History of De Tegenstelling
(or the memoirs of Fred and Martin)
The history of De Tegenstelling is roughly divided in three periods. These three periods are:
1) De Stelling with Fred Wolff and ‘the Robs’ (± 1980 – ±1990)
In this period, the first ‘drinks’ were held in a room in the basement with a movable bar.
2) De Tegenstelling with Martin Stroetenga (±1990 – 2000)
The quick expansion of De Tegenstelling under the inspiring leadership of Martin Stroetenga.
3) De Tegenstelling under Gyrinus natans (2000-…)
De Tegenstelling is part of Gyrinus and the Alcoholaat.
Below, we have expanded on the different periods highlighted above: the first is mostly about the founding of De Stelling by co-founder Fred Wolff, and the second story tells the story of De Tegenstelling, Budels and the meals. We will not tell you about the current situation in De Tegenstelling. You just have to pop by!
History of the De Stelling
By co-founder Fred Wolff (1997) (translated in English by the board of 2016-2017)
De Stelling was founded at the end of the seventies, as I was in the board of Gyrinus. It seemed a good idea to me at the time that there should be a bar within the VU. At bigger parties there were some rented taps, but the rest was bottled.
We were with the four of us, at the Tools Maintenance. Rob van den Brink had the expertise of cooling technique, and since we were young we thought that there was something that could be done. That’s how the idea started: to create something ourselves. I was in a Gyrinus Board meeting when Rob van den Brink en Rob Stoevelaar came in with a beer tap of Amstel. It took a while before a movable tap was created, out a lot of junk and old equipment . First we used it in the workshop next to the Gyrinus Chamber in C119. It was first used for the ‘Mosselmaaltijd’ in 1979. The bar needed a new place after people complained that it got in the way in the corridor. Kees Verhoef organised it so that the tap went to an installation room in the basement next to Animal Ecology.This room,however, was too noisy.
At Carool Popelier (snail culture department) there was a room full of glassware that wasn’t being used anymore. We emptied the whole room and put the glassware on top of the lowered ceiling, so that if you looked inside through the windows you only could see the glassware, and not the tap installation . So the name Achter de Stelling (Behind the Gantry) arose, which quickly was changed to De Stelling (The Gantry). Every week, 1 or 2 new people were introduced, including some professors. It became bigger, with music and some food (like grilled cheese sandwiches). Quickly the Stelling became too small, so we opened the doors and also made use of the corridor.
Because it was heavy going for only one group of people, we introduced the rotation system. This became a good idea, as new people were introduced with every group. When Ger van de Zee became the director of Biology, De Stelling was moved to the first floor to D103 and changed to a faculty bar. In 1996 the last founder stopped as helper of De Tegenstelling.
Martin Stroetenga (2001) (translated in English by the board of 2016-2017)
After one of the driving forces, Rob van den Brink, left, while I was active for years within the faculty, I somehow automatically came into the organization of De Tegenstelling. I was really ambitious, sometimes too ambitious according to Fred. We changed to a new supplier. The one we had was good, but something extra was always impossible. We changed to Bier&C. They were really enthusiastic about us. They were ex-squatters who understood our goal: Cosiness with good beers for little money. We still have an edge to them. Through Bier&Co, we started contact between us and the (in)famous Brewery Budels. The co-operation we have with them is truly wonderful.
The meals became compulsory through me. In that time the bartenders only made some sandwiches and nothing more. Also, back in the days, the bartenders set-up the bar, although they had no idea how to do so. So we changed it, Fred and I would build up the bar. Two advantages: there were more decent meals and the bar was cleaner. For Fred De Tegenstelling became too much, because of the popularity (from 25 eaters to 80 eaters!).
One of my actions as Stelling-manager was asking Coen v/d Weijden to be the successor of Fred. Our co-operation turned De Tegenstelling into a wonderful pub, where the parties became bigger, with the ‘Mosselmaaltijd’ and beer taste evenings- it was very exhausting. That’s why Frank Takken became our third Stelling-manager. After he left Esther Turnhout and Tessa Goverse joined. When they left Lothar Kuijper joined. In the end we improved our co-operation with the Alcoholaat.
Eventually the Alcoholaat of Gyrinus natans took the whole organization over and still has (red.).
Keep it up!