The life and times of bridge keepers at day seem rather cumberless and easy flowing. Not much more to worry about than the weather and silly cyclist wishing to climb a rising bridge. Real excitement arrives when a drunk skipper thinks he is in some Harry Potter adventure and another, much more magical world, is hiding itself as a bridge pillar.

But all of this is just a mask to hide their actual and real life from us little people passing their cottages.

In the centre of Dordrecht city (The Netherlands) an art project was started some time ago to make visible the well hidden secret life of bridge keepers. Most of it really takes place after dusk.

The story starts with the ”Draaibrug“, an antique swing bridge with large racks and pinions. It’s about a old myth why residents of the Dordrecht city are called sheep’s head.


On the water side of the cottage one will find a large red button. When this button is pushed a man starts to tell the story. Unfortunately this is  in Dutch only. So here is a short translation :

Long time ago a father and his son have a taste for fresh sheep stake. In those days when one wished to enter live stock in the city, one had to pay a tariff duty at the gates. But they much more favoured the idea of smuggling in the sheep.

So after buying a sheep from a local farmer they dressed it up like a boy complete  with a cap to hide his sheepish expression. Pulling it on two paws in between them.

Arriving at the gates, the gatekeeper stops them to ask them a few questions. The guard thinks the “boy” is much too fat, something which the father and the son had different ideas about. Also the fact that the boy has to be pulled along arouses suspicion.               

In the end the sheep let its self be heard in his own sheepish manner and the guard pulls away the cap and calculates the tariff.

De Engelenburgerbrug is already a different thing. It´s like a nightingale, when you hear it sing at day you think:”Is that all? What’s all the  fuzz about?”

But when you hear it sing in the middle of the night, when all is silent and quiet, it’s song really shatters the glass and lifts you up to a different level.


Quiet Plz! Do not disturb the silence!

Made by: Laura Jooren & Mariëlle van Heeren ( )

Another song can be heard at the Boombrug, which is at entrance of the little marina next to the cold waters of the Merwede. During the day, when the sun enlightens all things big and small, it hides it’s colours.

On the other site there is some information about the project. But this does not give  the innocent passerby any clue to what will happen after dusk.

(made by Wouter Sieuwerts

(captures are a life report of the experiences)

Things get even more bizarre at the Riedijksbrug, also a bridge  between a little harbour and the dark waters of the Merwede.During the day one might think:”Oh yes, of course, just some other artsy fartsy funny named object.“


But when the sun drops under the horizon, the true nature of PS9 Blub becomes visible.

Made by Jolande Vermeulen & Donie Dubbeldam & Henk Bax ( )

The king of all is without any doubt bridge keeper Teus.

Bridge keeper Teus has his own facebook page:

Teus truly lives adventure to the next level.

Having his birthday party in his cottage with a cake and a real stiff drink.

Making himself ready for the beach. Putting a nice tan on.

Then, one day he went away for the holidays. Leaving everyone clueless to his whereabouts.

After a long time, with search parties and all the blue alarms. Notes on streetlight poles:”Missing! Have you seen this man. The children are inconsolable.” 

He just came back, with a girlfriend.

He then had a short but very intensive relation with his girlfriend. You can find all the tasty little details on his facebook page. Here he is awaiting his love for supper.

Unfortunately, with Christmas, as always, stuff went ugly. A friend of his girlfriend picked a fight. Things got out of hand and within no-time his relation was over, leaving him with the soup and despair.


Not long after this tumultuous break down. A young dog filled up the immense empty space. But as everyone knows, dogs are nice, but not as nice as cats and they can in no way replace a girlfriend.


So when spring arrived, Bridge keeper Teus made an awful decision: he left his cottage for the city of Den Bosch, to make a new start in live.

We still mourn this dreadful turn. (  )

The new occupant of the cottage has an impossible challenge: to come even close to the immense heights bridge keeper Teus reached. But she bravely  tries.

Het Verleden Verkleurt (The past discolours) by Christine Slurink

Advised listening: Klaus Schulze - Kontinuum


Cheers, CatweazleMagic

Little note for visitors who are not aquainted with the dutch language: If you are  interested in my art, please click on the union jack in the upper left corner, or follow thins link.