Choir Trip Cartoons – Barsbuttel in Germany by Peter Sharp

Pages from the Callington Singers ‘Tour ‘Toons’ book.

The earliest cartoons appeared following the 1988 Choir trip to the German town of Barsbüttel, then newly twinned with Callington. There were seven cartoons in the set entitled ‘Barsbüttel’s Boobs & Blunders’. Two of the cartoons were the result of the broken English of our German hosts’ spokesman, Walter.

Barsbuttel1The first cartoon was inspired when the coach had only driven a matter of yards from the waving families seeing us off and Alex ran down to the toilet almost before Graham had finished asking that it be used for emergency use only.


The second represents the sight that greeted us as we drove onto the quayside at Dover seconds after Graham had announced to the coach that since we had made such good time it might be quiet enough at 4.30am to catch an earlier ferry.


Walter was intrigued by the subtle signals Graham gave our accompanist, Jenny – just the raising of a finger – but Walter’s mistaken translation amused the Choir.

Barsbuttel4Walter, especially after a drink, did rather go on about how he had narrowly escaped the allied bombing of Hamburg and being strafed by a British Spitfire. This was incorporated in the cartoon that was the result of another of his quotes when he announced that he had a large garden at the front of his home but ………


The fifth cartoon – again unfairly inspired by poor English – illustrates what was said to Duncan by a German shopkeeper when Duncan was attempting to buy a present to take home. Finding it hard to understand Duncan, the shopkeeper wanted him to wait while he called his wife who spoke better English.

Barsbuttel7The last cartoon was my take on the East German guide who boarded the coach to show us the sights of Lubeck. Probably a very nice lady, but she screamed and bullied us into paying attention.