|Townhall of Zierikzee|
Zierikzee (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈzi.rɪk.ˌseː]) is a small city, located on the former island of Schouwen in the Dutch province of Zeeland.
Zierikzee received city rights in 1248 and was an independent municipality until 1997. The city is connected to the Oosterschelde by a 2 km long canal.
In 1953, Zierikzee was damaged by the catastrophic North Sea flood of 1953. The English town of Hatfield sent help and a friendship has developed. The two towns have been twinned.
In 1953 and 1954 I was asked to spend part of my holidays in Zierikzee to help cleaning houses , removing the mud and dirt caused by the flood in the winter of 1953. We were with a group of students from all over the world in a workcamp, working side by side during the day. In the evening we sat around a campfire and each of us sang a song of our own country. It was great fun. Every morning we worked from breakfast to lunch. In the afternoon we were free to do our own things. Like walking, swimming, discussing all kind of subjects concerning traditions, religion, politics....We also made trips and were invited to join some mussel-fishermen, catching starfish, because they are the enemy of mussels.
In the second workcamp in 1954 we had a terrible accident, which caused the death of one of the two Danish brothers. Some of the campers were swimming, while they didn't know that some places in the water were rather deep and if you got into one of those holes you had to get out by swimming . Our Danish camper got in such a hole, but couldn't swim. Other campers tried to safe him but in vain. He was 18 years old and his brother was 21. He and his parents came to Holland several times and stayed with us. They died several years ago and their other son died in 2007.
Pump in front of the townhall
The tower (Sint-Lievensmonstertoren) of Zierikzee was planned to be twice as high as it was eventually built. Lack of money was the reason that the building was stopped.