Thursday, August 12, 2010

Falk - The Story Of Our Chalet

Oddity with no outer sleeve I found many years ago. A 10" LP on the Swiss Polyton label. Quaint story of an International Chalet in Switzerland told by Falk who sounds like a female Swiss equivalent of Miss Marple. I assume its for the Guides and Scouts and recorded at a conference somewhere in London althoguh the record was produced in Bern.

"In 1929, the World Committee of WAGGGS met in Holland and decided that a World Centre should be built for all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in the world to share...

Immediately Mrs Helen Storrow, a Girl Scout leader from the USA, said she would donate the money for the construction and the first four years of operation of the centre, as long as it was built in Switzerland. The World Committee agreed and appointed a Swiss Scout, Ida Von Herrenschwand, or Falk as she was known, to help Mrs Storrow find the perfect location for the new World Centre.

Choosing a site
In June 1930, Falk and Mrs Storrow visited many places in Switzerland, but none of them seemed quite right. One perfect day they drove to the beautiful town of Aeschi. On one side there was a view of the Bernese Alps and the Lake of Thun, on the other farmland and cornfields. Mrs Storrow immediately fell in love with the area. “It comes up to all my expectations, here you can find peace for your soul”, she said.

However, Falk had concerns. Its beauty was unquestionable, but she told Mrs Storrow that she remembered that at 17 or 18 she had wanted adventure and mountain climbing and skiing – that she had not been all that concerned about her soul! Falk believed that the site was too far away from the real mountains and that the altitude was too low for winter sports.
Mrs Storrow said she still wanted to suggest the site to the next World Conference. Falk told Helen Storrow that she did not want to give her opinion about the site at the World Conference, because she did not want to publicly disagree with Helen Storrow. Helen Storrow told Falk that if she was asked her opinion, then Falk should give her honest opinion and not worry about who it may upset.

At the conference, Mrs Storrow showed the photos that she had taken of Aeschi and everybody agreed that it was a lovely spot. However, after Lord Baden-Powell had asked Falk for her opinion, he told her that if she was going to make trouble about the place that had been found, then she would have to find a place on her own.

Falk eagerly accepted, and headed off with the following list of conditions from the committee: the site must be near a main train line but away from tourists there must be hotels in the neighbourhood, but it must not be a fashionable place it must be high enough for skiing in the winter and climbing in the summer, but not too high for those people with heart trouble there must be sufficient ground around and pleasant neighbours."

Falk - The Story Of Our Chalet

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