A small village called Glanshammar

Words by: Sebastian Westin | Photography: Knotan

Glanshammar is a small village with only a few hundred people, in central Sweden’s Örebro county. Driving due west from Stockholm will get you there in two hours. There you will find a convenience store, pizza joint, gas station, church, school and a sports field. When we were grewing up there, it was the safest and friendliest place on earth. Nature was everywhere, with swimming holes, forests and lakes around every corner. This was our tiny universe. This was our starting point when we began exploring the world around us. Little did we know that our growing up here would be the very base for the company we later formed and called Sandqvist Bags and Items.

KIOSK

THE KIOSK

IN THE HEART OF GLANSHAMMAR

When we grew up there were no cell phones, you rode your bike or moped to the kiosk and waited for everyone else to show up. After a while there were enough of us to start planning what to do that evening. Many evenings of boredom were spent sitting outside the kiosk, which now also serves pizza, and trying to figure out something fun to do. Often our nights ended with bad action flick rentals on VHS.

The Bridge

The Bridge

ABOUT ONE KM WEST ON THE ROAD TOWARDS ÖREBRO

On the hottest days during summer break we would ride our bikes along old Arboga road down to the bridge over Storsicke Stream. In the cool shade under the bridge we fished for small perch, which almost always ended up in the cat’s food bowl. The sensation of being hidden under the bridge, with a fishing rod, on a sizzling hot summer day was one of the best parts of our holiday.

Glanshammar

The Sports field

AROUND ONE KM EAST OF GLANSHAMMAR

Apart from smoking on the sly outside the kiosk, soccer and athletics were the dominant activities in Glanshammar. It still remains a village with a love of sports. Many good teams have played on Skövboslätt and at least two major players have gone from Glanshammar soccer team on to Sweden’s national team. On hot summer evenings you could sneak onto the field and practice some high jumps or taking shots on goal. Those evenings often ended with night swimming in the abandoned marble quarries nearby.

The Swimming spot

The Swimming spot

AROUND 7 KM NORTH OF GLANSHAMMAR

This obvious destination for swimming is a slightly murky but warm lake about 7 kilometers from Glanshammar. This was where you went to go camping and get drunk, or to just swim for the whole day. You brought tape players and mixtapes of Pearl Jam and Bad Religion. The old changing room is filled with doodles and scribblings from the pent-up frustration of previous generations of teenagers.

The statue

The Statue

ON THE SQUARE BEHIND THE KIOSK

There are several quarries in the vicinity of Glanshammar where dolomite marble is still mined. It is the official stone of the Swedish province of Närke, and covers the facade of the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm. The tiny village square in Glanshammar boasts a marble statue that, when you were really little, served as the perfect jungle gym. According to unconfirmed sources, the idea behind the statue was that the sculptor was to make half of the statue, and the new residents of the village were to finish the job. That never happened, and the statue is still half-finished.