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50 years of work in the Waasland region

People at work on a bending machine in the Sint-Niklaas metal construction company Nobels-Peelman, 1972.
Sint-Niklaas, City Archives.

Time period: 1945-1995





All original interviews are kept in the collection of the General State Archives in Beveren. Interviews conducted by pupils can also be found in local municipal archives.


140 interviews by pupils

Sint-Maarten Bovenschool Beveren: 46 interviews with maids (24), dockers (11) and farmers (11)

Sint-Jorisinstituut Bazel: 40 interviews with former employees of the Rupelmond shipyard CNR (14), people talking about life and work and leisure in the Kruibeek polders (17), farmers (9)

Sint-Amelberga Instituut Temse: 13 interviews with ex-Boelwerf workers

Onze Lieve Vrouw Presentatie Sint-Niklaas: 10 interviews with former employees of carpet factory Meert (2) en steenbakkerij Scheerders Van Kerchove (8)


15 crown witness interviews

integral interviews on DVD

transcriptions via: website


Oral history with schools around 8 themes


Econonomic story of Wase companies and professional sectors supplemented by personal stories.


8 themes:


  • Boelwerf Temse
  • Shipyard Chantier Naval Rupelmonde (CNR)
  • Service personnel
  • Agriculture
  • The Kruibeekse polders
  • Brickworks Scheerders van Kerckhove (SVK)
  • Meert carpet factory
  • Works at the docks


Around the middle of the last century, the Waasland region experienced a great economic boom, in business sectors such as the textile industry, metal construction and shipbuilding. Large and small companies employed thousands of people. In the last quarter of the 20th century, however, many of these companies were forced to stop their activities, with all the consequences that entailed.


50 years of work in the Waasland region is an oral history project. The Heritage Unit Waasland supplemented the history of the Waasland companies and professional sectors with the personal stories of people who worked here in the second half of the 20th century. These testimonies paint a colourful picture of what “work” meant in the period 1945-1995.


The results were compiled on a DVD with video and audio clips and accompanying documents.