Berntsson the Electrician

Like many young boys who grew up on the west coast of Sweden, Gustav Berntsson dreamed of becoming a fisherman

His mother passed away when he was just six years old and fishing became a welcome escape from reality.

But Gustav never did turn his hobby into a career. Instead, his working life began right here at Lyckans Slip boatyard, where he laboured for three years from the age of 16, making just a few pennies an hour.

In 1940, Gustav got a job at the island’s power station and, when the electricity company’s local operations manager passed away just a few years later, it was decided that Gustav should be sent to Stockholm and train to take over. His new role was to keep him very busy.

Whenever there was a power cut on the island, people would call Gustav’s wife Evelyn, who’d send her husband out to find out what had gone wrong. During stormy weather (a frequent occurrence out here on the coast), the risk of power failure was so high that Gustav took to sleeping, fully clothed, on the sofa, ready to rush out the door.

Any spare time was always dedicated to fishing and, once retired, Gustav spent countless hours at sea. He not only made his own nets and lobster pots but also crafted several boats – a skill he picked up here at Slipen.

If the power should fail during your stay, please don’t try to track down Evelyn, just give reception a call.

Greengrocer Ödman

Best known for his green fingers, Alexius Ödman also had plenty of dirt beneath his fingernails.

An energetic and diligent man with a distrust in machines, he never shied away from back-breaking manual labour and would rarely rely on help from anyone but his horse, Freja.

When he took over Ögården from his father Johannes (himself a second-generation vegetable farmer) Alexius was just 15 – and already no stranger to hard graft. Every Saturday, he’d bring the farm’s home-produced crops to the market in Lysekil, a journey we can’t picture many of today’s teenagers making each week.

Market day began at dawn, when Alexius would pack his cart with vegetables and drive Freja the three or so kilometres to the ferry point at Östersidan. He’d then transfer the heavy load onto the ferry’s cart and drive his own horse and cart back to the farm, before cycling back to the ferry. Once across the fjord in Lysekil, he’d hire a horse and cart, transfer the whole load over once more and drive it to the market square. After a long day at his stall, it’d be time to pack up any unsold vegetables and repeat the procedure again. Only this time in reverse.

Alexius Ödman was a humble man who loved his farm, his horse and life as a seafaring greengrocer. Money-making was never a major concern and relatives have
described Alexius as ‘a man of small expenses’.

His memory still flourishes within us.