The Valkaart along Rodebachlaan in Oostkamp has become an integral part of sporting and cultural life. It is also the place where many youth associations have their headquarters and within which the park is a space to walk, play or have fun. Autumn map has been around for half a century. This will be celebrated on Sunday 28 August with a great Flemish fair.
Much has changed over its 50-year history and the park field has seen a number of memorable events, including the violent fire in 1991. On Sunday, August 28, the Ostkamp Local History Department, along with the Ostkamp Heritage Council and the municipality, organize 50 years of Park De Valkaart to celebrate her birthday. The party will take place from 2 to 6 pm in De Valkaart, where about 30 covered booths and free folk games are provided.
The history of the De Valkaart Domain dates back to 1877. Le Chenoy was built there by Arthur Becstein, according to the plans of the famous Bruges Delancenserie architect. The coach’s house and the chargé d’affaires’ house were also built at the Stationsstraat at that time. In 1918, the Kervyn de Meerendré family purchased this park. In 1952, Le Chenoy was demolished and the current ‘t Valkennest was built. The cellar and fireplace are still remnants of the old building.
In 1971, the municipality of Ostkamp purchased the site, which at that time had an area of 6 hectares. The official opening followed on July 8, 1972. This strategic purchase was the first step in the expansion of the sports and cultural center De Valkaart as we know it today. The family home has been converted into ‘t Valkennest, which includes a meeting place and a care home. In the meantime, this house has been converted into a housing project with guidance.
“It is a place where every Oostkampenaar feels connected in one way or another.” – Alderman Sebastian Vande Ginste
The scenic caretaker’s house opposite Stationsstraat was renamed ‘t Roodkapje and served as a youth movement room for the girls. The chariot house has been converted into De Schakel. It has become a cultural center and is home to Saudi Arabia’s Ten Rode. The building has been expanded with changing rooms used by the sports federations. Shortly after the purchase, the current ‘t Bloemenhuisje, formerly Les Pommiers, was used as a meeting room and dressing room, among other things, for the outdoor basketball court next to it, which was used by De Oostkampse Merels. In 1989 it was transformed into a catering company.
Over the past 50 years, more and more accommodations have been added to the site. The gymnasium with swimming pool was opened on January 22, 1977. After the fire of May 5, 1991, a new, larger Falkart was built, including the theater hall. The festive opening of this event took place on May 28, 1994.
“The fire in De Valkaart was a disaster for Ostcamp and many of the associations that used the gym. But as a council we acted very quickly and decided to rebuild everything. We were able to preserve the pool shell and increase the area of the sports area to provide greater capacity for the associations. De Valkaart’s rebuilding also allowed The opportunity to integrate the theater as well as the sporting part, so that from now on we can focus very heavily on the culture,” says Ward Demwitt, mayor at the time of the fire.
There were other milestones in de Valcarte’s history. The Orcamp Tennis Club was founded in 1981. The members initially played on the now-disappeared municipal courts by the pool. In 1983 the club obtained a long lease of a plot of land in De Valkaart, since then the residence has been systematically expanded around the club. In 1992 KSVO Football Club moved to its current location in De Valkaart and opened the Coliseum this spring. In 1999, the gym was expanded with a gymnasium. In 2001 Saudi Arabia Oostkapjes and FOS De Eekhoorn moved to the site’s new youth rooms, and athletics accommodations were built in 2012, with FLAC Athletics Association active.
“All this ensured that De Valkaart became what it is today: a busy place where hikers, sports enthusiasts and culture lovers alike will find something to their liking. It is a place where many public celebrations have been held for half a century. It is a place where everyone in Oostkamp feels connected in a way or another,” adds Alderman Sebastian Vande-Geneste.
Heemkundige Kring Oostkamp (HKO) is a publication by De Valkaart. The book will be published at the end of 2023, but HKO is still searching for visual material from the opening in 1972 and for posters of celebrations held at De Valkaart. Other information is of course also welcome. (Girt Stop)