Svinkløv Camping History
History of the place
By the end of the 19th century, it had become fashionable to swim in the sea. Already around the beginning of the 20th century, Svinkløv was popular as a bathing place. The first tourists came around 1900, after the railway between Aalborg and Thisted had been taken into use. The first bathing pensions in Slettestrand appeared around 1895, and the first hotels around 1910. Svinkløv Badehotel was built in 1925. Bathing pensions and hotels were mainly visited by the better bourgeoisie from the big cities. The more ordinary citizens, including especially locals, often went to Svinkløv on an excursion on Sundays. Svinkløv Plantage was established by the dune service (later the state forest service) in the years between 1884 and 1910. Jens Peder Jensen was the supervisor of the plantation in the years 1914-1933. He was married to Maren. They had 21 children and one foster child. Two of the sons were named Ole and Martin. The whole family lived in the caretaker’s residence (No. 545), which was built in 1903 and rebuilt after a fire in 1914.
Excursion guests often approached the caretaker’s residence, where they asked for boiled water to make coffee from. Thus, over time – even before Jens became a caretaker – a tractor place emerged where you could buy a cup of coffee, a cheese dish, a piece of pretzel or a soda. Some excursions brought tents and spent the night around the plantation when the time allowed and the weather was right. Some settled on the edge of the forest near the tractor site. This is how the story of the campsite in Svinkløv begins.
Traktørstedet in Svinkløv 1950
The camp site Svinkløv
The tractor site, which had gradually emerged, became a place where people came with their tents and spent the night around the plantation.
It quickly became a campground where all the people could settle down when the weather was right for it.
The armor barrier. The road along the “Fall” down towards the beach hotel
The house Granly
Jens’ son Ole was married to Katrine. In 1928, Ole and Katrine are allowed to rent a plot of land from the dune system and build a house near the caretaker’s residence. The house is named “Granly” (No. 543), but is often referred to as “Katrine’s house”. They also rent some agricultural land, because the house was also to be a kind of retirement home for Jens Peder. The tractor site will be taken over by Katrine and moved to the new house, where it will be established in an extension, which today is the northernmost part of the store building (no. 541). In addition to the home and the tractor site, the facilities consist of a shop, a small warehouse, an office and six rooms that are used for assistance and rental for summer guests.
The Holidays Act, which was introduced in 1938, gave for the first time all employees the right to paid holidays. With this, it was not only the well-to-do who had the opportunity to go on holiday. Holiday life had now become public property. It was also felt at the activities in Svinkløv. In the late 1930s, the dune creature gets bored of the disorganized tent pitching around the plantation. You gather and organize the activities in one place. Initially, a field east of Katrine’s house is used for the purpose (the car park). A camp site has thus been established in Svinkløv.
Svinkløv Camping. The gates. 1997
In April 1940, unexpected guests arrive for coffee. The occupying forces establish a “coast guard” just north of the overseer’s residence. The Coast Guard’s task is partly to scout for the expected English invasion, and partly to scout for planes that are heading towards the airfields in Aalborg. In 1942, an observation and bearing station (P1) – called “Strassburg” – was established to support shootings with Battery Hanstholm II. As radar develops during the war, both sea and airborne radars are set up to help solve the task. An armored barrier is established across the road leading along the “Fall”, and one in the “Fall” itself. At least for a period of time, the tractor site is used for accommodation. The cottage (no. 447) is used as a guard room. 2 km further west, at Stenbjerg (Svinklovene), an infantry base called “Stützpunkt Svinklöv” is established. To accommodate the crew, a barrack town is established in the plantation. After the liberation, the barracks town is used for a short period to accommodate refugees. After the refugees have returned home, the barracks are taken down and they are largely reused as clubhouses, town halls and cottages in the area.
Svinkløv Camping 1969
Coastal tourism is flourishing
During the war, coastal tourism was almost completely quiet. Access to the west coast was particularly limited in recent years after the construction of the Atlantic Wall. Beaches and dunes were plastered with barbed wire and mines. After the war, coastal tourism is slowly picking up again. For most people, the means of transportation is still the bicycle. From the 1950s, and especially in the 1960s, the car becomes everyone’s property, and this means a much faster and more flexible transport for the average person to the holiday country. Until the early 1960s, it was mainly tent campers who came to visit. During the 1960s, more and more caravans acquired, which also began to find their way to Svinkløv.
Svinkløv Camping 1984
Svinkløv Camping is established
The space east of Katrine’s house is fast becoming too cramped, and Katrine’s field and surrounding stands must be used. In 1958, an area for camping was surveyed. Ole dies in 1958. After Ole’s death, Katrine is helped by Jens’ son Martin, who then works as a camp assistant.
Svinkløv Camping is formally established in 1959. This is the first year in which the name is officially mentioned, and it is the first year in which there is bookkeeping and accounts. Based on the accounts, one can follow the development over the following 12 years: From 1959 onwards, fees are paid to the camp manager. In 1959, vegetation is cleared and a water supply (well and pump) is established. In 1960, a light wooden shed with toilets (barrel latrines) and washbasins (cold water) was established. In 1962, a toilet building was built in brick and wood containing 14 toilets and washbasins (cold water). In 1967, the first 24 electrical sockets were established on the site. In 1968, a separate water well and waterworks were established, which in addition to supplying the campsite also supplied the four homes in the area. In 1969, swings, seesaws and firefighting equipment were procured. In 1970, four shower rooms were established in the toilet building and probably at the same time an oil boiler was installed to supply hot water. In 1971, a waste disposal depot is built (the black shed at square 420). In 1971, the camping area is approx. 3 ha.
The campsite is growing
With the establishment of an actual campsite, the number of overnight stays increases explosively. In 1962, almost 4,000 overnight stays were registered. In 1963, 12,000 overnight stays were registered. In 1966 almost 17,000 overnight stays and in 1970 22,000 overnight stays. Camping life is supported by the introduction of a 3-week paid holiday in 1953, and the introduction of a 4-week paid holiday in 1971.
Katrine will continue as camp manager until the season 1971. For the last few years, however, the tractor site was closed during the high season because Katrine allegedly did not have the strength to run it all at the same time. In 1971, it was the dune planter’s recommendation to the Dune Directorate that Katrine should continue to run a tractor place and room rental, while a new building for information, shop, warehouse and camp manager’s residence should be built and a camp manager hired to run the campsite and shop.
Svinkløv Camping is expanding
It was not until 1973 that the current building (No. 541), which houses the information, shop, warehouse and camp manager’s residence, was ready for use. It is p.t. unclear what happens to the tractor site, the room rental and Katrine. The tractor site and the rooms will probably be closed down in this connection, as the Dune Directorate, as a comment on the recommendation, has pointed out that the rooms hardly meet the authorities’ requirements and that new rooms should not be furnished.
The number of overnight stays continues to rise, and soon the capacity is again too scarce. In 1975, another service building was built in the western part of the square. Over several rounds in the 1970s and 1980s, the square expanded to the north, south and west. In 2000, five cabins will be built. In 2001, the first service building was replaced by a modern service building with up-to-date facilities. In 2005, five more cabins will be built in the luxury class with shower and toilet. In 2005, the campsite will be one of the first four in Europe to be awarded the EU eco-label “The Flower”.
From 1972 until the 1996 season, the campsite is run by the then state forestry with the help of employed camp managers. From the 1997 season onwards, the space is leased to self-employed tenants, who run the space at their own expense and risk.
Svinkløv Camping. The reception. 1997
Svinkløv Camping. Info and seating plan. 19xx
- 1933-1971: Katrine Jensen.
- 19xx-19xx: Ukendt
- 19xx-19xx: Dorthe og Jørn Johansen.
- 19xx-19xx: Ukendt
- 1981-1996: Kaj Albrektsen.
- 1997-2006: Jonna og Frank Jensen.
- 2007-2007: Ronnie Bjerregaard.
- 2008-2011: Jonna og Frank Jensen.
- 2012-2014: Inge Vestergaard og Karsten Jepsen.
- 2015-2020: Vibeke Jensen og Hans Sørensen
- 2021- : Birgitte Hassing Andersen og Martin Andersen