Canteen building 75
Built in 1895, municipal monument
This building was once the home of the munitions factory gatekeeper. Since then, it has served various purposes. First, it was split into two dwellings for the stokers and their families. It was the stokers’ job to stoke the boiler, day and night. Later, it was turned into a canteen building and rest area for the cartridge factory, an office for buying and selling, and a reception building. The building has been extended over the years and, nowadays, only the very top floor of the original building is still visible from outside.
A former employee recalls: ‘That building was a canteen to begin with, but after the company became Eurometaal, the Development department was housed there. It was there that Spanjer had his accident. […] I was sitting reading when, suddenly, I hear someone approaching. And I say, ‘what have you got there?’ ‘That’s an electro-mechanical safety on a fuze,’ he says. […] ‘Look, it works like this.’ He presses on a little trigger, and the thing starts up. […] I can see there’s a live detonator in it. But I think to myself, it’s mechanically aligned and ignited electrically. As long as it doesn’t come in contact with electricity, we’ll be fine.’ ‘That’s clever,’ I say. And I put it to one side and carry on reading. I look at the clock and it’s 4.20. At 4.30 the whistle sounds and I think, I’ll grab my jacket, it was hanging over on the rack, luckily for me. So I stand up and walk over to my jacket and there’s a loud bang behind me. Like a gunshot. I think, that’s not right. So I’m standing by the door, I turn around and […] he was completely white. That piece of junk had exploded, it had flown up to the ceiling. He was covered in the powdery stuff. [….] So I run out, because around the corner was the construction office and they had a telephone. So I call the medical service and say ‘can you come right away, something’s happened to Spanjer.’ He says ‘his heart?’. ‘No no.’ ‘What’s happened then?’ I say ‘you’ll see.’ Because I’m thinking to myself, if I say ‘there’s been an explosion,’ they’ll send the fire brigade […] round in no time. […] So Hubert turns up, the medical officer’s brother, and he was put straight in the car, me too, and we’re taken to the medical service. Then everybody turns up, the fire brigade, the police, they all wanted to talk to me, I was the main witness, I had to stay.’
Currently, the building is home to Taets Art and Event Par., Events and exhibitions are held here.
More information: https://www.taets.com/