Ancient remains are often seen as monuments of our forefathers, according to Swedish law (KLM ch. 2 § 1) ancient remains are monuments/remains after human activity from ancient times that has originated due to older manners and customs and are lastingly abandoned (my own translation). There is no absolute time span stated in the paragraph on how long a remain must have been abandoned before it is considered an ancient remain or monument.
A few days ago I passed the Verdandi Park in Älghult a small community in the Northwest part of Kronoberg County. This park does not constitute as an ancient remains just yet as it is still in use, but in another way it is a form of monument of a time that has passed. This is area is very well preserved with structures and a lovely atmosphere and can be seen as mirror into the past. Here is a dance hall and small buildings for sales of beverages, hot-dogs, tickets etc.
The Park was erected in 1931 by the Verdandi section Stridskämpen (the War fighter) in 1931. Verdandi is a Swedish workers’ organization striving for social justice and a society free from alcohol-related injuries. It was often rented to the local branches of the national unions and to local sports associations. Since 1984 it is owned by Älghults shooting association. Most of these parks were associated with a concept called “Folkets park“, webpage in Swedish, (The People’s park). These parks for the people was started as an idea of entertainment centers for workers, the first was established as early as in the 1880’s.
In the 50’s and fourth these parks/venues were the entertainment center in many small communities and cities around Sweden. Here one could go dancing, watch entertainers, go to political rallies and meet for big holidays etc. During the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s all kinds of bands played these venues, but to many Swedes they a linked to a Scandinavian phenomena called “dansband” or “dance bands”, directly translated. These bands plays what could be called a form of slow and soft rock and roll mixed with pop and country and western most often preformed in Swedish. To this music people most often dance foxtrot, jitterbug or slow fox. Though they still are popular in certain parts of the country the golden age were in the 70’s. On the website “Svenska dansband” one can see pictures of several of theses dance bands and their most often quite corny uniforms, I promise you some good laughs.
One of the more extreme uniforms were used by the band Gert Jonnys, click here and search for Gert Jonnys.
These venues are as said before not to be classified as ancient monuments or remains but are still worth to be protected as part of our national heritage along with other typical structures of the 20th century.