Tag Archives: holland

Life at a farm in the 1960s

After my grandfather had died, my grandmother from my mother’s side remarried a retired farmer who had a farm in Wapenveld, Holland, see here for the location. The family name was “Warning,” and the farm was worked by the youngest son. The farm building, Hulsbergen, is interesting as it contains remains of a medieval friars’ abbey, the “klooster” to which the local names refer.

Adjacent to the farm is still a forest and a stream, this forest was the main reason for my father to visit the farm as my father was photographing birds and wildlife at the time and the area was quiet like an early bird sanctuary and full of rare species of birds.

Sometime in the early 1960s, my father took a series of photos of life at the farm that I recovered and scanned. I love these photos: the photos of today, are the quaint and vintage photos of tomorrow. With about forty milk cows, at the time this was a decent sized farm and I do wonder what happened to the farm in later years when farms became fewer but larger. As you can see on Google Maps via the link above, the farm is still there and is still in the same family.

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Kootwijkerzand / Radio Kootwijk

If you ask a random person to describe the Dutch countryside, 99 times out of 100 they will mention cows in a field that is so flat, you could play snooker on it. I used to live on the Veluwe, a forest-rich ridge of hills in the province of Gelderland. This is where the place the polar ice sheets stopped during the Saale Ice Age before retreating and leaving the deposits behind.

To me, the fields with cows are just as foreign as to you. One of the most interesting places around where I grew up was Kootwijkerzand, a 7km2 large area of sand dunes and Scots Pines. The area was lucky enough to be too poor to be turned into grasslands and it stayed like it was since the Ice Age for a long time. Unfortunately, due to the larger amounts of nitrogen in the atmosphere due to the increased traffic, the previously infertile dunes now can sustain mosses and trees which are now cut back regularly to keep the unique landscape.

It was this empty area that the authorities picked as the location to build the huge radio station to keep in contact with the colonies in 1922. I do remember the huge aerial on the roof which was torn down in 1980.

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