A nice place in Scandinavia # 3 - Henrik's 'Rydsgaard'
Rydsgård was conceived after the railway between Malmo-Ystad was built in 1874. The village, on the south coast of Sweden, boasts a population of 1301 and the “Skivarpsån” river divides the village in two parts – very much like the Thames in London. Both sides have their own church but the pizzeria, the newsagent and the nursing home are situated on the south side, hence making it the town centre. The local school, on the north side, educates years 1-6 with almost 200 pupils enrolled. It houses kids of the local farming communities as well as a few of the more urbanised pupils from both sides of the river. It is, however, highly unusual for people to get along with villagers from the other side and marrying someone who grew up on another street than your own is almost unheard of.
Rydsgårdians have always been jealous of the neighbouring village Västra Vemmenhög, from where the young boy, who rode the length of Sweden on the back of a goose, started his journey.
The village’s biggest tourist attraction used to be Rydsgårds Stängselnät AB, the nail and barbed wire factory. It had a very distinct smell and every now and then a big truck would arrive to pick up the daily production. It did however burn down in 1984, even prompting a 30 second feature on the local news.
Football is the most popular pastime in Rydsgård. We are very proud of our team that currently sits in 12th place in southern Sweden’s sixth division. Throughout the eighties the first team consisted of seven brothers and three cousins of the same family. Their mother was the kit man for the whole club because she had two washing machines. One of the brothers, Ola, even had a trial with Trelleborgs FC who used to play in the Swedish premier league. Another famous footballer from Rydsgård was Anders Fredriksson (a.k.a. “the elk” due to his long legs) who once hit a penalty kick to a throw-in.
Other famous members of the community include Rickard Andersson, who played keyboards for Yngwie Malmsteen and Laine Olsson, who won a Volvo on “Bingo lotto”.