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Autumn 2021: Behind the Scenes

It is tempting to use puns such as "behind the gate" or "behind the coach-stable doors". But we mainly want to tell you what has been going on at Wester-Amstel since the last newsletter that is of interest to you and our visitors. Should it be called ‘Invisible Wester-Amstel’? ‘In the shadows’? We’ll stick to 'behind the scenes'. And a lot has happened there!

We are proud to announce that our board is now at full strength with the appointments of Herma de Heer and Frits Roest. They will introduce themselves to you in more detail elsewhere in our newsletter. Herma will focus particularly on programming indoor activities and expanding the bond with our friends. Frits will take over the treasurer's tasks from Joost Terbrack and the expanding IT dossier. Joost has said goodbye as treasurer, but fortunately not as volunteer. We are very grateful for his contribution over the past two years during the crucial relaunch of our Friends Foundation.

 

More visible were our experiments this summer season with organizing events - again. The two outdoor events as part of 'Amstelveen 24hrs' were a resounding success. We organised a morning walk at 7:00 and an evening walk at 19:00 under the shared theme ‘Twilight Wester-Amstel’, but with a distinct different character: the morning was for nature lovers, the evening for, well, lovers! We tested our new digital reservation system, which turned out to be a bliss. All tickets were reserved within a matter of days, with a minimum of admin hassle.

Photo (T.Blades): Herma de Heer and Frits Roest
Photo (C.Slebos): The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, an extremely peaceful tour of our park.
Photo (T.Blades): A romantic scene at Wester-Amstel, the sun is setting and the candles are burning.

Not visible yet are the series of indoor activities that are programmed in close cooperation with Beschermers Amstelland. You can read more about these elsewhere in this newsletter.

 

Under the auspices of the Lissone Foundation, two wedding ceremonies were held in the park. For our volunteers, these gatherings - in the absence of major public events - were once again reason to present Wester-Amstel at its Easter best. Marriage-celebrations we like, they are the 'high mass' of a country estate. The Lissone Foundation adhere to the same policy as Groengebied did during its last years on Wester-Amstel: the number of wedding ceremonies and other private outdoor events is limited to a maximum of four per year. Parties with electronically amplified music after 21:00 are not allowed. This keeps the wear and tear on the fragile park and potential impact on neighbors and other visitors at acceptable levels.

The most tangible events have taken place behind the large, green coach-stable doors. A team of carpenters, painters, plumbers, glaziers and our volunteers have been working hard here for the past three months. The old coach house has been restored to its former glory, a physical separation has been made between the rented office area and the rear hall, we now have two private toilets for visitors, and a fully-fledged pantry. Improvements have also been made elsewhere in the building. The discussions about the color choices of 'dead salmon' and 'brassica' - corrupted by our painters to 'dead fish' and 'bhaghwan purple' - were hushed up with the laying of the 'new' brick floor.

 

The photos show a few samples of what you may expect upon entering. The showpiece, the doors with the image of the summer brig that used to be stored here, will be placed mid-January.

Photo (S.L.Movig): A multi-talented volunteer adjusts curtains for the back room.
Photo (S.L.Movig): One of the entrance doors to the back room. Beams and skirting boards painted in 'Bentheimer Yellow', the wooden planks with 'Brassica' akin 'Bhagwan purple'.

By: Søren Ludvig Movig