Beekhuizen Swimming Pool a ghost from my past
Velp Travel Blog› entry 987 of 1090 › view all entries
It is amazing how many swimming pools I have described in my blog over the past years. Existing ones like: High Bridge Swimming Pool in Manhattan, Astoria Pool in Queens, The Swimming Pool in Bear Mountain State Park, and quite recent Highlands Natural Pool in Norvin Green State Forest, NJ. A ghost pool that got revived: McCarren Pool in Brooklyn. And several ghost pools, like the pool: - of ghost town Doodle Town, NY, - of the coast guard residential area of Governors Island, NYC, - in John Boyd Thacher Park, NY, - that belonged to Foxcrest Mansion in Ramapo Mountain State Forest, NJ, - of the Cornish Estate in the Hudson Highlands State Park, NY.
This blog is about another ghost swimming pool. Not one in the USA but in The Netherlands in the village I grew up in, the village of Velp. And unlike the many ghost sites I visited this is a site that I have seen in its pre-ghost era. I swam here many times. The Beekhuizen Pool.
The pool is located in a beautiful nature area, next to Veluwezoom National Park. It was opened in 1955 as part of a recreation project that brought the pool, sports fields, and a tennis court. The pool was a success and offered many people some great recreation moments. Until the end of the eighties, when the number of visitors declined rendering the pool not profitable anymore. In 1988 the plug was literally pulled, leaving the beautiful facility in the cruel hands of the elements and time. The site was abandoned until the year 2000 when squatters moved into the place.
A lot of plans were made for the site, finally resulting in turning it into a nature area, 'broedplaat Beekhuizen' . Not illogical since nature had taken over pretty much, aided by the new inhabitants. The pools have been converted in artificial ponds and nature reserve for mainly grass snakes.
The site is open for visitors on Sundays. Since I had been here for the last time when I was in the highest grade of elementary school, about 34 years ago, I was very curious what to find. It shocked me and pleased me. The lawn where people could enjoy the sun looked partly the same. Even the yellow trash cans that were so typical for that era still stand here. The structures next to the pool had decayed a lot or had been demolished. The pools had been filled with a lot of plants but still looked very much how I recalled them. Especially the start blocks and the springboard brought back vivid memories.
I wish the municipality would have had the same stoutness as the New York municipality which recently renovated and reopened the completely decayed McCarren Pool in Brooklyn. But the nature site comes in as a second good solution. Let's hope the grass snakes enjoy the pool as much as I did long time ago.
More pictures below!