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My childhood, my origin

  • The region.

  • Thats me, when I was kid..

  • My parents farmhouse.

  • The main road of our village a long time ago.

  • The village “Wanneperveen” like it looked around 1980 - 1990.

  The region.

As you already would have noted, I am of Dutch nationality and I am born in a village called « Wanneperveen ».     It is my home village and as anyone would, I still feel a strong attachment for my home village.     You can find this village in the circle on the map shown aside.

As you would already have noted, that those motorways shown on the map, did not exist when I was born, neither existed the « polder » with it's main town Lelystad, those have been constructed a lot later.      The whole region was and today still is a farming region.      This region has mainly farms for milk production, but some raising of pigs.      But there is a difference, in time I was a child we had many farmers with little amounts of cows, and now we a little amount of farmers lots of cows.      Yes tides are changing and will to have to accept it.

Here is a little more detailed picture, you can see on this picture the center of « Wanneperveen », and higher up on the map, we have the today very touristy village of « Giethoorn ».      The hole region has become nearly one large touristic attraction for all kinds of water-sports.    There is one exception, which is water-skiing, because of the nuisance and danger it produces.

The near total of the zone, here visible on the map, has become an protected natural area.    The time I was a kid, the most of those zones were more or less in use, mostly as reed fields.      Then most of the farmers, including my father, had one ore more of such fields, and they were collected in the winter, the only time that this fields were frozen and accessible.      Than the most of them were and are still swamps.     And that beside the fact that reed has to dry first before you can collect it.    In other words you let the reed dry first, and you start the cutting and collecting only then when it is dry.     The collected reed is thereafter sold for roof covering.      The job of roof covering was very common when I was a child, but this type of a job has today nearly disappeared.

  That's me, when I was a kid.

Yes that's also me, but that was a long time ago, it is even before I went to kindergarten.      The second picture is taken when I went to primary school.

I had, in opposite to other kids, not a very long way to go of getting to school, in fact we were living very close, you could call it next door.

The school was (who doesn't exist any longer, has been knocked down and has been replaced by newer and more functional building) a building with four very high, and in the winter very cold classrooms.      One classroom was reserved for manual work (knitting for the girls), and one other served as kindergarten.    An another one for classes one two and three and last but not least the last one as for the three higher classes.

One day in the month of October happened an event which I will not easily forget, and for those who leak a little memory, this date was October 4 Th., 1957, or better the Spoutnik, launched by the Russians

Most of us were getting out at evening when it has got dark to watch the sky and see this thing pass over, then the most knew about when and where to look to see it pass over.

  My parents farmhouse.

Photo taken in the 50 ties from my parents farm, the second photo is of the late 50 ties.

We did live (the farm has been renewed since and belongs to construction firm) in the front part on one side of the building, the other side of the front part we rented out to friends of my parents.

In the back of the building was place for about 16 to 18 cows, calf's, and the very young ones up to the one year about to become cow.    Later we have also got a bull.

In the beginning we had also a horse (made me scared) but he has been replaced by a tractor of German make in the mid 50 ties.

In the barn we putted various equipment, as well some animals and later the tractor.      It served also as store for the straw.      The hay we stored in the farmhouse itself, what was not without danger, than it takes easily fire.

  The main road of our village a long time ago.

This picture comes from a postal card which shows the main road, just in front of our farm, as it was at the beginning of the century, a time that my mother was still a grown up girl.

She was living in the farm here on the left on the picture, she lived there with her grand mother.

The situation has changed over the years, the municipality building, here on the right, has been replaced by newer building when I was a kid.    Today someone lives there and it does serve ant longer as municipality building, this for the reason that « Wanneperveen » doesn't have any longer it own municipality.

  The village « Wanneperveen » looked around 1980 - 1990.


Impression of the main road in the center of « Wanneperveen » as shown on these pictures of the early 90 ties.

The center of « Wanneperveen » has certainly been modernized, but a lot of houses are still there and those houses whom have been modernized or renewed, are for the most in the same place and have still the same shape.      Therefore you can consider that these pictures are representing the time that I was still young, and as I have know it.

On the other hand today, there where our fields for our cows once were, you see nothing but houses for people who do have their work in the towns in the near.

The most of the other farms had not better destiny, near all of them have been rebuild into luxury houses, like the farm where I am born which has been transformed into house and workshop of an construction firm.

This is the house which my parents have bought in the beginning of the years 60.    This house was in the past the residence of the director of butter and cheese factory.

They did buy this house after they did sell the farm and gave up farming, then we lost most of our fields, which had to make place for new constructions.

As stated above, with the house was an old butter and cheese factory, which has been out of use for some by then.      This former butter and cheese factory has renewed and has been transformed into garage and being rented out for some time and later sold to a person who still has it today.      An other part of the building has been used for the storage of cheese for a long time, but is now part of the garage.

Today as my parents where getting a little older, maintaining a house with a big garden has become to much and they sold it and moved to more convenient apartment specially adapted for older people in a town called « Meppel » not very far from « Wanneperveen ».

I did live in my village up to little before my 18th birthday, thereafter I had to go to an other town, « Hilversum » to pursue study electronics in the « Rens & Rens » institute.      I moved, after having finished my military service and having spend a few years in « Amaersfoort », to « Geneva ».    I ended later, after a very long time in « Chamoson », which has become my second home, up in « Normandie » where I still live now.

  Some important events of this period.

  • The Korean war.

  • L'U.S.S.R. launches the « Spoutnik »

  • Youri Gagarin, first man in space.

  • Generalization of television.

  • Pirate Radio stations « Carolyne » et « Veronica » start emitting from the North Sea.

  • The Cuba crisis.

« Wanneperveen » (Dutch!!)

Wolter Smit, Freelance Computer Engeneer
15 Rue du 13 Août 1944
27940 Courcelles Sur Seine - FRANCE