Fascinating Stories about the Oranje Line Departure Hall

Fascinating Stories about the Oranje Line Departure Hall

Card games, a drop of the hard stuff and ‘de kras’* in the Oranje Line Departure Hall (or Thomsen’s Stevedore Company). Just a few of the wonderful stories told by maritime guide, Chris Vennix , former employee of Thomsen’s Stevedore Company. He recently gave the Sparkers a fascinating tour through the Oranje Line Departures Hall.

February 5, 2014

Back in time 

We had already heard that Chris could tell splendid stories about the ‘good old days’, when he was working in the building where Spark design & innovation is located. Reason enough to invite him to Spark to take us on a tour back in time.

Cards and cargo
Chris told us in vivid detail about the highs and lows of working in the port in ‘the good old days’, especially as a stevedore for Thomsen in the Lekhaven. An hour full of lively stories about the building, the great atmosphere, the many hands of cards in bad weather, and all the tidbits and other cargo that were moved from the ships onto land (and that were sometimes snuck off home). It was hard work for port labourers, but they had a good employer and a lot of fun.

Collection of stories
Chris’ book: "Het oude stukgoed", stories of the old cargo, will be published in the second half of March. Its full of wonderful stories about the port of Rotterdam and is available to buy at good bookshops.

Would you like a tour of the harbour too?
Chris Vennix has been a guide at the Port Museum for twelve years, a city guide for the Rotterdam Guild for six years and, since 2007, he’s been a maritime guide for the Port of Rotterdam. You can contact him by email at: chris.vennix@online.nl.

* ‘de kras’ is the boat owner’s assistant and responsible for making sure the work in the ship’s hold.