My Home Page Wolter Smit  


Hilversum, my student time.

  • September 1963, the beginning.

  • The years “Pronk”

  • Town of radio and artists.

  • The last study year, the end of an era.

  • A last party, a last meeting and then goodbye.

  September 1963, the beginning.

It was during the last school-year of the technical school of the town Meppel, that it became clear that I should not stop there, like most of my class friends used to do.     At that time and still now, it was usual that after having completed the technical school, one would start working day-time and pursue his education in a evening school in order to complete his / her professional training.

However some of class friends did what I did, continue their education.    I did choosed that time electronics, what was my passion at that time.     I did not stop to fiddle around with all sorts of things, and that of great despite of my mother who really hated all this.

Ok, it has been decided that I would go to Hilversum where was a High-School specialised in advanced electronics, ( “The Institute for advanced Electronics Rens & Rens” ) who had and as of today still has, a very good reputation.     This Institute which doesn't exist any longer today, belonged in my time to the sir's Rens and Rens, that's where the name came from.     The institute has been founded about in the years 30 by them.

So we have taken our car and moved on the way to Hilversum, my parents even bought me a watch somewhere on the way down, and this has been the only watch I ever had.     First, at least the first year I was an internal student, I lived in the same building as where the courses were.

Afterwards during the school-year I went home one weekend out of two, the other ones I stayed in Hilversum.

Here is a picture of the garden of that institute, the whole was in a rather big villa ( “maison de maître” as you would call it in french ) which had three levels with room which each three to six students living there, some classrooms, a restroom, but also two other buildings.    There was a rather big garden house and large barrack, like the dis mountable ones, like construction firms use to have, which served also as classroom.

The two upper levels and also a part of the backside of the building had the sleeping room for the internal students.

The remaining space were all classrooms, with the exception of the garden house, which as reserved for the kitchen personnel, and a had also practical workshop.

  The years “Pronk”.

No this name is nothing special, it is just the name of the family where I lived after my “Internal Student” period.    Nearly all my room mates did quit be Internal, and had taken a furnished room in town.    This way we could at least go out and study like we needed to do, then in opposite to what people tend to think, forcing someone to study, go out, and come in fixed hours is not a guarantee for good results.    Than self-discipline is also something what has to be learned to.

Family “Pronk” a retired cattle-merchant, his wife being a lot younger as he was, rented three furnished rooms of their house, food included, to students and young workers.    The other two rooms were rented out to one ho worked in a construction equipment firm and the second work at the radio.

This how family's “Pronk” house looked like, it is a typical Dutch house, all in line, every one with a little garden at the front and a small place at the backside.

This house was next to market place and not very far from the railway-station, and I did not need more as a dozen minutes to go to the Rens & Rens Institute.

I lived in room under the roof, it was really quiet up there, and this was also the largest of the three rooms, the other ones were just sleeping rooms.

I stayed a long time in contact, conserving a friendship relation with them, and that far beyond student time.

I even did specially come back to see her (her husband died already for a long time at that moment) a last moment, when I was already in Geneva for some time.    Thereafter I have not heard or seen any news from her.

She had, in fact, contacted my parents, (she did not my address in Geneva) saying that she would like to see me a last time.

  Town of radio and artists.

Hilversum was and today for sure still is a preferred place for radio, artists and music.    On the right are shown two pictures of the radio-societies “NCRV” et “VARA”.    That time, nearly all of the radio and television societies were very political oriented.    But that made not a very big difference to us, students, than all invitations to assist at the radio recording sessions were welcome.

The distribution of those tickets were usually done by an association, and we were anyway going to them to get any tickets.    Sometime it was them who contacted us, because they needed some public for the one or other radio recording.

I did not mention television, because television was and still is done in a town next to Hilversum, and there was a longer way to get there.    Tis town did neither have the same culture nor the same type of artists.

We went there from time to time for some TV recording, but we had always to find someone with a car or take the train.

If I remember right, we had that time about a half a dozen radio and television societies, and each of them got a proportional amount of the total emission time attributed to them as they could show members.

I was also member of an association called “Soos voor kamerbewoners”.    This association was meant for people living in furnished rooms or alone in studio's.    This association was run by a girl of our age “Els”, and it was with this association we had most of the contacts with the various artists.

  The last study year, the end of an era.

As with everything, also good things come to an end.    The school year 1965 - 1966 was the final preparation for the examination, who have taken place in ”Den Haag” either in once everything or twice with 6 month in between.    I and some of my friends have taken the 6 month option, this in order to have more time for the preparation.    It was anyway impossible to find any job so close to military service.

It is in this period that I went very often to the“Soos voor kamerbewoners” or simply to see “Els” who ran this association.    I liked her very much, but there was nothing else between us, just friends.    Anyway, we shared some ideas about society and about re-incarnation theories.    She had plenty book on this subject in her room and also books on related subjects.    Her room was full of model cars, “Dinky Toys”, she was collecting.

When after military service I came back to Hilversum to see I friend, I was very sad to hear that “Els” was killed in a car accident.

Bea ten Haken. (1966)Voilà, a friendship which was a lot more as the others, and which is worth to be mentioned here.    Her name is “Bea” coming from her real name “Beatrice” (she really hated that name!).    Why I mention her specially ? because it was by knowing her that I have learned that there is a difference between being in love and loving someone (It seems that certain persons never learn to make this difference!)

I met her when I went with a friend of mine to “Loosdrecht” to see her sister, who was going out with him.    In fact we had a common interest for the American singer “Buddy Holly” (alias Charles Hardin Holly), that was, at least for the two of us, our favorite artist, and that was where everything started with.      This relationship however faded away during my military service.    She was to young anyway to have a fixed relation with someone.    Much later, I did have some more contact whit her when I was already living in Geneva, but somehow this contact is lost, and I have not had any news from her since then.      It is maybe bad, but that's the way live is, and we will have to accept it.

  A last party, a last meeting and then goodbye.

After we all succeeded our examination we decided that we should meet at the place of one of us, who lived in place called “Koudum”, to stay a last weekend together.

The upper photo has been taken at the persons place, and it was there were had our last meeting-party.

The second picture has been taken in a fisherman's village somewhere on “Ijsselmeer” coast.    At least this time it was not me who took the picture.

On the way back we stopped at my parents place, thereafter everybody has take his own way of live.    For me it was a last goodbye, than I have not seen anyone back.

For me the military service period was coming nearer, and after military service, two years in “Amersfoort” the departure for Geneva had come and contacts faded away.

This was then the end of the

  Remarkable events of that time:

  1. Murdering of J.F.K. in Dallas.

  2. The Vietnam war.

  3. I Have a dream” Martin Luther King.

  4. Starting of “The Beatles”.

  5. Starting of the Hippy “Peace & Love” period.

To know anything more (in Dutch) on

Hilversum Today

click on the name!

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