25 Years TdSC - The Anniversary 1999

Extracts from the Anniversary Brochure

Interview with Kaschi Mangels

Kaschi Mangels From 1976 Kaschi Mangels was the director of the health resort administration and later from 1983 to his retirement in 1990 he was the director of the administration center.

An Interview of Gisela Plambeck with Kaschi Mangels

G.P.: For 14 years you have organized and thus also shaped the Tag der Shanty-Chöre Can you still remember the very first event you organized?

Mangels: In June 1976 Otto Prieß, the former director, was taken ill. In between hours I had to move from the regulatory agency to the health resort administration and was thrown in at the deep end as an acting director. A few days later the third Tag der Shanty-Chöre took place. I cannot remember all details, but there is one thing I still have in the mind′s eye: on the day of the event the former health resort director Hans Demgen and me had to dry the wet banks at Kurpark Döse because there was only few personnel. And when I look back at that time, I also have to mention Erich Meyer, a very committed colleague assisting me in those days.

G.P.: Originally, the Tag der Shanty-Chöre took place on one day only. When was it extended to two days and why wasn't the event renamed then?

Mangels: Some of the choirs from outside Cuxhven already arrived one day earlier and so we inevitably thought about extending the event to Saturday. We took the chance to not only have shows in the health resorts but also organized a Gala Night on Saturday evening at the Kurparkhalle. The Kugelbake-Halle did not yet exist at that time. Since the festival enjoyed great popularity every year more and more choirs applied for taking part in it. So, the event on Saturday was renamed to "Show & Shanties Nonstop" and we could plan with up to 16 choirs since every show was limited to 30 minutes.

G.P.: In the beginning the health resort administration organized accommodation in cooperation with the Shanty-Chor Cuxhaven. How can we imaging this - more than 20 years ago?

Mangels: I tried to find reasonably priced accommodation for the choirs. We accommodated them at Grimmershörn-Casern but also at private homes of the Shanty-Chor Cuxhaven. That was really a lot of work but the Shanty-Chor supported me and offered help at a large scale operation in the casern when it came up to making beds. That was about 150 beds we had to make and later strip again of course.

G.P.: For 25 years there is pea soup offered during the Tag der Shanty-Chöre. How did this tradition start?

Mangels: First of all we thought about offering the choirs a reasonably priced lunch but then it was marketed like this: "Why peel potatoes at home? Come to the Kurpark for some pea soup!". It was always a matter of luck and required some intuition to plan how many portions would be required. Of course it was not possible to return the soup. The German Red Cross successfully supported us all the years.

One special situation is worth mentioning here: the weather suddenly changed in the morning, people stayed off and we were stuck with 1000 portions of pea soup. As clever as can be we decided to freeze the soup and sell it 2 weeks later during the Duhner Wattrennen. The health resort director took advantage of the good connections to the hospial, we organized cooling tanks and the soup was stored in the cold storage rooms of the hospital. When we defrosted it later, we had to find out that all our efforts were in vain. The pea soup was sour.

G.P.: You have also moderated some of the events?

Mangels: Yes, indeed. When Klaus Erlewein fell ill I once moderated the Nonstop-Shows at the Kurpark and several times the Gala Night on Saturday.

G.P.: How often did the event have to move indoor due to bad weather?

Mangels: As far as I can remember - two times. Of course we only moved indoor, when the weather was extremely bad. For our technician Dieter Meyer and his assistants this was a very difficult situation since the complete technical equipment as prepared for the Kurpark had to suddenly be moved to the hall. At this point I would like to thank the technicians: they were and still are available on site until late in the evening and next day from 6:00 o'clock in the morning. There is a real big readiness for action which cannot just be taken for granted. Regarding the weather I hope that in the anniversary year the sun will shine brightly and that the Tag der Shanty-Chöre will be a very special and joyous event for everyone involved.