We visited Foxton yesterday to sample some Dutch delights, and join in the 10th Birthday celebrations of De Molen, the 17th century working replica Dutch windmill in the main street. The ground floor of the windmill serves as a visitors centre and sells authentic Dutch goodies. The volunteers on duty inside the shop were all dressed in costume, and was the accordionist who was seated in the doorway playing merrily away while we filed past.
For just the price of a gold coin donation we could climb the steep stairs to the upper floors. We sat for a while and watched the video which told how the windmill was built and how it all works. Photos of the windmill build covered the walls, as well as some interesting textiles. I walked over to admire a lovely framed cross stitch panel showing windmills through Holland. Someone has put an an awful amount of work into this panel.
Also hanging up was another pretty panel, a commercial piece showing a young girl in a field of tulips, with a windmill in the background. What could be more Dutch than that? It seemed to me that the local Dutch community had donated (or perhaps loaned) these items to the windmill trust.
We had a good look around the windmill interior and another volunteer dressed in costume explained the workings as we watched all the wheels and cogs moving together, driven by the power of the wind. Through the window we could see the large blades as they kept swishing round and round. Down the steep staircases we climbed, going backwards as suggested, to have a look around the gift shop. After seeing how it all worked, we couldn’t leave without purchasing a bag of stone ground wholemeal flour, and a selection of Dutch biscuits from the ground floor shop. I’ll use some of that flour when I next make a batch of bread.
Organ music was calling us as we made our way outside, and we saw the prettiest pink painted organ. Built in 1880 in Paris, the organ was sent to Amsterdam in 1903 where it played on the streets up until WW11. All street organs were banned from operating by the German occupying forces in 1942, and this organ was hidden away to keep it safe. After the war it came out to play tunes again, before being sold and shipped to USA. The organ arrived in New Zealand in 2001 in a very bad state and has been completely transformed back to working order and a new life.
We sat outside eating our tasty lunch of of Dutch sausages served with mustard and sauerkraut, and Ollie-bollen, similar to a doughnut - a deep fried pastry filled with raisins and dusted with icing sugar, while the organ music swirled all around us. We had such a lovely morning out sampling all sorts of Dutch delights!