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Flanders, land of dairy


On Sunday 28 April, we’re celebrating Heritage Day. How do you do that? With artisan crafts and craftsmanship, of course. And this year, dairy is on the menu. Does the milkman still deliver to your door? Have you visited a cheese market recently? If you can’t really remember what that’s actually like, these short films are certain to jog your memory.

Milkmen have almost completely disappeared from our streets. The emergence of the refrigerator last century ultimately made his daily deliveries of dairy products unnecessary. In the 1960s, small shops and door-to-door sales also came under strong competition from supermarkets. These days we look forward to couriers delivering our hot meals, supermarket orders or that new pair of shoes we bought online.

You can taste over 100 different Belgian cheeses at the cheese market in Damme. Traditional food markets still exist today, but they’re facing fierce competition from food trucks and other catering businesses, which have gained in popularity over the years. Which do you prefer? Browsing the friendly local market in your neighbourhood, or tasting foods from all over the world at a food truck festival?

The West Flanders Provincial Archive sent in this clip for the Image Capsule 2017. This archive was founded in 1994 to manage and provide access to the written and digital materials from 1794 until the present day.

The short film about the milkman comes from the AVS ‘Meetjeslandse Television’ archives, and was submitted for the Image Capsule 2015. This regional broadcaster was created in the 1980s around six hobbyists, free radio, the local written press and video amateurs. Their aim today is still to provide a network that covers all of Eeklo and beyond, reporting local news for the whole of Meetjesland.

Curious about other Heritage Day initiatives? You can find out more at

More clips in the spotlight: