prague’s signature tune in the socialist era. We played a few bars from the song recently but Mr Lazzeri wonders whether we still had the tuning signal from that time. We indeed do and now you have a chance to hear it:

And before I say good-bye here is our September quiz question for one last time.

This time we’d like you to tell us the name of the woman who was born in Prague in 1896 and together with two other colleagues won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1947.

You have until Wednesday to send us the correct answer to Radio Prague 12099 Prague or Next week we will disclose the identity of the mystery person and choose four winners in a lucky draw. Thanks for listening today and until next week, take care.