In December Father Winter showed his face in the Netherlands. People put on their skates again and went skating, snowmans were made and in some places they were even skiing. But the frost wasn’t always fun, it also caused a lot of problems, especially in traffic. A selection of videos that show winters in the Netherlands in earlier years has now been added to Open Images.
The videos show that large amounts of snow have caused problems before. In the notorious winter of 1979 parts of the Netherlands were completely snowed in. A snow storm caused the blowing snow to pile up, sometimes several meters high. This gave problems in traffic: cars broke down, Schiphol Airport had to be closed temporarily and railway traffic became almost impossible. The army had to help clear the snow to make parts of the Netherlands accessable again. This report from the Polygoon newsreels gives an overview of the problems:
The snow and frost were not only the cause of problems, they also gave a lot of joy. How Dutch people enjoyed themselves in the snow and on the ice can be seen in several items of the Polygoon newsreels. We can see people sleigh riding, ice skating, ice sailing and even skiing in the Netherlands. In 1929 the ice was thick enough to have a funfair on it. People are dancing on the ice, there is a barrel organ and even a swing:
But winter isn’t really winter in the Netherlands unless their has been an Elfstedentocht. A report on the Elfstedentocht of 1933 has now been added to Open Images. This race had two winners that finished at the same time, Sipke Castelein and Abe de Vries. After the finish the Polygoon reporter asked them a few questions:
Besides several videos on snow and ice, there is also a video on winter fashion. In a Polygoon newsreel from 1959 some women show the latest fashion for the coming skiing season. We see a lot of stripes, the elastic trousers, a divisable hood and a jacket with icicle design. Not only fashion for on the slopes is shown, but also clothing for the après-ski. According to commentator Philip Bloemendal this ‘will make everyone look their best in the ski resorts’: