20-10-2012

Today in Mailbox: Listening to Radio Prague, comments on recent events and the current situation in the Czech Republic, answers to last month's competition question. Listeners/readers quoted: Jędrzej, Ian Morrison, Mary Lou Krenek, Chun-quan Meng, Barbara M. Ziemba, Charles Konecny.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox, Radio Prague’s programme for your views and comments.

This e-mail is from Jędrzej from the city of Poznań in Poland:

“I just wanted to say, that listening to Radio Praga is a pleasure. Yesterday I managed to fix my grandfather’s ZRK ‘Domino’ radio receiver from 1967 (based on lamps). In good weather, it’s possible to catch Czech broadcasts on a original, stock antenna. I still have much work to do with that radio, but it was a real surprise to catch foreign broadcasts with something as old as that. Hope to hear you again in a couple of days or weeks.”

Ian Morrison from China writes:

“Just a short note to let you know that I am still listening to Radio Prague regularly. In fact, I now listen to you more often than in the old days of shortwave, thanks to your podcasts, which means I can listen to you on my iPod whenever and wherever I like. I was really shocked to hear about the attack on President Vaclav Klaus. What a terrible lapse of security to let this person get so close to your president. Thankfully the attacker only used plastic bullets, otherwise the outcome would be too awful to imagine. I was also shocked to hear about the methanol scandal in your country, and I am glad to hear that the culprits have been caught, but sadly a very high price has already been paid by their victims.”

Mary Lou Krenek from Texas, USA, wrote this:

“My relatives from the Czech Republic are telling me their views of the current situation there. They are complaining about taxes going higher. Prices are too high for food, medicine, energy, and rent. Pensions for old people are low. The politicians are corrupt thieves. In other words, they are telling me the Czech Republic is currently in a terrible mess and the people are disappointed. I want this new democracy and market economy to be successful so I hope the situation improves in the future for the sake of the Czech people.”

On that topic, Czechs expressed their sentiments in last weekend’s regional and Senate elections. The government parties suffered huge losses as voters manifested dissatisfaction with the cabinet’s austerity measures.

Thank you so much for your letters and now let’s hear a few of your answers to our last month’s quiz question:

Chun-quan Meng from China sent us this:

“Thanks a lot for reading on-air my email. Although I failed to win a prize, I believe I would be blessed with a prize in the future. To a certain extent for me, participation's somewhat more significant than prize-winning. My answer to the current quiz is Sir William Heerlein Lindley, who was born in Hamburg on 30 January 1853, and passed away in London on 30 December 1917. He was a British civil engineer.

“Sir William Heerlein Lindley oversaw the construction of the sewage system in Prague between 1895 and 1906, which is still in use today, and a sewage plant at Bubeneč in Prague, which was in use from 1907 until 1967 and, currently its building serves as a museum of Prague's sewage system.”

Barbara M. Ziemba from Illinois, USA, wrote this:

“William Heerlein Lindley oversaw the dual-level sewer system which was constructed in Prague (1896–1905). The sewage system went into operation in 1905 and remains functional until today.”

Charles Konecny from Ohio wrote:

“The old saying goes, ‘the apple didn't fall far from the tree’ when William H. Lindley joined his father in developing water and sewer projects. He then carried on his father’s legacy and designed systems across Europe, including the Prague sewer project at the turn of the 20th century. When viewing pictures of the system, one has to marvel at the flowing lines and the quality of the brickwork which seems too beautiful to fill with waste. It seems there is not a brick out of place and those old polished pumps look ready to spring into action. Like saving any historical site, it is good to preserve the old treatment plant at Budeneč as a museum, allowing all to see the fine detail and how the system worked. I understand it has become a popular tourist destination and is even available for parties. So the old Prague sewer system lives on in a new light, and I'm sure W. H. Lindley is looking down and smiling.”

Underground sewers in Prague constructed by William Heerlein Lindley, photo: Mohylek, CC 3.0 licenseUnderground sewers in Prague constructed by William Heerlein Lindley, photo: Mohylek, CC 3.0 license And let me add that besides the museum in Bubeneč tourists can also see one of the main sewers built by Lindley right under the Old Town Square, actually right underneath the astronomical clock. There’s a virtual underground river running beneath the historic centre of Prague.

Thank you so much for your answers and this time our prize goes to Mohamed Elsayed Abd Elraheim from Egypt. Congratulations!

And of course, I won’t leave you without a new question for the coming four weeks. This time we would like to know the name of the Prague-born German speaking author, composer and journalist who died in 1968 in Israel.

Please send us your answers by November 14 to english@radio.cz. That is also the address for all your questions, comments and reception reports. Until next time, happy listening!

20-10-2012