Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Family Affairs

Traditionally, making a living out of transport by barge in the Netherlands has always been family business. This was reflected in the names of the barges. Often the owner's wife's name was chosen, like Neeltje.

Vier Gebroeders, on the slipway this week, highlights this family orientation, as it means Four Brothers. I myself was born on a barge called Twee (two) Gebroeders.

I suggest taking a good look at the Vier Gebroeders, then compare to Pete Townshend's Dutch barge. A striking resemblance, I'd say. Indeed they are the same type: tjalk.

African beads anyone?
There's more where this came from: Grahamstown, South Africa.

Photos Koos Fernhout


Dale said...

Dear Koos

Now I sincerely appreciate the deep connection between you & a Dutch barge!

What an amazing way of life - so far removed from that of mine, but strangely similar in it's uniqueness. Have I said that before?

Your facts are teaching me & opening my mind to many things that I've never considered.

What was the usual cargo for a barge?

I was speaking with my co-worker/boss & I mentioned you & Val, my Dutch friends who live on barges.
She had been on a holiday to Amsterdam last fall. She told me that they took a trip somewhere outside Amsterdam & saw many barges that people were living on.

Do you think she may have seen you or Val?

She said she had been curious about thay way of life.

Debby C said...

Hey Koos - Thanks for the lovely birthday wish...I am in much better spirits today...and Pete, Rachel, and Mikey pulled me out of my bad mood yesterday...take care of yourself and always nice to hear from you.


Anne-Marie said...

Hi Koos,
I loved reading your post because of the deep connection to your past. Was your family in the transport business?

Love the beads, too. It's almost ankle bracelet season.


Erik-Jan. said...

Hi Koos,
So you really had a wonderfull time in SA but maybe just a little short. Anyway, love the pictures.
With 'familly affairs' you are realy back to the usual. Nice barge. So you were actually born on one. Great!!.
Had to tell you still about the fare trip from Katwijk to Muiden. With 'Vestingvaart Naarden' we have a second canal tour boat. It is also an old hull (approx. 1930) and it has been transformed to a tourboat by a wharf in Katwijk.
So we had to bring her to Naarden.
One of the locks in Muiden didn't operate on saturday so the last 10 miles to Naarden was done on the monday after. Some pics of the 'new' ship if you follow the link.
Nice to have you both back in town!!

Dale said...

Dear Koos

I missed the bottom photo of the beads!
Lot & lots of beads. Beautiful. Do they make them out of glass?
We have a glass bead-maker here in town.

It looks like my 2 girls' collection. I have beads everywhere in my house.

...maybe I'll make an ankle bracelet, AM

Have a great day!

Koos F said...

I'll try and dig up negatives of Agfa Click or Kodak Clack photos. Don't know where they are now.
My now Canadian brother used to take lots of pictures of our life on board in the fifties. That would be enough for a separate blog.
Luckily there are quite a number of illustrated books of that period, so we don't stand empty-handed.

The cargo I remember: coal, grain, motorcars, wood, cellulose, sand, gravel, sheet metal, bricks, copra (yuk), military supplies, and the list goes on.
If your co-worker/boss travelled to Rotterdam, she may have seen us, this is the (oh and sugar beets) tourist spot here. In and around Amsterdam there are many live-aboard barges (portland cement as well, and potatoes).

The beads are available everywhere in SA. Skilled fingers use the beads and wire to make all sorts of shapes, ranging from butterflies to elephants.

Hi Debby C
You are a known person in Pete and Rachel land. Well deserved.

Yes indeed, they made a good living that way, and it ran in the family. Meet someone with my surname, guaranteed there is a connection with the skippers' world.

Hi Erik-Jan
Is it the former horse-carrying boat that is on the Naarden site? Nice and spacious (10x3m)!
We thought of you when taking pictures of people in South Africa, so we really listen to your comments!

Bri said...

Koos, These are beautiful!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Hugs, Brina

E.L. Wisty said...

Hi Koos,

You may have told this somewhere but curious: how long back in history does the tradition of living in barges go in the Netherlands? And what's the origins of it?

Koos F said...

Hi Maria,
Thanks for your comment and the twofold question.
I can't really say for sure without further study how far back the kive-aboard tradition goes, but I know skippers who transported goods lived aboard for practical reasons as far back as the late 18th century, when the Canal Age started.
My family lived that life too.

Apart from that a barge was often within financial reach of those who couldn't afford a house. I have seen pictures of houseboats dating as far back as the early 19th century.

In the 1970 the awareness of historic barges in our country grew, which led to a wave of barge restoration - and a tendency to take advantage of the spacious cargo hold for live-aboard purposes.Val and I are part of that trend.

Erik-Jan said...

Hi Koos,
Yes it is the former horse-carrying boat we brought in from Katwijk. We have two tourboats now. The 'open' one with a capacity of 21 guests the other one with a capacity of 30. The later is powered by a 28 HP Solé inboard diesel.
Kind regards,

Gina said...

So pretty.