The History of Gravel Town

Uncle Tony

Gravel Town presents

Ever wondered how Gravel Town came to be what it is today?
Over the next year, we will take you along the history. With stories, pictures and of course music.

This is a picture of Uncle Tony taken in Germany, just after the war. Uncle Tony was the uncle of the fathers of Martijn and Michel from Gravel Town and features on the cover of the new EP The History of Gravel Town, Chapter III: Single Men.
The EP is now available.

Uncle Tony was a good man. When growing up, he always stood up for his sisters and often took a beating from their stepmother while protecting them.
His father had been a musician in a circus traveling throughout France which inspired Uncle Tony to become a musician too.

Most of his life Uncle Tony was single, although he had girlfriends from time to time.
Uncle Tony died in Cologne. He was hit by a car while crossing the street.

Vastenburg Family

Vastenburg Family (circa 1923)

You already met Uncle Tony. Here he is again, with his parents and three sisters. Uncle Tony is the little boy dressed up as a sailor.

As mentioned before, the father of Uncle Tony had been a circus artist for a while, in France. Later on in his life he became a sailor on a barge vessel, traveling the European waterways.

On a hot summer’s day, Uncle Tony’s father had been drinking heavily and he decided to take a dive from the wheelhouse. Unfortunately the water was really shallow and he got stuck upside down with his head in the mud. He died that same day and is still buried in the dutch township of Dubbeldam (part of the city of Dordrecht).

Pim and Inge

Pim and Inge (early 1970's)

These are Martijn's sister Inge and a guy named Pim on the streets of Gravel Town in the early 1970's. They're on their way to Pim's boat, where he organized a party. There were always parties at his Pim's house and boat.

Pim was a graduated biologist. He lived in the same street where Martijn was born and was your typical hippie guy. He was a accordion player, just like Uncle Tony, but was more into folk music. He had two brothers, that have always been close friends to Martijn's parents.
Pim even sold Martijn's parents their first car. It was of an unknown brand, and almost fell apart, but it always kept running, and was even tolerated by the police when they were stopped because it made so much noise.
Inge was still a child, as you can see on the picture. Martijn was not born yet. She doesn't live in Gravel Town anymore, but often visits to come and listen to the music.

Pim and Inge

Grandma Vastenburg praying

Here’s Martijn’s and Michel’s grandmother praying in front of a painting of Mary, mother of Jesus. The picture is taken aboard the inland ship her husband (our grandpa) was working on. It was one of the most modern ships of the era. Martijn and Michel descend from a long line of sailors, working on inland barges or sailing across the world on steam ships, around the 1900s.

A nice story: during one of their journeys a sailor was playing his accordeon so bad, that our grandfather pointed his newly bought gun, aimed and fired. He thought it was not loaded, but it was! Fortunately grandpa was a really bad shot, so he missed, but it was really close. Shocked about what he had done, he threw the gun overboard.
Shortly afterwards our grandmother decided to say goodbye to the sailing life and spent her remaining days in Gravel Town

Read more history at the history page, take a look at The history page

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