The second day of the trip started from Amsterdam. I would meet my father and sister in Nieuw-Lekkerland, the first of the three municipalities scheduled for today.
In an earlier post I mentioned that early 2013 (three years later than planned), the municipalities Nieuw-Lekkerland, Bleskesgraaf, and Liesveld will officially fuse into the municipality Molenwaard.
The municipality boards decided to take a route that is different from the usual procedures. Normally, the municipalities fuse, and the offices are merged afterwards. However, Molenwaard established an organisation (De Waard) that has been functioning since mid-2009, before the municipalities were officially merged. This organisation found accommodation in the municipal office in Bleskesgraaf:
However, since the municipalities cannot come to an agreement about the location of a new town hall, Molenwaard will probably be a municipality without a real town hall. Instead they have a ‘virtual town hall’, which has been operational since 2011.
Municipality: Molenwaard (as of 1 january 2013)
Location of town hall: Bleskesgraaf (51.869390,4.784353)
Nieuw-Lekkerland is a small municipality, home to international tourist draw of the windmills of Kinderdijk. There are 19 draining-mills, all of them are administrered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee as World Heritage Sites.
Currently, the former town hall is home to a community school, named after the carillon on the town hall square. The town hall moved its public services to Bleskesgraaf already early 2012.
Municipality: Nieuw-Lekkerland (fuses into Molenwaard 1 january 2013)
Location of town hall: Nieuw-Lekkerland (51.886981,4.682858)
A bit to the west we found the town hall of Bleskesgraaf. As always we ignored the signs and found ourselves on a unpaved road. Had it rained, I probably would not have been able to convince my father and sister to follow me. All went well, and it contributed to the whole adventurous experience of exploring. When we finally got into town, we asked for directions to an elder lady. She was rather confused, as it was sunday, and the town hall was not open for public services. She described the town hall animatedly, and she was also a bit disappointed that the municipality is about to fuse. Sadly, I found that to be a common sentiment among inhabitants I ask for directions.
I have to admit that although I am not a fan of most of the new town halls, I like the temporary town hall of Molenwaard. However, one feature I think is vital for a town hall is the landing. Without a proper landing, it feels more like an office.
Municipality: Bleskesgraaf (fuses into Molenwaard 1 january 2013)
Location of town hall: Bleskesgraaf (51.870675,4.779654)
The last part of the trip was Liesveld.
What went wrong in finding the town hall, I don’t know. We did not find the former town hall. Instead, we found the former, former, town hall of Liesveld. As you can see, it might be one of the cutest buildings around. A small landing on the front, very small footage, and a rich history. So, I am lucky to have seen it.
We didn’t know that the former town hall is actually in the next town. So, on a future trip I will visit Nieuwpoort again to make a better picture of this lovely former, former, town hall (as my dad tries to attention whore it with his yellow jacket), and I will make sure to visit the former town hall in Groot-Ammers.
Municipality: Liesveld (fuses into Molenwaard 1 january 2013)
Location of town hall: Groot-Ammers (not depicted in the picture above)
km total: 1234
done: 3 (29)
to to: 386