The Language Assistants - Chris Snuggs (58 to 65)
  • I have no information prior to 1959 or after 1977.
  • There were none in 1970 to 1971, but one in 1973 to 1974 (Yves Costa), after which I can find no reference to any.
  • Some "Janus" editions mentioned them in some detail, but others ignored them completely.
  • Ours was a small school, and to have two throughout the 60s was a great asset.
  • I myself (somewhat shockingly) remember absolutely nothing about any lessons with them, how they were timetabled or anything else, except regarding Fritz Weiberzahn (see below)
  • Many were remarkable and contributed greatly to school life (even though I can't remember what myself!).
  • Spending a year at WHS must have been a wonderful adventure for them, and a considerable contribution to cross-Channel relations.
  • Too late to thank whoever was responsible for enabling their visits, but whoever it was did a fine thing.



Fritz Weiberzahn was our German Assistant in 1963/1964, and the "Janus" report doesn't really do him justice. Lessons with him, I don't remember, but not long after he arrived he formed a jazz-band with a group of 1st year 6th formers. Most of us were not real musicians, but Fritz was a proper pianist, and told us what to play and when. We mostly rehearsed in the hall and performed on several occasions of different kinds. I forget how and why, but we named ourselves "The Feetwarmers". I was never too happy with this rather soppy title: I would have preferred "The Glenn Miller Rejects", but Feetwarmers it was. I think we weren't too bad, but lacked showmanship; one of us should have made witty speeches introducing us and announcing what we were going to play. As far as I remember, we just came on, played and went off!

It was a great exerience, and one I have never come remotely close to repeating since I left WHS. They were a wonderful bunch of guys to play with, and Fritz a really great mentor. David Odell was on drums, and often a bit loud. We never managed to get him to bash away a bit more quietly! When I met his widow on one of the barge cruises in the early 2000s I was very sad to hear that he had died quite young of cancer. He was a lovely guy, but life can be cruel as we know.

We never heard from Fritz after school days, and I often wondered how he got on in later life. If ever you read this, Fritz, you'll know how much we appreciated you and loved the fantastic experience you gave us.

 Hugh Hawkins : Orwell 59-66
 Chris Snuggs : Halls 58-64
 Ken Randle : Halls 58-65
 David Odell : Hansons 58-64
 Steve Johnston : Hansons 59-64
 Jean Van Vliet : Halls 60-65

 and Maestro

 Fritz Weiberzahn

 German Language Assistant : 63-64

John Tuddenham (Hansons 52 to 57): Did you come across someone called Becherelle? French teacher - spelling may be wrong.

Chris Snuggs: Subject to my error, I can't find ANY details in "Janus" of who worked in the school before 1959 - apart from the major players. "Staff Notes" began in 1960, and were pretty detailed, except that the FIRSTNAME of staff was seldom given. I always wondered why ... spelling looks right, but not seen the name anywhere ....

John Tuddenham (Hansons 52 to 57): He taught French - he had a room in the main building. We were going to breakfast one morning when he came up the drive on a bike, in a very erratic manner, swerving all over the road - made it to the front door of the main building and staggered in. Story goes he stole the bike after a night on the tiles in Ipswich, but we never saw him again; he "left" very shortly after .....

Chris Snuggs (Berners/Halls 58 to 64): No mention of that in "Janus"! I don't suppose JSHS was amused (or would have been amused if he had found out about it!)

John Tuddenham: I think he fired him ....