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History of Steenfabriek Huissenswaard

The first factory on the premises of Huissenswaard was built by F.C. Cock in 1825. A second factory was built by F.C. Colenbrander. This factory was leased to Derk Terwindt. In 1835 (Theodorus) Derk Terwindt started for himself with capital from his father Arnoldus Terwindt.

Steenfabriek Huissenswaard was founded in 1837 by Derk Terwindt (1804-1881).

The brother of Derk Terwindt, Nicolaas Terwindt, was founder of the former brickworks 'De Scherpekamp’ (next to Huissenswaard).

At the time of his death, Derk Terwindt owned three brickworks: Brickworks 'Huissenswaard' (Huisward) in Angeren, Brickworks 'De Emptepol' in Westervoort, and Brickworks 'Groot Eiland' in Hulhuizen.

In 1890, Huissenswaard was allocated to Frits Terwindt (1834-1906). Frits had three sons, of which two followed in the footsteps of their father: Gerard (1868-1954) and Theo (1880-1955) Terwindt.

After the death of father Frits, both brothers continued the business on their own account. The family estate included factories in Gendt and Druten.

Until 1912, Huissenswaard used field kilns; there was not much more to a brickworks. In 1912 the first annular kiln was built. In 1928 the annular kiln was converted into a reverberatory kiln. A field kiln was still in use then.

In 1930, Gerard and Theo Terwindt separated their properties. Theo Terwindt received Huissenswaard. Gerard Terwindt continued with the factories in Gendt and Druten.

During the war, Steenfabriek Huissenswaard was liquidated pro forma and incorporated in the Trading Company Steenfabrieken Th. Terwindt & Zn. The partners where: father Theo Terwindt and his sons Jan (1909-1990) and Jos (1918-1989). In 1944 the factory chimneys where blown up by the Germans to prevent them from serving as a focal point for the Allied forces.

After the death of father Theo Terwindt, the estate was divided in 1956. Huissenswaard was owned jointly by the five Terwindt children. In the same year, the company was converted into the N.V. Steenfabriek Huissenswaard.

In 1958 the brothers Jan and Jos Terwindt bought out their brothers and sister. Jan Terwindt established himself as director. Henk Sluiter (1924-2001) was hired as an accountant and deputy director.

In 1963 Jan Terwindt retired from the company for health reasons. He sold his shares to Henk Sluiter, who became director. Jos Terwindt became supervisory director, but basically had his interests represented by his brother.

At the time, Huissenswaard was a paving factory and produced approximately 8 million paving bricks WF per year. After Sluiter took over the shares of Jan Terwindt in 1967, the factory was modernised and expanded in 1968. They also switched to the production of bricks for masonry work. In 1976 another major investment was made: the old Verheyen moulding belt press was converted by Machinefabriek De Boer. From 1976 Huissenswaard produced hand-moulded bricks by machine!

Over the years, production had increased to 25 million bricks WF per year.

Sluiter_sr_1994H. Sluiter Sr, died on 23 Augustus 2001.

In 1978, Sluiter bought out the last Terwindt and became sole owner of Huissenswaard. 
In 1979 he started the construction of a new brickworks. The entire production process, consisting of clay pretreatment machines from Händle, mixers and a moulding belt press with handformatic from Machinefabriek De Boer, a drying plant from Keller, a setting machine and tunnel kiln from Lingl and a discharge machine from AVH (Oude Rijn), was housed in a building of more than one hectare. At the time, the most modern and largest brickworks in Europe! This factory was put into use in 1980. The original capacity of 55 million bricks WF has expanded over the years to 75 million bricks WF.

Henk Sluiter (S.) had since incorporated the B.V. Steenfabriek Huissenswaard in the HUWA B.V. holding and management was transferred in 1986 to his son Henk Sluiter (1955), production manager Geert van Rijn and sales manager Peter Dol.

Group formation

HUWA has been planning (since 1992) to build a new brickworks in Angeren, next to the existing brickworks Huissenswaard, but its plans floundered due to the Central Government's high water policy. When HUWA came to the conclusion in March 1996 that the required permits would not be granted, it acquired the entire share capital of Steenfabriek Rijnwaarden B.V., owner of the site (located in Spijk, municipality of Rijnwaarden) of a since demolished brickworks with a permit for the construction and operation of a new brickworks, on 25 April 1996.

As early as 16 July 1996, the first brick was laid! The construction was carried out under the expert supervision of Geert van Rijn, who remained technical director of HUWA until 1 January 2003. On 1 August 1996, the name Steenfabriek Rijnwaarden B.V. was changed to B.V. Steenfabriek Spijk and on 5 May 1997, the first brick was pressed.

With the two brickworks Huissenswaard and Spijk, HUWA B.V. formed a new group with the trading name ‘HUWA baksteen’

On 1 January 2003 Henk Sluiter passed management over to Piet Wijman, general manager, Wilbert Elfrink, production manager, and Hans de Leeuw, sales manager.

Betuwe line and modernisation

From 2001 to 2007, the tunnel under the Pannerdens Channel was constructed as part of the Betuwe railway. The Betuwe railway crosses the site of Huissenswaard underground. Part of the site was expropriated and this resulted in a division of the land where the clay depot and the stacking area were situated. In the years 2002-2004, the factory site was completely redesigned.

In 2002 it was decided to use this redesigning for a radical modernisation of the brickworks. Where initially only plans for an entirely new construction were considered, such construction became impossible due to the construction of the Betuwe railway.

The modernisation in 2004 resulted in:

  • An expansion of the clay preparation to enable the processing of Eifel and Westerwald clay, as well as other ‘difficult clay types’.
  • The revision of the drying plant and modernisation of the control of the drying process
  • The revision and modernisation of the control of the press and setting machine
  • The demolition and construction of the tunnel kiln
  • The demolition, renovation and expansion of the discharge and packaging machines
  • New construction of various warehouses for the storage of clay, sand and finished product

Altogether, since late 2004, Steenfabriek Huissenswaard has a completely new brickworks

Merger of HUWA B.V. with Vandersanden Nederland B.V.

In the summer of 2004 the Executive Board of Vandersanden Steenfabriek N.V. in Spouwen (B) contacted the Executive Board and shareholders of HUWA B.V. on a possible acquisition of Steenfabriek Spijk. Although the sale of Steenfabriek Spijk was not an option for HUWA, parties find each other in a fusion model, where the Dutch factories of HUWA and Vandersanden are merged in a single group. In addition, VANSAN S.a.r.l. in Luxembourg (owner of Steenfabriek Vandersanden N.V. and shareholder in the merged company) acquires an option on all shares that HUWA B.V. has in the HUWA-Vandersanden Group.

The new group started on 1 January 2005 and included the brickworks Hedikhuizen, Huissenswaard and Spijk. Management and sales are in the hands of HUWA-Vandersanden B.V. in Spijk. In April 2007, HUWA-Vandersanden started using the entirely renewed Steenfabriek Hedikhuizen.

Option date …. 1 January 2010 ….

In 2009, the management of Vandersanden Steenfabrieken N.V. (B) reintroduces talks with HUWA B.V.; this time on the acquisition of all shares in the HUWA-Vandersanden Group that are owned by HUWA. Vandersanden wants full control of Steenfabriek Hedikhuizen and Steenfabriek Spijk. There is less interest for Steenfabriek Huissenswaard, because the product range of Huissenswaard is not sufficiently in line with that of Vandersanden. Parties immediately come to the conclusion that Huissenswaard should be left out of the acquisition.

HUWA B.V. and VANSAN S.a.r.l. agree on the sale by 1 January 2010 of the interests that HUWA has in HUWA-Vandersanden B.V., B.V. Steenfabriek Hedikhuizen and B.V. Steenfabriek Spijk to VANSAN and on the spin-off of B.V. Steenfabriek Huissenswaard. Vandersanden becomes the owner of the brand ‘HUWA baksteen’, and HUWA B.V. is renamed Caprice Holding B.V.

From 1 January 2010, Steenfabriek Huissenswaard was once again active as an independent company under the trading names ‘Caprice’ and ‘Caprice baksteen’.

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