What does ‘Befour’ stand for ? Actually, it’s four times B, referring to your host Bert’s Bed and Breakfast…. Yes, but where do we find B number four then ? It is hidden in the names of each of the rooms: Felix De Hert, Alfred Nichels, Louis D’Haeseleer, Eugeen Bosteels, Frans Blanckaert,… each one of these persons was once elected Lord Mayor of the city of Aalst. In dutch we call them ‘Burgemeester’, literally translated: master of the citizens. Why did we dedicate our B&B to them? To find that out, you have to check the map of our town. We have a whole bunch of streets in the neighbourhood named after a Burgemeester. Our own street is called ‘Felix De Hertstraat’. It’s almost as if these wise town leaders from the past are watching over us. We felt we had to reward them with a B.
What was before Befour ? Our house was built around 1900, originally as a textile factory. The part where the guest rooms are situated, was the house of the boss and his family. The part that we rebuilt as a loft for ourselves, is where the factory stood. Aalst was a booming textile industry town in the 19th century. We had many factories, along the Dender river. They lasted till after the second World War. By then the economic situation for textiles had changed completely, the factories got into financial difficulties and had to close down one by one. Many of the industrial buildings were destroyed, or given another purpose, but there are still a few marks remaining of our turbulent industrial past.
Photo's: Catherine Misselyn (www.catherinemisselyn.be)