Wednesday 29 September 2010

Meeting of Dutch members of the Brussels Brontë Group in Rotterdam

Guido and Nelleke van Rijn, Jenny Hofman, Maureen Peeck-O'Toole and Marcia Zaaijer meet in the Trompenburg Gardens, Kralingen, Rotterdam

On Saturday 25th of September the Dutch Branch of the Brussels Brontë Group met in Rotterdam. From one of our earlier meetings we learned that we not only share our love for the Brontë-sisters, but that we also like to dwell between plants, shrubs and trees. So we met in the Trompenburg Gardens and Arboretum in Kralingen, since 1895 a part of Rotterdam.

The history of these gardens started in 1825 as part of a house in the country. Most of these country houses disappeared in the 19th and 20th centuries because of the ever-increasing need for houses for the common people of Rotterdam, but Trompenburg survived and its garden became a real park. For the greater part of its history Trompenburg belonged to the Van Hoey Smith family, but since 1958 it is a foundation and the park is open to the public. No ‘allée defendue’ here as in the Pensionnat, though there are beautiful hidden places, where in summertime you can sit quietly and read a book.

In one of the newly required parts of the arboretum there is a tea-house, a good place to renew our acquaintance and talk Brontë. In the afternoon we were lucky that during our walk it was dry and sunny, so we could really enjoy this greenest part of Rotterdam.

Our next chapter was Hoofdtuk II (Chapter Two), a grand café and restaurant decorated with books and serving good food and a nice environment to talk Brontë again.

We hope to continue meeting and talking Brontë in future gatherings in the Netherlands and we look forward to see you all in October in Brussels.

Marcia Zaaijer
Photographs by Eric Ruijssenaars

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