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Eeltje Foppe Laagland (1899 - 1969)

A brief history of Eeltje Foppe Laagland

Eeltje Foppe Laagland served in the Dutch army during the first world war as a cook. In the early 1920s Eeltje served his 'apprenticeship' as a baker in the bakery of Sybrandus Izak Faber in Grotemarkt Straat, Bolsward. Jan Faber the son of Sybrandus Izak later married Eeltje's daughter Hendrikje (Henny) Laagland). In April 1924 Eeltje purchased a bakery owned by Eelke de Jong in nearby Grote Kampen. Eelke de Jong senior had purchased this property for his son Eelke in 1920. Eeltje Laagland the new owner opened the bakery on the 1st of May 1924. The following advertisement was placed in the local paper on the Wednesday the 3rd April 1924,

'Opening Bakkerij Groote Kampen 11
door E.F.Laagland,
in Brood, Koek en Banket,
per 1 mei'

E F Laagland is listed in the 'Algemen Adresboek Provincie Friesland 1928' as a 'Broodbakker' (Bread Baker) and of address Gr. Kampen 11, Bolsward.

To the left of the Bakery was a grocer and to the right a residential home. The bakery itself was quite large with four bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs. The room with a single window to the left of the shopfront was the 'summer room'. The bakery itself extended to the rear of the block. The bakery ovens were wood fired, 'takenbossen' (bundles of branches) served as fuel until the late 1930's (1937?) when new coal fired ovens were installed. When the new ovens were installed the oven installers lived-in, as was common practice. Eeltje's son Theo, who was 12 years old at the time laid the first brick of the ovens. This brick was in inscribed "de eerste steen gelegd by Taede Laagland, 1937". Taede's son Eelco is now the proud keeper of this foundation stone. Eeltje had a reputation in Bolsward as a very good baker and won many prizes locally, inter-province and internationally. In 1932 at the 'Exposition Grain au Pain' in Brussels, Belgium, Eeltje won a silver medal (waterbrood) and the following year in October 1932 at the International Belgische Bakkersbond again in Brussels he won second prize (beschuit). On one occasion he won two bakers carts 'bakkers-fiets' on the one day. Eeltje and Hieke ran this bakery from May 1924 until the early 1960's, 1961 or 1962. The bakery and the surrounding buildings were demolished in the early sixties, 1962 or 63, and were replaced with residential buildings.

During the second world war there was constant fear of arrest of young dutch men by the German occupiers who would then send them to work camps in Germany. To avoid capture, many dutch people devised alarms in their businesses and at home to warn of approaching German soldiers. The Laagland bakery was no exception. An alarm button located under the serving counter was wired to bells in the the rear of the bakery and the upstairs bedrooms and would warn son Theo of approaching soldiers.The intention was for Theo to quickly hide in the 12 inch high crawl space between the ceiling of the
ground floor and the wooden floor of the second floor gaining access through an open vertical ventilation shaft.

Eeltje converted from the Menonite faith when he married Hieke and became a member of the 'Free Thinking Reform Church'. Eeltje worshipped at the Martinikerk in Bolsward where he served as an alderman and 'kerkvoogd' (looked after church possessions) for more than thirty years. Eeltje was a keen fan of the local football club Combinatie Achilles Bolsward (C.A.B.) and served as committee member and president of the C.A.B. supporters club. Before Hieke married she worked at a doctors residence as supervisor of the downstairs staff and for a time worked at 'Zelle' the local jewellers. Hieke was named after her grandfather, Gerrit Uilkes De Jong's older sister Hieke De Jong.

All four of Eeltje and Hiekes children were born Grote Kampen 11.

Owner/SourceE F Langenberg
Linked toEeltje Foppe LAAGLAND

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