Doubts among fairground operators, restoration of old whirligig costs thousands of euros

Will the 100-year-old whirligig of Rick Braak from Grootebroek ever run at fairs again? It is the big question now that the fairground operator has been told that the restoration of the nostalgic float from 1923 will cost thousands of euros. “One thing is certain: he won’t be ready for the start of the new season.”

Three years ago, Braak bought the century-old whirligig. Even though he already had two, with which he appears at many North Holland fairs. “For the collection,” he said earlier. The whirligig served until 1963, since then it has been in storage. It is still original and in good condition. “The only one in the Netherlands.”

So it stood in the corner for a long time and is now assembled in a warehouse in Purmerend. But how do you get a whirligig from 1923 running again? The inspection is essential for this, because safety comes first. “The mill must meet today’s requirements. The electrical power is not good and the engine is old. It should not be used. A lot has changed in 100 years.”

The first inspection has now taken place. “It’s going to be a hassle,” says Braak. “A lot needs to be adjusted, which I expected. The engine, the drive, the electricity, lighting and the steel cables, to name just a few things. And then the real inspection still has to come.”

The quotation for the final inspection – which will follow when everything is ready – was also unfavorable. “All together it amounts to at least 12,000 euros. It will be a ship of repair. Many people are enthusiastic about running it at fairs again, but I can pay for it. And I earn my living with the other two whirligigs. This one is actually purely as a hobby.”


The future of the whirligig is therefore uncertain. “If it goes back into storage now, I’m afraid it will still be there in 50 years,” says Braak. That’s actually a shame. Another option is to restore it step by step. So order parts every now and then. Then it is easier to spread out financially. One thing is certain: he is not ready for the new season in March.”

There is quite a bit of attention for the whirligig, after it became known that Braak owns the attraction. “There are already two people who would like to buy it from me, but that’s not why I bought it. I’m not just going to get rid of it. I’m an enthusiast and would like to show up at fairs with it again. But it has to be done. do be.”