Wednesday, March 06, 2013

GMY Book Contest #6 - Results


With a bit of help from Tim Light, I think we can confirm that Pastimes gave the right answer. This photo is probably of New Bridge Road near the junction with Upper Pickering Street. Tim has also helped me to locate a similar photo dated 19 December 1961 from the National Archives’ Picas website (Photo no. 2) which carried this description.

“Mutinous members of the Work Brigade demonstrate outside the Ministry of National Development Office in Upper Pickering ……..”

Picture no. 3 was taken by me yesterday. I happened to be at the nearby newly-opened Chinatown Point to meet some of my course trainees.
Congratulations to Pastimes. Pls email me your address; or message me at Facebook.




While sniffing around the Picas website, I came across a 1970 photo of the hawker centre in front of Thong Chai Medical Institution at Eu Tong Sen Street. So happens I took a similar shot yesterday and so here’s a Then and Now comparison of the same place 4 decades apart.



13 comments:

Johnny said...

Thanks for the shot! I have always enjoyed then-and-now comparisons to see what have changed, and of course all that I have missed out on.

Pastimes said...

Chun See, Thanks but I have already won one of your book so can you just award it to the next deserving person. I enjoyed reading your book very much. The picture of the old hawker centre in front of Thong Chai Medical Institution brings back lots of memories.

Lam Chun See said...

I posted the last 2 Then & Now photos to the GMY Facebook page and the old photo brought back fond memories for many. Check out their comments here.

James Tann said...

I remember that hawker stall at Merchant Road. I was working at Telok Ayer Basin then and this was one of the places we would walk that far to for the Chicken Curry Mee! It was cooked in a huge cauldron and the customer queue seem endless!
Also sat on wooden stools with dirty tables beside the smelly canal. Each table had a container of chopsticks.
The same Chicken Curry Mee stall later moved to Boat Quay Cooked food centre beside Singapore River and now at Hong Lim Food Centre. but run by the 3rd generation family members.

The Dead Cockroach said...

Really love all these photos of old Singapore. It's a pity all these old buildings are disappearing.

Lam Chun See said...

For guys of my generation, there is something terrible nostalgic about eating at such traditional dirty roadside food stalls. For example, my friends and I had a great time eating breakfast at our last trip to Muar which I blogged about here.

Some of my friends who like to travel to nearby towns in Asean region also make it a point to enjoy such makan which you can't find in Spore anymore.

Lam Chun See said...

Johnny. I have plenty more of such Then and Now photos to share here. Just that I don't like to just show photos without some reminiscing and narration, so it is more time-consuming. Hence, cannot do it as often as I would like to.

Edwin said...

Chun See. Do you have any older picture of the same shot of the hawker centre in front of the Thong Chai building/Merchant street, i.e. the period before the canal was built. My friend who stayed in the shop house on Merchant street many years ago told me during the construction of the canal, the hawkers and the merchants in the area were very much inconvenient.

FL said...

Actually, the congregation of the makeshift hawker stalls (in the picture) was not exactly at Merchant St. The stalls were set up infront Thong Chai where there was a street called Wayang Street before. Merchant St was at the other side of road (with the word "Garuda" on the photo). This makan place in the Chinatown are was very popular in the evenings. The last time I had an evening meal with a colleague there was around 1974. Of course, those were the days of street hawking, the stalls were not provided with piped water supply at their individual stalls, and they had to get water from centralised located water point nearby. Poor hygiene, flies, and littered places were a common sight, but peoples of that (or our) generations never complain. It's the same with street hawkers in other parts of Singapore then.

Anonymous said...

The Photo From Tim Light (GMY Book Contest #6) Is Not At New Bridge Road/ Upper Pickering Street But The Old Selegie House{Building On The Left Of Tim Light Photo); Not The New HDB Flats, But The Old Ten Storey Building. The Rex Cinema Is Nearby. The Current Location Of The Photo Is Likely From, Between Hotel 81 & Fragrance Hotel Selegie.

GhostOfSGPast{He! He! He!...}

Chun See Lam said...

Really GOS? (I think I prefer to refer to you as GOS than Ghost). This in interesting. I shd take a closer relook. Wonder if anyone else supports your theory.

Anonymous said...

Hi!
It Was A Prominent Feature In The Area Before The Development Of Other High-rise Building Around The Pre-war Shophouses.

Before Development, The Journey Back From The City By Serangoon Road, It Would Pass This Building.
All The Surrounding Buildings Are Mostly The Two & Three Storey Pre-war Shop-houses. So It Was Used As A Landmark Marker With Its Height And Prominent 'Vertically Coloured-stripes Blinds' To Recognise The Journey Back In Case On The Wrong Bus Service.
Another Unique Feature Of The Building, Before The Road Alignment Was That It Was Oblique To The Selegie Road.

Let's Analyse The Two Photos:
Photo 01 From Tim Light:
1) The Gap Between The Tall Building And The Three-storey Shop-house Is A Certain Distance, With A Few 'Compound/Garden' Houses Between Them.
2) Notice The Gap Between The Palm Tree Trunk And The Tram-trolley. There Is This Two Level Roof Frontage With Column Pillar Like An Institution.

Photo 02 From Pica:
1) The Red-brick Building Structure And The Next Building Is Very Near.

Let's Analyse:
A) Let's Assume That There Was Some Demolition {As In Photo 01) Or Construction{As In Photo 02) Between The Buildings.
Then The Question That We Need To Ask, The Chronological Order Which Photo Was Taken First.
For The Space Between The Buildings, It Is Unlikely That One Will Build Pre-war House For The Land in-between,In The 50's & 60's.

2) The Two Level Roof Frontage Building, Could Be The Building On The Right Of The Current Tamil Methodist Church On Short Street, Behind The Old 'Selegie House'.

3)I Would Not Use Those Structures Above The Pre-war Shop-houses For Comparison, Because Those Were The Tall Billboards Of The 50's & 60's Which Is Not A Prominent Building {Besides, The Pica Photo, There Are Additional Vertical Metal Structure Above The Top Of The Outline). If We Assume The Photo Was Taken From Selegie Road Towards Middle Road/ Bras Brasah Road In The Direction Of The Old National Library, This 'Structure' Was Also Common During Those Days Along Middle Road And Bras Brasah Road On Top Of Those Pre-war Shop-houses.

4) Beside, Tram-trolley Did Service From Dhoby Ghaut Along Selegie Road, Serangoon Road And Ends At Woodsville Circle/ MacPhersn Road. In Tim Light's Photo(01) The Tram-trolley Cable Is Towards The Left Side Of The Road.
We Need To Verify If The Tram-Trolley Did Service Upper Pickering Street.

For The Pica Photo(02), The Two Cables Do Not Looked Like Tram-trolley Cables But More Like Thick Electricity Power Lines. If You Are Assuming That Those Are The Tram-trolley Lines, Then It Is Definitely On The Wrong Side.

5)This Previous Ministry of National Development Office Building Was At The Corner Of Upper Pickering Street(PS: In The 50's & 60's It Was Infamous Location For Suicide). The Pica Photo Shows Upper Pickering Street & The Building Left Side. This MND Office Building Is Not Oblique To Either Road.

6)The Other Option To Verify The Photo Is To Go 'Site Intelligence' Around Selegie/ Serangoon Road Area To Ask Those Very Old Indian Stall Keeper That Had Been There Before The 90's If They Remember The Old Selegie House From The Photo Before Those Renovation.

GhostOfSGPast (He! He! He!...)

Anonymous said...

I know my parents used to take me to the hawker centre in front of Thong Chai Medical Institution but other than the potholes filled with water and the unhygenic environment,I don't remember anything about the place. I was too young then. When the hawker centre finally closed, I think many of the hawkers moved to the Ellenborough Market (新巴刹) of which I have fond memories of the best hawker food such as curry chicken noodle (平平咖喱面 is now located at Hong Lim Food Centre), Teochew zi-char (to be enjoyed with 功夫茶), kuey chap, tao suan, soyabean milk and gu chai kuey (now at Tiong Bahru Food Centre). The Ellenborough Market comprised of 3 floors -- 1st floor had dried goods shops, 2nd floor was part wet market and part food stalls and the 3rd floor has food stalls only.