Monday 29 June 2020

Post Cards From Director Holm

"I wish each of you a happy summer!" Director Holm from Nystrup Gravel writes on the back of a post card posted in July 1938 from the Danish island of Rømø. Holm accompanied by his wife seemingly took 14 days of vacation on the island and posted post cards to his employees twice. The two post cards have surfaced during a recent visit to the archives on a quest for something quite different. The two postcards reveal interesting information about the railway at Nystrup Gravel.

On the front of both post cards sent by Holm are motives from the hotel's own narrow gauge railway. The hotel probably carried a selection of post cards with motives from the beaches and scenic surrounding as well as its little railway. Having a business dependant on a railway himself, the post cards must have caught Director Holm's attention.
Posted Wedensday 13 July 1938 this post card has a traditional holiday greeting written on the back. "I hope you are all truely well and enjoying your holiday. I wish each of you a happy summer! All the best summer greetings from Director Holm and Mrs Holm". The photo shows the 'train man' and his horse on the hotel 'Vesterhavsbad Rømø' own 750 mm railway across the sparsely populated island of Rømø.

The island of Rømø has excellent beaches, but suffered very bad communications in the early 20th century. Particularly challenged was a hotel on the island's western shore as no road connected it with the ferry landing 4 km away on the island's other side. The hotel opened in 1898 and built a 750 mm gauge railway to supply transportation for guests, staff and supplies. While equipped with rather fancy coaches, traction was provided by horses all through the railway's existence. The railway was closed in 1941.
Holm's second post card from Rømø (posted Friday 15 July 1938) is this old card from the island's German period (Rømø was part of Germany from 1864 to 1920). The wagon has prompted Holm to ask one of his employees to check a Nystrup wagon for markings as he thinks it bears resemblance to the one on the post card: "The coach on this post cards reminds me of our own little coach. Could somone please check if there is lettering saying 'Nordseebad Lakolk' or 'Vesterhavsbad Rømø' under the heavy layers of paint on our wagon?"

While the two old post cards are interesting in their own right, they also indicate that Nystrup Gravel had not only two bogie coaches for transport of workers, but also a smaller four wheeled coach. I have yet to find a picture of the little coach. From Holm's post card it is fair to assume that the Nystrup Gravel coach looked quite like the coach from Nordseebad Lakolk seen above. I'll be on the lookout for more info on the coach as I have obviously developed ambitions of building a model of it for my 16 mm scale version of Nystrup Gravel's little railway.


  1. I love these old postcards, very atmospheric. I am imagining a hotel with no road connection but instead it's own railway - my kind of place :-)

  2. Hi Steve. There is more from the hotel line on Rømø on this Danish website. Scroll down for map and images: