Behind the gate

New 'old' lanterns behind the house

A long standing wish has finally come true! The gloomy 1990s lantern located on the back southwest corner of the house is gone, and so is the chilly white light it used to cast. In its stead are not one, but two "Jan van der Heijden lanterns". We have placed them on both corners and have already had a chance to enjoy the beautiful, warm yellow light they emit. They match the lanterns that can be found at the front of the house. The new lanterns are replicas of the 1663 design created by inventor and painter Jan van der Heijden. In those days, the lanterns were designed to burn for up to 200 hours on a mixture of linseed and rapeseed oil. Whereas now-a-days they use LED lights with an expected lifespan of 15,000 hours and their lantern switch has been swapped out for a twilight switch.


The lanterns were once again supplied by the De Nood company (located in Middelburg). Our neighbour and friend of Wester-Amstel Maut de Visser installed them them for us and Mimoun Besali of MB Elektrotechniek took care of the electrical work. Now the question stands… Has Wester-Amstel managed to become even more beautiful - this time boasting a healthy, warm glow?

Farewell Els Hulsing

After seven years of heartwarming dedication, Els Hulsing has stepped down as coordinator of the garden group. She has also stepped down as director of the Friends of Wester-Amstel Foundation. To many, Els was one of the most familiar faces of Wester-Amstel. Always there for a chat, hospitable, and easy to find with her generous smile. Under her leadership, the gardens and the garden group grew and flourished, and Wester-Amstel became a little more beautiful each year.


Els was a beacon of calm in the uncertain years surrounding the departure of Groengebied Amstelland. And she kept her cool in the years to follow, in times when COVID-19 rules changed faster than the weather. She had - by her own admission - no understanding of gardening, but she knew how to surround herself with a host of gardening talents. In typical Els fashion, she has taken care of her own succession in exemplary fashion.

We understand that after all those years of "westeramstellen" week-in-and-week-out, Els wants to have time for other things, but we don't expect it to be too quiet in our park or gardens. In addition to the melodies of wrens, dunnocks, and song thrushes, the roll of the spotted woodpecker, and the meow of buzzards flying overhead, we still expect to hear the roaring laugh of Els Hulsing from behind a hedge with some regularity. Els, thank you!

Photo: The garden group celebrates summer, with Els Hulsing (left) and new garden coordinator Clasien Slebos (right).
Save the date: Sunday, 16 April, 2023 - 15:00

At several spots around the house, garden, and park, volunteers have been diligently working over the past few weeks. They worked in deep concentration and in silence, partly to prevent one name from being accidentally uttered. You understand: something is being concocted on Wester-Amstel. If we tell you what, it will no longer be a secret… However, we can already announce that on Sunday, 16 April, at the stroke of three o'clock, there will be a particularly exciting event at Wester-Amstel. You - as a Friend of Wester-Amstel - will be invited to this event as the first spring leaves appear. For now, we say - save the date!

By: Søren Ludvig Movig