Groep van Ons sometimes even falls short of welding machines and welding hoods

Culture Flower Parade Lichtenvoorde

‘Hygge knows no (age) time’

By Barbara Pavinatic

LICHTENVOORDE – They have been building in the warehouse on the site of the former staircase factory Tenten on Albert Schweitzerlaan for about thirty years and this year they are celebrating their forty-fifth anniversary. They have never won first prize. That’s not what they do it for. At Groep van Ons, it’s primarily about coziness and a good atmosphere, about laughing with each other.

They stand out for their unique designs. Over the years they have been in the top five at times. In 2007, they reached their highest ranking with Troy. It was third place. In 2018 with Armadillo the fourth. In 2004, Koud Trick, the first ever car with real ice, was also good for fourth place. A special car was the Ice Truck in 2013, which was ultimately not allowed to participate and was at Joep ter Haar park during the parade and the days after. This year they are participating in Zwaan. Designers Kay Gosselink and Jules Meekes say: “We had conceived a very complex car for corona. Because we didn’t know what the increase would be after corona and if we would have enough people to build it, we chose a new and simpler design . We have already brainstormed with our design team and we have conceived Zwaan to our complete satisfaction.”

From father to son
“Group van Ons has about forty permanent members and fifteen permanent builders,” say Kay and Jules. This year we build on Wednesday evening and Saturday. Due to our simple design, it is not necessary to spend a whole week. One of the evenings was even so busy that we lacked welding machines and welding shields. It was new to us and indicates that there is great enthusiasm for building. Our builders are looking forward to it again after a few nasty corona years. It is as if, as they say, we saw each other yesterday. We’ll pick up the thread again. Meanwhile, seven children have been born and children are on the way. We continue to grow. We are a fairly young group. With us, the love of parades is passed on from father to son. Our fathers are still there, but there are already young people taking over from us.”

Abstract and calm music
“We are a real and close group of friends, and we celebrate the fair together every year. The name of the group arose when young boys from another group were not allowed to do anything with the car. They then formed this group which they called ‘the group of us’. Here they could enjoy themselves to their heart’s content and do whatever they wanted,” Kay and Jules laugh, “That’s why many people think we are accessible, and we always see new faces at the pasting weekend. Nothing is too crazy for us. We have special designs, are open, not afraid and take on challenges. We are known for our special use of color and the use of alternative materials such as tree bark. Usually Tom Nijs and Friso Hoekstra compose the music for our cars. We then show them the design and they make appropriate music for it. It can be calm, but also bombastic. Abstract, but also melodic. This year they couldn’t, and we ourselves chose a piece of music suitable for a Swan. It is abstract and calm.”

Dry humor
“In our group, everyone has their own expertise, and the contrasts between the members are great. Think about education and work. Our humor is so dry that everyone always thinks it’s nice here. We make subtle puns, but sometimes very harsh remarks. It always goes well. Everyone can go through one door together. Hygge knows no (age) time and we all chug around and together at the table in the canteen to drink a beer afterwards. There aren’t really any subgroups. Every year Jorisskolen visits us during the sticky weekend with about sixty children kneeling and nailing many buttocks. Hopefully again this year. In this way, we try to get the children and their parents excited about building parades. Everyone is always welcome in our group. If you are curious in the coming days: feel free to stop by! During the sticky weekend, people can also come and watch and participate!” Kay and Jules conclude.

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