Tikkurila paint factory in Vantaa, 1961.
Picture: UA Saarinen, Press Photo Archive JOKA, The Finnish Heritage Agency
This is how much Tikkurila has changed during my lifetime. In my childhood it looked like this. I remember all these places. Here next to the station, where there are now just multi-storey buildings, used to be a field of flowers. Likewise, there are multi-storey buildings now where the paint factory used to be. In those times, the paint factory was a big employer, and mainly Swedish-speaking. Indeed, it used to be called Schildt & Hallberg. The old people still refer to it as “shiltteri”, even though it’s called Tikkurila Oy nowadays.
The only remaining old buildings in the area are the Vernissa building and, my favourite place, the Swedish-speaking youth club’s building, Helsinggård. It is a grand wooden building on the other side of the river, next to the bridge. It has always been a very dear place to me. In the early fifties it used to be my daycare, and later a place for my dance hobbies, and it was just yesterday that we met The Marthas there. My wedding was also held in Helsinggård, in 1968. We had 120 guests. There were musicians, dances, and everything. The youth club’s buildings are places where the local Swedish-speakers meet. It is such a nice atmosphere, when we meet up. I still meet friends in Helsinggård, who I went to daycare with. We are a tight local community. My family has lived within a few kilometers of Tikkurila station for a few hundred years.