This is a post for Sepia Saturday 160.
I’m going to tell you a story about the ladies on the wagon below. In Scheveningen they are called ‘nettenboetsters’. I didn’t find a translation, so I chose one myself ‘mending workers’. If anyone knows better, please tell me!
1. On the wagon to the mending fields.
The mending or repairing of the fishnets was an important link in the fishing business in Scheveningen. Once the fleet was in the harbor, the mending workers came into action to make the nets usable again for the next voyage.
2. On the mending field1.
After each trip the nets were inspected and repaired. Should the nets quickly be checked then this could be done on the port side.
3. On the mending field2.
The repairing happened on the mending fields or in the attics of the shipowners by young girls and fisherwomen. Also former fishermen who wanted to earn some extra money did this work.
4. Aunt Rie and sister Anneke on the mending field in 1958.
It was not just young girls and women of sailors who checked and repaired the nets. The women of skippers and mates cooperated, but often as head women.
5. Demonstration activities.
Many women had other activities in addition to their role in the family, an additional income was nearly always a necessity. The repairing of nets was a hard job which was exerted by many women in Scheveningen.
6. Harbor quay; htmfoto.
They often had to work long and irregular. If a herring lugger sailed inside on Saturday morning, he remained 2x 24 hours in the harbor before leaving again. The women worked until all the work was done, even though that was until Saturday night around eleven thirty. On Sunday, no one worked.
7. At the harbor.
In winter the women worked on the mending attics of the shipping companies. Once spring was well in sight, the various groups of mending workers went daily to the ‘fields’. The nets to be repaired could be fully rolled out and the necessary work could be made much clearer. The women were then mending in the dunes and on the fields, nearby the water tower on the Harstenhoekweg.
8. Mending attic; htmfoto 1938.
During the activities on the attic the mending women not only worked hard, but they sang warmly. This were particularly devotional, spiritual songs. Twenty female voices echoed loudly through the attic space. All this was larded by long heard singing tones at the end of each line, as at that time was common during the singing of psalms at Scheveningen. Sailors or nets knitters, who occasionally also had to work in the attics, bravely sang with the choir in such circumstances. Perhaps that is why the fishing village still has several choirs, because it is beyond dispute: the inhabitants of Scheveningen love singing!
Bal, C.: Scheveningen in oude ansichten, deel 1, 1987, blz 112.
Hoeken, Cees J. van: Schevenings goed, 1984, blz 30-35.
Noordervliet- Jol, Nel: Schevenings bezit, 2005, blz 159.
Slechte, C.H.: Scheveningen tussen twee wereldoorlogen, 1978, blz 70-72.
Spaans, Piet: Mooi-Tooi, 2001, blz 72-80.
Click here for more stories about wagons, trucks and lifters by my fellow-Sepians on Sepia Saturday.