Mills On The Air: Kinderdijk

Next Saturday, May 11th, we will be activating Windmill "De Blokweerse Wip". This windmill is one of the 19 windmills of the Unesco World Heritage Kinderdijk.

In the Alblasserwaard, the area to which Kinderdijk belongs, problems with the water level became more and more apparent from the 13th century. To get rid of the excess water in the polders, long canals were dug. These canals are called "weteringen" and you can find them all over Holland.

This method remained sufficient for only a few years. The ground level fell yet again because of a structural issues (veen) and the level of the river rose at the same time, requiring an additional way of keeping the correct level of the water in the polders.

It was decided to build a series of windmills which would pump the water into a reservoir (boezem) until the level of the river had reached a level that pumping the water into the river was possible again.

In 1869, the windmills received assistance from a steam "mill" or pumping station, which was replaced by a diesel pumping station in 1927. The pumping station was not able to function properly in the second world war, because of lack of oil. The windmills proved their usability and functioned again as never before.

The "Blokweerse Wip" was originally build around 1532. It was set on fire by the Spanish troops during the Eighty Years' War and was rebuild at the beginning of the 17th Century. The last restoration took place in 2001 after the windmill was partly destroyed during a fire in 1997.
Up on today the windmill is operational and is still pumping water from the Blokweerse polder to the Nederwaard Canal.
We would like to thank the millers Wim and Cees van der Wal for their hospitality.

Rob and I are operating on HF and VHF on Saturday May 11th from around 8 UTC until about 16 UTC. We will be using PA3BXR/MILL as our callsign. Locator: JO21hv. Occasionally you may hear one of our ham radio friends on the mike.