Dutch Trio at Conisbrough – “Hitched” Their Way Here

July 1950

South Yorkshire Times July 22, 1950

Dutch Trio at Conisbrough

“Hitched” Their Way Here

Three hitch-hikers who have arrived in Conisbrough wave found a new way of brightening their way. While one (self-taught) plays his guitar, all three sing. Their choice, long and accented “Western” songs is remarkable considering that the hikers are all Dutch.

The three Dutch boys, civil and electrical engineering students in The Hague, are staying with Mr. Alec Taylor, in Garden Lane, Conisbrough, until Tuesday. They are paying a return visit of one made by Mr. Taylor when he went to the Netherlands for a fortnight last year.

Karl van Biezen is the youngest, aged 18. For him it is the first time in England. Fritz Johannes Harmen Overzee, (19), is the eldest. He came to England in 1948, to see the Olympic Games, with the third member of the trio, Wilhelm Johannes Boon. Wilhelm is 19 to-morrow.

When they left Holland last week the three split up. Karl and Wilhelm stayed together: but Fritz made his own way to England. The reason lay in, the fact that where lorry drivers and would be “hitchers” are concerned, three’s a crowd. Fritz made, the fastest time to Conisbrough arriving last Thursday, via Brussels, Calais, London and Sheffield. What he saw of Sheffield did not impress him, but compared to what he saw of Denaby later it was an Eden.

Karl and Wilhelm arrived the next day. They had come by Antwerp Lille (France), Dover Towcester and Doncaster.                They had slept each night in a youth hostel where they had played guitar, and all  three had been given lifts quite readily, more readily when the motorists had seen the Dutch flag each had tied to his pack. One car driver had taken Karl and Wilhelm home, and had given them tea and later supper.

British driving and British drivers had obviously impressed the boys. If a car overtakes, they say, the driver gives a signal. At home, if a car overtakes the driver merely presses on his hooter loud and long.

There is a full programme for them until Tuesday, when they move on to Scotland for a week or so. They have already seen some of Derbyshire, and will probably go on to Speedwell cavern. They have also visited some of the friends they made last year, when several people from this district went with Alec to Holland. One of them, whom they visited yesterday, was Mr. A. H. Wholton, former manager of Messrs. Woolworth’s Mexborough, and now at Barnsley.

On Sunday there is a ‘must’on the itinerary. This is Blackpool. They have never seen the Tower, the pleasure Beach, and, they add, Reginald Dixon. So they must go to Blackpool.

In addition to their English, there American, their Scotch, their Cockney, they have quite a command of the French and German, some Esperanto, a little Russian, and a few words of Danish.