Huizen-Hilversum-Kootwijk: The Riddle Answered 

20 November 2023


Cover of World-Radio magazine

From World-Radio magazine for 30 August 1935

(From our Correspondent at the Hague)

The riddle of Holland is, I am assured by the authorities, not nearly so difficult as it looks.

For several years past there have been two stations, the one at Huizen, belonging to a combination of religious broadcasting societies, working on a long wavelength, and the one at Hilversum, belonging to the Socialist and “general” societies, working on a medium wavelength. As some listeners complained that they were unable to get all the programmes by this method, the Government, acting through the co-operative (i.e., Government and all the broadcasting societies) Radio Council, made an arrangement whereby the two stations exchanged wavelengths every three months. Huizen being, like most religious institutions, not too well supplied with money, hired its transmitter from the firm which started (on the initiative of an English employee) the original Dutch broadcasting station, the Nederlands Seintoestellen Fabriek.

In course of time — and especially in view of the fact that Romania had been granted the use of the same wavelength — it appeared that the service area of this transmitter was not completed satisfactory. There were, also, other matters that had to be considered and rearranged if Holland was to keep in line with progress in radio matters. Consequently a new limited company has been formed which will take over, as soon as possible, the work of erecting suitable transmitting stations.

Kootwijk’s Part

In the meantime, in order to get Huizen (1,875 metres) on a suitable strength of from 100 to 150 kW, the Government is lending to the long-wave broadcasters its radio telegraphic and telephonic (i.e., not, under ordinary conditions, broadcasting) station at Kootwijk, with all the resources there available, so far as they are not in use for the main purposes of the station. Technically, therefore, as well as actually (as has been the case for some time) Huizen is now “off the ether.” The vast majority of the broadcasts of all the various societies (of which there are at least a dozen entitled to the regular use, in greater or less degree, of the transmitting stations) are made from studios at Hilversum, though there are relays from other places.

All the many questions — technical, financial, etc. – regarding the erection of a general transmitting station, which will be linked up with the “studio stations” of the various societies, are now being discussed and settled by the new company, so that an announcement as to what it is proposed to do may be expected before very long.

When whatever decision is arrived at is carried out, the temporary arrangement of Hilversum-Kootwijk, 1,875 m., will be replaced by Hilversum long wave and Hilversum medium wave. Whether a more centralised control of the programmes will ever be inaugurated seems unlikely, for the Dutchman is very tenacious of his individualist principles, and it would appear most improbable that two such bodies as the K.R.O. (Catholic) and the V.A.R.A. (Socialist) — not to mention the V.R.O. (Freethinkers) or the H.I.R.O. (Humanitarian and Idealistic) — organisations will ever work under the same control.


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