Trips / Ursel
From Hilversum to Ursel Sunday, January 20, 2019, was a beautiful day without clouds, perfect visibility, and it was just below zero degrees celsius. We made a flying trip to Ursel, a military reserve aerodrome in Belgium that can be activated by NOTAM, then over Zeeuws-Vlaanderen to Midden-Zeeland airfield, and then back to Hilversum. After departure from Hilversum, we headed to the south-west. We passed Slot Zuylen, a castle at the village of Oud-Zuilen along the Vecht river just north of the city of Utrecht. It is built early in the 16th century on the location of a former castle from the 13th century. The castle currently houses the Zuylen collection, a group of objects that provide an overview of the three centuries that the Van Tuyll van Serooskerken family lived in the castle.
René fueling the C172
Passing Slot (castle) Zuylen
Delta Works The Delta Works is a series of construction projects in the southwest of the Netherlands to protect a large area of land around the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta from the sea. The works consist of dams, sluices, locks, dikes, levees, and storm surge barriers. The aim of the dams, sluices, and storm surge barriers was to shorten the Dutch coastline, thus reducing the number of dikes that had to be raised. After the North Sea flood of 1953, a Delta Works Commission was installed to research the causes and develop measures to prevent such disasters in future. They revised some of the old plans and came up with the "Deltaplan". The first construction that was completed was the Hollandsche IJsselkering in 1958. The original Deltaplan was completed in 1997 with the Maeslantkering and the Hartelkering.Kapelle was formed along the banks of a waterway that ran here in the 10th century. It's name comes from a Chapel (Kapel) in one of the settlements that over time formed Kapelle. Kapelle is home to the only French military cemetery in the Netherlands. On 16 May 1940, German and French troops fought a fierce battle nearby. The 65 French soldiers who died that day were buried by Kapelle residents, and the French government established a military cemetery after the war. All the French soldiers killed in the Netherlands during the Second World War are now buried there. Ursel airfield airfield was established in the 1930s. During the German occupation in WWII the airfield was briefly used by the Italian airforce, and then by the Luftwaffe. Allied forces captured the airfield in September 1944. Around 1955 the airport was broken up. The concrete slabs were partly reused for the construction of the current military reserve aerodrome. Outside military activity, the Ursel aerodrome is given in concession to the two local civil clubs; the Aero Club Brugge and the Vliegclub Ursel.
René at Ursel aerodrome
From Ursel to Midden-Zeeland At the Ursel aero club a well visited new year's reception was going on, and we were immediately invited for snacks and drinks as well. We stayed some time for a coffee, and then we left to fly to Midden-Zeeland airfield. Aardenburg in West-Zeeland-Flanders was already inhabited some 8,000 years ago. During the many excavations, most remains have been from Roman times. Aardenburg was granted city rights in 1127 and is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, and the oldest city in Zealand. Already in 1299 fortifications were built around the city, and the remains are still visible. Founded around 1280, Sluis received city rights about ten years later. Its strategic location on the shore of the Zwin inlet led it to become a fortified town in 1382. The golden age of Sluis lasted until 1450, when the silting up of the Zwin made shipping impossible. Sluis boasts the only town hall in the Netherlands with a belfry. It stems from the 14th century.
De Schelde factory at Vlissingen in WWII The Germans captured the Dutch aviation industry largely intact in spring 1940. In contrast to neighbouring France, the Germans quickly reactivated the Dutch aviation industry. As Dutch officials reported after the war, as early as 22 May 1940, RLM (Reichsluftfahrtministerium) officials appeared at the De Schelde factory at Flushing (Vlissingen) and ordered the management to resume production of the Dornier Do 24 flying boat it produced under license.Veere began as the hamlet of Kampvere in the 13th century. Veere only began to flourish in the 16th century, when it became the staple port for Scottish wool. A Scottish colony was established in Veere at that time, complete with its own governor. Although Veere lost its staple rights in 1799, Scottish interest in the city remained. In WWII Veere was liberated by Scottish troops on 7 November 1944. As a result of the damming of the Veersegat in 1961, the fishing fleet of Veere moved to a new home port at Colijnsplaat on Noord-Beveland.
Do 24, De Schelde factory
Do 24, Museum SoesterbergLow-rate production of this aircraft continued until the Flushing factory was heavily damaged in a daytime air raid on 20 August 1943. Production of this factory was subsequently dispersed to several smaller locations. Dutch companies delivered to the Luftwaffe a total of 175 Do 24 flying boats during the occupation. Although this was a relatively small contribution, it helped to free Dornier's capacity to more important production programs and fulfilled most of the Luftwaffe's need for flying boats. From: Daniel Uziel; Arming the Luftwaffe
Do 24, De Schelde factory
Do 24, Museum Soesterberg
Final runway 09 Midden-Zeeland
From Midden-Zeeland to Hilversum After lunch at Midden-Zeeland we departed for Hilversum. Colijnsplaat is an old village, created when the Oud-Noord-Beveland polder was reclaimed in 1598. In the 1953 Flood, locals pushed against floodboards that threatened to colapse while wave after wave from the storm flood rolled-in from the other side. A loose freight ship miraculously blocked the spot and protected the village from the floods. There is now a monument called ‘Houen jongens’ (‘Hold on, boys!’) to commemorate the very spot of the miracle.
Veleda at Midden-Zeeland airfield
Colijnsplaat, Zeeland bridge
Watersnood museum, Ouwerkerk
Final runway 07 Hilversum airfield
Extent of flooding in the Netherlands
North Sea flood of 1953 The 1953 North Sea flood was a major flood caused by a heavy storm that occurred on the night of Saturday, 31 January 1953 and morning of Sunday, 1 February 1953. The severe north-westerly storm pushed the waters of the North Sea up high into the English Channel. Even before springtide had reached its highest point, the dikes broke in the southwest of The Netherlands.Large parts of South Holland, Zeeland and North Brabant were inundated. There were 1,836 deaths recorded and widespread property damage. 865 or almost half of the casualties occurred in the province of Zeeland, 677 in the province of South Holland, 247 in Brabant, and 7 in North Holland. Afterward, The Netherlands developed the Delta Works, an extensive system of dams and storm surge barriers.