Skating in Amsterdam in the 1930s

Photo: My Dad on the left with an (unknown to me) race opponent. Great skating outfits! (Photo: Bert Buurman)

I grew up in the Dutch village of Ankeveen. In winter this still is one of the the ‘go to’ place for skating in The Netherlands. They’ve organised marathon races in the past, all on natural ice. It is absolutely gorgeous to skate there.

Back in the 1920s and 1930s my dad however, had to make due with ice rinks in Amsterdam. Unfortunately I can not make out where these photos were taken. It could have been the Olympiaplein, near the Olympic stadium (the Amsterdam olympic summer games were held in 1928). The Museumplein was also a place for ice skating until 1937. But there was also a skating rink in the Linnaeusstraat. The Apollohal was a skating rink in the 1950s (I think that is were my mum and dad first met!) and in 1961 the Jaap Edenbaan opened. For more history on skating in Amsterdam check out this short history (in Dutch).

Frans Vaal (left) in Amsterdamse ijshockeyclub shirt competing on hockey skates in Amsterdam, early 1930s. (Photo: Bert Buurman)

Number 13 was my Dad’s lucky number. Not so lucky in this race, looks like he’s losing… (Photo: Bert Buurman)

I sure wish I could have seen him skate. I only found his gear; skates, stick and gloves in the attic when I was little. A few clippings remain, a medal, a mention in a hockey history book. I heard there is still some game footage in the filmarchives in Hilversum. I sure need to find that some day soon.

Published by Françoise Vaal

My addiction to visuals started with cartoons on tv, comic books, and movies. I dreamt away while looking at my mother’s landscape photographs and imagined going there and capturing the landscapes for myself. For more than twenty years I was a picture editor for newspapers and magazines but my own photography had been limited to snapshots of faraway countries. My wish of dedicating myself to my own photography and art finally came true. My home base is The Netherlands.

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