Last week, we reached the highest point of the reconstructed auxiliary pumping station ‘De Fabriek’, or The Factory. To commemorate the occasion, our volunteers, sponsors, and relations joined us for a little celebration.
The festive occasion was hosted on Wednesday afternoon at the Overwaard construction site and inside the Wisboom pumping station. To further increase the celebratory mood, the day was marked by good news from The Hague: the Council of State had decided to render void all objections to the ‘Kinderdijk-Elshout Zoning Plan’, which had been filed by a local Kinderdijk entrepreneur. This zoning plan serves as the foundation for all new developments on the World Heritage premises, including construction of the new Visitors Centre.
As we speak, construction work is making steady progress. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the auxiliary pumping station, the future group entrance is starting to ‘reach for the sky’. On the site where the new Visitors Centre is about to rise, a large pontoon is floating in the Overwaard’s Lower Basin. The imposing cranes have recently commenced work on placing the retaining walls and piles required to support the structure.
The celebration marking Wednesday’s events was also a fitting opportunity to reflect on the impending retirement of our esteemed colleague Henk Bronkhorst. By January 1, our quality management coordinator will get to enjoy his well-deserved pension. On Wednesday, our Sliedrecht-born beacon of windmill expertise revealed a plaque that will be awarded a prime spot in The Factory once it is finished. Employed by the Alblasserwaard and Vijfheerenlanden District Water Control Board, Bronkhorst was the driving force behind the nomination that got the Kinderdijk-Elshout Windmill Complex listed as an official UNESCO World Heritage site. The request was granted in December 1997. Bronkhorst started working for the Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation in 2008.