Over 50 years of BOERplay
It all started in a showercell at a small flat in Voorschoten that Kees Boer started to experiment with Polyester. Less then a year later he founded Kunststoffenfabriek C.A. Boer NV. The young Kees had aspirations and he would soon realise them. He landed in the world of playground equipment when he went to work for his father-in-law in the late 1950s. The company made school furniture and on occasion, playground equipment for schoolyards. Kees thought it might be a good idea to start making playground equipment from the new material, polyester. So, in 1961 Kees and his wife started their own company.
The first playground equipment, Alfa
Playground Equipment. Kees Boer developed the Alfa first and shortly thereafter, the Beta and the Gamma. Cheerful and colourful playground equipment. This gave the company a unique edge: playground equipment that were virtually indestructible and maintainance free – and also had unique shapes.
Flowerpots During the early days Kees Boer travelled day by day in his borrowed Volkwagen Beetle to sell his products. Before long, he received inquiries as to whether they could use the new material to make flowerpots. Of course they could. It was an excellent idea. It was precisely the same target group; the municipalities. As a result, the company began to prosper. In October 1962 Kees and Ank moved along with their new business to a house with a production facility in the Prins Bernhardstraat at Nieuwendijk.
Gradual Growth From that time on, the company continued to grow gradually. In 1963 a second production facility became operational. By 1968, the production was moved to a new factory. An estimated six people were working at the company at the time. In 1968, he made his first acquisition. A second acquisition followed in 1967 with the takeover of the aluminium division of IHC Shipyard. A year later in 1977, he moved all his companies, production facilities and offices together in the same premises. At the current location in the Hyacintstraat.
Recycling Ultimately, kunststoffenfabriek C.A. Boer BV came in contact with Lankhorst in Sneek. Lankhorst made ship’s rope and nylon fibres. The waste products were melted into uprights for easy storage. Jan Boer: ‘We noted all the inherent advantages; the plastic uprights help to solve a waste problem, are durable and can be repeatedly recycled.’ It was the introduction of the recycled plastics playground equipment. It made BOERplay renown.
New board of Directors Through the years there were also export orders from all over the world. In 1985 Boer entered the Belgium market with their own representatives. In 2007 the present owners Arjan van Schaik and Chris Westerveld took over the company. In order to extend the application of materials like wood and steel, the company Speelwijzer was taken over in 2009. The company is a leading company in playgrounds and playground equipment, sportsequipment and street furniture. The new board keep on investing in modernisation, automation and innovation to maintain a leading role in the branche. In 2012 Mr. Jan van Thiel (operations) and in 2014 Mr. Willem Butz (sales) completed the present board of directors. No one will ever forget how it all began. The Alfa, the first playground equipment that Kees Boer designed, still serves as the logo of BOERplay.