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Reprinted by kind permission of The Essex Newsman 16th July 1939


Pond Scuttling Clears The Water

A large crowd gathered to witness the first Finchingfield Pond Scuttling organised by members of the council and popular village school teacher, Dick Dervisher.


The morning started well with an introduction from the Reverend Pistonock--Henderson and the initial 'Scuttling Serenade' performed by Archie Sniggerton on his bouzouki, supported by musicians from the village. 


Having donned his diving suit, Archie, the subsurface engineer, was about to delve into the depths of the pond for the extraction process when he accidentally dropped his bouzouki into the water. Archie’s son Tom and a school friend were on hand with half barrels from the Fox Inn, to help locate the missing instrument.

Once retrieved - the 'extraction' continued and the subsequent crystal clear water gave testament to the efficacy of the Scuttling operation.


The crowd enormously enjoyed the whole episode and a contract for regular maintenance was awarded to Sniggerton and Dervisher’s fledgling business 'Pond Life'. 


Read about Pond Life’s history and services. Still available to both domestic and community clients.

Tom Sniggerton and Arnie Bletherworp help the search for the sunken bouzouki.


Pond Life: Foundations

Pond Life was created in 1939 by partners Dick Dervisher and Archie Sniggerton. It now continues as a Cult of Ffynche service offered by Archie’s son, Tom.


'Tricky' Dick Dervisher was well known to the community as a school teacher and major Cult enthusiast. With an active determination to widen the reach of the Cult and gain popularity for its influence and beneficial effects upon the population - he was often called out to be the instigator of many events and services involving both the schoolchildren and parents.


Village landlords regularly supported the activities and, as he was responsible for an ever increasing customer flow, Dick was warmly welcomed in all the local licensed premises.


Pond Life is just one of many 'Tricky Dick' brainchilds to broaden the appeal of Cult philosophy and the encouragement of ritual participation.

Additional Services

•.  Cult of Ffynche Pargetting        

•.  Windmill Lubrication guidance

•.  Beaver Milking            

•.  Compost building and dietary requirements

•.  Organ Restoration

​•.  Babysitting- to allow parents their evening ritual participation

Archibald Sniggerton (1899-1984)

Originally Karl Kitzler - born in Germany and brought up in the ghettos of Leipzig. He avoided serving in WW1 as his parents’ bakery was considered an essential retailer - although later his father was sent to serve. With a near total disregard for authority, he was regularly pursued and accused of insurgency.


On the run and posing as an orthodox bouzouki artist and dancing hound, Karl managed to escape from Germany in the early spring of 1939 across Lake Bodensee on a make-shift raft using his extended bouzouki as a paddle.

Archie (Karl) arrives in Switzerland with companion Eda

Following the survival of his 6 day nautical escapade - he crossed the continent and settled in the north Essex countryside, took an English name and vowed to devote his future life efforts working on water and learning to play the bouzouki. 

A chance lunchtime meeting with Cult member Dick Dervisher in the Fox Inn, Finchingfield, led to an extended evening during which the two launched the development of a Pond restoration enterprise, influenced by the suspect aromas emanating from the village pond water nearby.

Sniggerton’s tales of aquatic skills, fearless attitude and bouzouki playing inspired Dervisher to devise a three pronged theory to be tested - incorporating sound vibration, subsurface surveillance and unsavoury content extraction. It is not certain that Archie fully understood the English vocabulary at that time.

The success of the Pond Scuttling service led the fearless Archie to attempt larger and greater projects. In 1984, the year of the 'Great Stink', he was to meet his nemesis. Attempts to isolate and neutralise the noxious source was no match for the rudimentary equipment available and tragically, Archie was asphyxiated.

Tom Sniggerton continues to provide Pond Scuttling services to pond owners throughout the county.

Archie’s original Scuttling suit

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