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A new estate begun in Coulsdon in the early 1930s. It was very different in style to those already built - known as the Coulsdon Vale Estate off Woodplace Lane. This comprised of two roads - The Netherlands and Wilhelmina Avenue forming a 'Modern Dutch Garden Village‘, as it was described by its Dutch architect Wouter Hamdorff, who used continental- sized bricks imported from Holland in construction. These, together with the continental design of the houses, produced a very attractive alternative to the mock Tudor style used elsewhere, so despite their comparatively high prices (£995 to £1185) they sold well. The original Dutch houses have small bricks, steep gables and ―eyelid‖ gables to the upstairs windows and metal braces on tall chimneys. Construction stopped in 1937 and the estate was not finished until after World War II. Wouter Hamdorff had returned to his native land, and is believed to have been killed during the terrible bombing raid on Rotterdam in 1940.


Wilhelmina Avenue in The Dutch Village, Coulsdon was named after Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (1880-1962). Wilhelmina, the daughter of King William III, was born in the Hague, the Netherlands, on 31st August, 1880. She became queen on her father's death on 23rd November 1890. As she was only a child her mother, Queen Emma, acted as regent until 1898.


Queen Wilhemlmina of the Netherlands


Queen Wilhemlmina with daughter Juliana c.1914


In 1909, Wilhelmina gave birth to a daughter Juliana.


After being on the throne for 48 years Wilhelmina began considering the idea of abdicating in favour of her daughter. However, her government managed to persuade her to continue.


When the German Army invaded in May 1940, Wilhelmina moved from the Hague to the extreme south of the country. However, when it became clear that the whole of the Netherlands would be occupied, Wilhelmina and her government fled to London.


Throughout the war Wilhelmina broadcast weekly to her subjects in the Netherlands on Radio Orange where she inspired them to continue fighting against the German occupation.


In March 1945 Wilhelmina she made a brief visit to the Netherlands and finally returned as queen on 2nd May 1945. Three years later, Wilhelmina abdicated in favour of her daughter Juliana and assumed the title of Princess of the Netherlands.


Installing telephone lines in Wilhelmina Avenue, August 1956‘ Courtesy of Croydon Local Studies Library.


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Wilhelmina, who wrote an autobiography, Lonely but not Alone (1960), died at Het Loo, near Apeldoorn, on 28th November, 1962.


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