July 1987, Biel/Bienne - Sven's story

I was 18 years old and had just started my first real holiday job. Planning to study in the UK, I had a few months to earn some money before going off to university. Where better to go than my home country, Switzerland, where one of my aunts was the owner of the Buffet de la Gare in the watch making town Biel/Bienne at the foot of the Swiss Jura mountains.

The Buffets de la Gare are a very Swiss institution. For decades these were the restaurants and snack bars located in the main train stations. They were places where people from all walks of life passed. Business men between meetings, tourists changing trains or visiting the region, locals who knew they could get a good meal and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the station atmosphere.

Figure 1. Buffet de la Gare Bienne in the 1920s

Source: Dr. Ingrid Ehrensperger-Katz/ Mémoire régionale/ regionales Gedächtnis