Heuvelstraat (Hill Street)

Heuvelstraat | Hill Street

oil on canvas (linen)
100 × 140 cm
September 2022

Midsummer in the fifties, June is the month of fragrant flowering lime trees.

However, from 1970 this quiet village street turned into a traffic artery straight through Deurne. Since then, almost all these lime trees, as well as the giant chestnut tree at the back of the street, have disappeared, what a pity. This too is the prize for what we call progress!

With this painting I want to evoke the environment where I grew up with my sisters Cisje and Berthie. Within that environment there are some other strong memories …


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1961: the beginning of the hippie era. A beautiful girl walks by, barefoot; her name is Magda.

1958: we see Dr. Hub van Doorne (president of DAF) in the back of his Ford Lincoln Premiere with a newspaper, the driver is Harrie van der Heijden. Incidentally, this is also the year that the DAF Variomatic is launched on the market. After its introduction, they commute between Deurne and Eindhoven in this much smaller car, instead of in the depicted presidential sled!

His beloved daughters, the twins Anny and Tiny, are returning from a forest ride on their snow-white Lipizzaners.

1955 or maybe a year earlier: we see a man on his bicycle, loaded with bags full of magazines. Every week I was keenly awaiting the new Disney comic being delivered. Driek (Hendricus) is about 47 years old here, young at heart, joyfully pursuing many activities, including delivering the latest comics to children. Maybe that’s why he lived to be no less than 101 years.

A few years earlier there were the escapades with my handcart on the sidewalk. With the right leg kneeling in the cart and the left scooting, I could go superfast. To this day I remember the feeling of that vibrating “tiller” in my hand and the sound of the wheels thumping on the flagstones.

This handcart is still used by my grandchildren. My father – their great-grandfather – made the cart for me after the war according to the construction principle of DAF (Van Doorne’s Aanhangwagen Fabriek), originally a trailer factory, later an automobile factory.

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