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Renesse: Het leven der Zandloapers

Henk Blom 

Own publication

The book includes biographies of old Renesse residents. For instance, grocer Leendert Verseput (1903-1981), fruit grower Bert de Ruiter (1921-2009), greengrocer Leendert A. Bakker (1906-1998) and blacksmith’s mate Theo Lodewijk (1995-1995). Farm labourer Piet Oosterling (1914-1990) also passes by. He became a horsehand for the farmer Klaas Steur on De Dreef on Wilhelminaweg. From the age of 12, he played in the Luctor et Emergo brass band. He was wounded during the war. Farmer Steur leased him a piece of land on Roelandsweg. He planted an orchard there in 1948. Before the apple and pear trees yielded crops, the water came in 1953. Hard work, poverty, many setbacks and still fun in the club life.

The same goes for dune farmer Harman Fasol (1871-1943). He was married to Betje Smallegange and had his farm on the corner of Hogezoom and Oude Moolweg. It was a mixed farm, with cows grazing in the dunes. Harman farmed on the Wester- and Ooster Doodkist, names that indicated the soil there was poor. Granddaughter Betsie says in the book (page 103): ‘We were just duun farmers. Or, as someone once said: you had an eên-paerdsbedrief. And one horse was very little’.


Zandloapers. Perhaps the nickname has gone out of fashion, but residents of Renesse used to be called Zandloapers. They are typical of those village nicknames that fell into oblivion in the boom of mass tourism after 1965. Former teacher Henk Blom, with his book Renesse, het leven der Zandloapers (Renesse, the life of the Zandloapers), ensures that we can relive the time before the delta dams and barriers. We feel the poverty, because they did not have it wide on Renesse.

Fanfarekorps Luctor et Emergo van Renesse circa 1930, met de 15- of 16-jarige landarbeider Piet Oosterling (1914-1990) liggend links vooraan. © Henk Blom