01 Dec '22

A streetscape filled with colourful machinery

door Wim Troch
We have been scouring the region for the past few months in search of signs of our industrial heritage. Often a reflection of past glories, these remnants of the past are becoming harder and harder to find, and fading in people’s memories.

This latest instalment in the series looks at how the Vilvoorde Street Museum is keeping the industrial legacy alive. The museum is a showcase for the huge variety of industries that once populated the area. Various items of industrial machinery are on display in local squares and streets. The Street Museum was created in 1989, when it was decided that a giant axle from the engine room of the recently closed Forges de Clabecq coking plant in Vilvoorde should be installed on a local square as a reminder of the area’s industrial past. This was followed by 11 more monuments to this heritage. Most of the machines immediately catch your attention. De Vest special secondary school students were enlisted to enhance their appearance with bright colours based on designs by Portaelskring artists. Since 2016, the task of embellishing the pieces of machinery has been entrusted to various young artists.