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Giessen (Germany) July 1955

A School Visit to Germany

Extra Photos and comment from Peter Trott

THE OLO website has had a pretty comprehensive report of the 1961 German trip for some time now. Readers of Barbican #31 will be aware that 1955 marked LCGS's first postwar trip to Germany and many of us will be aware that they became almost as regular a fixture as the Blois trips. Peter Trott - one of the 1955 contingent - has found a few photographs from his trip and has added a few notes to the official version contributed by Mr Webb in the Barbican.

From Barbican 31 Editorial and Report of Trip

The summer holidays saw the first post-war School trip to Germany and this now shows every sign of becoming as regular as the Blois visits We must do all in our power to see this does truly help to bring peace to this desperately troubled world.

School Trip to Germany, July-August 1955

On morning of July 25th a party of 20 boys led by Messrs. Norgrove and Webb left Lewes and arrived safely at Ostend on the same evening. Here we were to learn that British Railways are not the worst in Europe and the lesson was driven well and truly home throughout a night spent hovering on the verge of sleep on the perverse wooden seats, which seem to be made expressly for the discomfort of travellers. On the first attempt we missed Heidelberg, our destination, by some 50 miles. This, I may hasten to add, was due to a German porter's inability to speak the Kaiser's German and is no reflection at all on our grasp of the language. All's well that ends well, however and at Kornwestheim, the kindly stationmaster arranged a meal for us and the return journey. His sympathy was aroused, I think, more by our haggard looks than Mr Norgrove's eloquence. Nevertheless, a combination of the two, obtained our first German meal - bacon and eggs - served in the canteen of the nearby Salamander Shoe Factory, followed by a delightful journey back along the lovely Neckar valley. Our late arrival at the Youth Hostel in Heidelberg was met with a combination of amusement and relief from the staff. Our stay in Heidelberg was thoroughly enjoyable the hostel food was good and everyone was delighted with the beautiful old town and the surrounding countryside.

From Heidelberg we went to Freudenstadt high up in the mountains. We travelled-our own choice-in the spacious guard s van of a rickety old train. Needless to say, we were soon the best of friends with the guard, who showed us, as we went along, some of the wonderful scenery of the Black Forest. We reached Freudenstadt without difficulty this time - it was a single-track line so we could not really go wrong. The town has been completely rebuilt since the war - all except the Youth Hostel, that is, which most of us swore must be a relic from the Franco-Prussian war.

At Rottweil, our next stop, the Youth Hostel was perched on the top of a cliff, overlooking the winding river and the rolling hills behind. Here, most members of the party made an interesting tour of the historic old town conducted by a venerable old gentleman who seemed to know everything. The tour included a visit to the Rathaus (Town Hall) where each of us was given a book on the history of the town, together with some spending money. Meanwhile the more athletic members, including Mr. Webb, climbed a nearby mountain.

We next went to Titisee, where the hostel is a typical Black Forest mountain home, situated at the head of the lake. Here, there was boating and swimming for some, whilst others escaped the unfortunate tourist atmosphere of the town itself by going into the nearby mountains. One pair, hitching climbing and mostly hiking, managed to cover the best part of 50 miles, although no one would believe them.

Then after a brief visit to Freiburg we went to Giessen, where many of us have correspondents. The town council and the school there financed and arranged a very full programme for us including visits to various landmarks in and around the town (see attached photographs). We were all sorry to have to leave so soon.

The journey home was uneventful but we returned with a lasting impression of the kindness and hospitality of the Germans. Visits to foreign countries, if they can create such friendship and good-will as we experienced in Germany, are perhaps the answer to the problem of how to achieve world peace. They might be able to succeed where statesmen are now failing.

Among the pupils who enjoyed this school trip were: Michael Allen, Dietmar Bennett, Michael Card, Bruce Catt, Chris Davey, Peter Gamby, Bruce Greenfield, John(?) Hollands, Chris Jenkins, Chris Olieff, Ian Sloane, Robin Swales, Peter Trott and John(?) Wilkinson.


Webmaster would like to hear from any other members of the party who may be able to add further reminiscences

Pictures loaned by Peter Trott

Friedrich - Naumann - Haus

Pic 1

On the Steps of Theatre, Giessen

Pic  2

In Suburb Keushelheim

Pic  3

On Top of the Gleiberg

Pic 4