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A few words from CERN’s first official guide

Félix Hoffmann was a CERN tour guide for more than 50 years

Félix Hoffmann in 2014. (Image: F. Hoffmann)

After reading your article in the CERN Bulletin, I thought I’d write and tell you about my experience as a CERN guide:

I was CERN’s first official guide.

I started work at the PS on 1 May 1956. About a year later, while visiting some old colleagues, I met Mr Menetrey of the Public Relations department for the first time.

After that he often asked me to come and give guided tours for visitors. In 1960, John Adams, the Director-General of the time, officially created the function of CERN guide, and we were allowed to give guided tours during or after working hours, and in particular on Saturdays.

(Image: F. Hoffmann)

After I retired in 1992, I continued to be a guide until I was 79 years of age, in 2009.

Being a CERN guide for over 50 years was a really interesting experience, which brought me into friendly contact with guides from other parts of CERN, go on excursions with them, meet visitors and sometimes even guide groups of famous people

I remember the funniest question that anyone ever asked me was “Are any of the antiprotons that you produce for sale?”

Félix Hoffmann