Saturday, February 19, 2011

Roadside fruit stalls

Last month, Geoffrey Pain sent me some photos of roadside fruit stalls of the 60’s. He only knows the location of one of the photos but I think they are all from the same place. What do you think? Where were these photos taken?

Hint: According to Geoffrey, Photo no. 3 (not no. 1) was taken at Queen Street. The place looks familiar but I can't place exactly which part of Queen Street.

Here's a close up view of the car that Peter, Russ and I are debating about (see comments). Is it a Ford Cortina?

26 comments:

Andy Young* said...

They are still around, only one step up. On the pavements around Singapore.

Prices are also up, but not one step... many, many steps! Up!

peter said...

Picture 1 = Kadang Kerbau Police Station which is now the new Bukit Timah Road junction with Serangoon Road and opposite Tekka Mall. BTW those bicycles under the shed - that was the way we park our bicycles in the 1950s thru the 60s. Used to see many at Empress Place but usually close to government departments.

Last photo - Main North Bridge Road near Middle Road. Is that man selling "luku"?

FL said...

During my childhood's days, a pig-tailed woman used to come around our kampong selling sugar canes from the same type of tricycle as shown on the photos. The sugar canes for sales were cut to about a 30 cm in length and sold for 5 cents each ! I don't think we can find this nowadays. Another vanishing trade ?

Lam Chun See said...

Ah yes. In my kampong we too had a guy selling the sugar cane. I remember we would chew on it. Very tough.

Agree with Peter that the fruits in last photo look like buah luku. Cannot tell even when zoom in on the photo.

Russ said...

I found these fruit stalls a great source of survival when I used to 'tramp' around the old back streets of Singapore in the mid 1960's.

Pineapple was a regular favourite, 10 cents a thick slice.

The pineapple was normally cut up into slices and stacked on the stall but I recall on one occasion watching a guy cutting up his fruit with a parang. The guy expertly rolled the pineapple around in one hand and with rapid strokes of the parang held in the other hand, trimmed and cut the pineapple into equal slices. He was pretty old, had some gold teeth and ... he had managed to keep all fingers and thumbs, which was amazing if he had been doing it all his life.

There were also stalls that sold fresh orange juice. Each stall owner had a metal hand operated 'fruit press' attached to one part of his stall and pressed out the juice of four or five oranges into a little glass tumbler. That was 10 cents a glass too.

Even after dark these stall could be found on the streets....

Lam Chun See said...

Sorry. It's Photo No. 3 that is Queenstreet not no. 1 as I mentioned earlier. So Peter may be right after all.

Lam Chun See said...

BTW, Andy, Peter. In photo no. 2, the shop banner says (in Chinese) that it is a record shop; i.e. selling (music) records.

peter said...

Is that a Ford Cortina in the last photo - behind luku stall. Once considered as a playboy's car in the mid-60s.

Lam Chun See said...

No. I am pretty sure that's not a Ford Cortina. FC is quite big; when I did my practical training at Ford Motor, I saw how they assembled it and even accompanied the QC Inspector to test drive it in Lor Sesuai.

But it looks very familiar. Maybe a Fiat.

By the way, I zoomed in on the Parking notice and saw the words 40 cts.

Russ said...

I agree with Peter, it is a Ford Cortina MK1. The rear light clusters are Fords and if you look closely, to the right of the rear number plate you can just see the edge of the fuel filler cap (behind the left side of the fruit stall)where it was positioned on these models.

Zen said...

The photos were well taken and in good condition. Surprisingly the places shown were quite clean, no need foreign workers to clean them up - cheers to the sixties.

peter said...

Fruits stall in Qeeun Street would have been on today's BUGIS VILLAGE and the Fu Lo Shou side. Not likely to be today's street between Rochore Complex and MRT Station exit/open field. The Green Bus terminus was at the Rochore Commplex side and I cant recall seeing any fruit stalls there. Also too close to Johore Road (red light district) which was a very smelly lane. Most fruit stalls would be closer to today's Midlink Plaza, stretching over to Jewish temple area.

peter said...

I think 3 Ford models were aseembled in Singapore in the 1960s - Anglia/Escort/Cortina (all under 1.6 litre then) but Island Ford the distributor down in Orchard Road did import bigger cc Ford from U.K.

Lam Chun See said...

Peter. Sorry have to disagree with you again.

There used to be lots of fruits stalls at Queen Street near the Green Bus terminus. I remember taking Green Bus 175 on Sunday nights to go back to Safti and seeing lots of them. My wife who studied at NUS but stayed in the Nantah hostel (NUS-NTI Joint-campus era) also remembers buying fruits from the stalls at Queen Street in those days.

As for the Fort Cortina, the models assembled in Butkit Timah plant were 1.6L and 2.0L versions.

As for its identity; looks like it is 2 against 1 because Russ still insists it is a Cortina after viewing the photo that I sent to him. Wonder if any other readers who would like to join in the debate?

Anonymous said...

Photo No. 4 seem to show a lot of goldsmith shops. First is Heng Heng Goldsmith. 2nd Ban San (万山) - a money remittance shop? It says a branch in Sio Poh. (小坡分行) Next is Poh Hong (宝丰) Goldsmith. 2 shops down another (name partially covered by Parking Notice ) XXX Heng Goldsmith. The last signage show a Nam Seng Goldsmith.

yg said...

peter and chun see, the fruit is buah duku, same family as the langsat.

Lam Chun See said...

OK. I stand corrected. Two persons have emailed me photos of the Ford Cortina just like the one in the photo. Example here.

Victor said...

Photo no. 3 shows the Queen Street/Middle Road junction. The left side of the photo is Middle Road (going towards the direction of Selegie Road) while the right side of the photo is Queen Street (going towards the direction of Albert Street). You can see a photo of this same junction from afar here. (Look for the "BAR" sign.)

Lam Chun See said...

Thanks Victor. That was very helpful. How about the other photos? Any idea where they are from?

Icemoon said...

I'm confused over Victor's explanation. :(

Photo no.3 is a three storey shophouse. The sme "BAR" shophouse in Victor's photo is two storey only.

peter said...

Icemoon

U got to forgive Victor. Hiup! hiup! hiup!zzzzzzzzzzz. Too much of that "Give him a TIGER".

Victor said...

No, I was not drunk like what Peter had alleged. I did notice the difference in heights for the 2 buildings. In fact, I was waiting for the ever-observant and sharp Icemoon to point out that discrepancy. That, he did not disappoint.

However, I am a little surprised that Icemoon didn't notice or made no mention of the faint 2nd storey "roof line" in Chun See's photo. Take a closer look. Could the 3rd storey have been added on later, meaning Chun See''s photo was probably taken some time after the one on my blog?

Icemoon said...

Oops, I did not notice the "roof line". However I noticed the window below the line is not found where it should be.

Geoffrey Pain took the photo in the 60s.

Victor said...

Haha. If they can change the roof, they certainly could also change the position of the windows and the size of the pillars as well. :p

Anyway, I think the road sign on the building in the 3rd photo here says "Queen Street", doesn't it?

Icemoon said...

I found evidence that lends credence to Victor's theory.

http://i56.tinypic.com/xpa4oh.jpg

According to the archival date, it was taken around 1968. I'm a bit shocked over the observation: Queen Street was clogged with hawkers. How are cars gonna pass?? lol

Lam Chun See said...

Actually, I found this photo on Picas and was planning to do a Then and Now with it. There's another photo in the 80's where Queen St was practically empty.