Benidorm receives 86 historical photos from a Dutch businessman

by Lorraine Williamson
Benidorm photos

BENIDORM – The Dutch businessman Wim Kuipers has donated 86 historical photos to the archive of Benidorm. The photos were taken by an English tourist in the early years of tourism development. The contrast with today’s metropolis could not be bigger. 

When he was looking for historical material about Torremolinos and El Ejido Wim Kuipers found the photos of Benidorm in an album and decided to donate them to the municipality that symbolises the development of tourism in Spain. This is reported by the alderman for historical and cultural heritage Ana Pellicer. 

“Story of Chance and Altruism” 

Pellicer has indicated that this collection “offers previously unpublished images of Benidorm” that “contribute to witnessing the evolution of our city over the decades and to recover our recent past”. But “besides the undoubtedly informative value of the donation, it also contains the story about chance and altruism, with Wim Kuipers as the protagonist, which also deserves to be told.” 

Passion for tourism history of Spain 

As he told Ana Pallicer “Wim Kuipers has been working for more than four decades to restore the historical heritage of Torremolinos and El Ejido. In his desire to document the touristic history of both municipalities, he acquired an album of holiday photos of a British family in places on the Spanish Mediterranean”. Among the pages of the album “he found several sheets of photographs taken in Benidorm in a period we dated between 1959 and 1962.” 

Donations to municipal archives 

Pellicer continues: “Fascinated by these images, which he came across by chance, and determined not to let them be forgotten, Wim Kuipers contacted our archive to offer this material for free; a generous gesture that stems from his vocation and passion to protect the heritage and for which we are extremely grateful.” 

A British family’s holiday in Benidorm 

Due to the content of the donated images, some of a personal nature, others of landscapes and places in Benidorm, the holiday preferences of this British family have become clear. “We know that they stayed at the Hotel Rosaleda and that they visited the municipal food market on Martínez Oriola and Costera del Barco streets. They liked to bathe on Poniente beach, stroll through Tomás Ortuño and Carreró dels Gats streets and visit the port.”

Benidorm photos

In addition to the existing collection 

The alderman for Historical Heritage emphasises that “this donation from Wim Kuipers is an addition to the donation at the end of 2021 from the German citizen Maximilian Greeven. At the end of 2021, he gave video footage of family holidays in Benidorm in the 1950s to the city council. There is also the enormous patrimony left by Cristina Boissiè”. 

All these collections, Pellicer specifies, “contribute to increasing the documentation and material on Benidorm of the last century and thus to the study and analysis of the evolution of our city, which today has become a leading tourist destination .” 

Related post: Pedro Zaragoza Orts, the man behind the success of Benidorm as ‘tourist pull’ 

Collection available to the public shortly 

The material donated by Wim Kuipers is already available for consultation by researchers. “Shortly, it will also be available to the general public once we launch the new management and consultation program for our Archives, which is currently in the implementation phase.” 

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