Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

This photograph came with the caption “An important street in Ipoh in 1950″.

However we cannot name it nor decide why it is said to be important. Can you?

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  1. Wang Shaoming says:

    Ahoy Cmdr!

    At a quick guess, the photographer was standing in Laxamana Road with his back to the New Town market and looking north. The scale of the buildings vis-a-vis Laxamana is close to what I remember of the street.

    IIRC, the tall single-storey shops in the left distance formed part of where Borneo Motors used to be. Over the years, different businessmen have tried their luck there.

    I’ll pop over and see if the interesting balustrades on the right are still there?

    best regards,
    sm

  2. Wang Shaoming says:

    The old balustrades are still there all right, though part of them may be hidden behind modifications made to the facade.

    It’s a pity that a bank across Brewster Road (now Jalan Sultan Idris Shah) has chosen to completely sheathe the original Art Deco building in anodized aluminium panels.

    The pix shown in the link were taken from Yik Foong Complex on which site once stood huge primary forest trees before it was developed in the mid 70s.

    At the bottom of the page, http://www.interiorly.org/heritage/hughlowstreet_bridge/hughlowstreet_bridge.htm

  3. Wang Shaoming says:

    Loud tailpiece?

    I vaguely remember a news report sometime in the 80s, after Brewster Road and Hugh Low Street had been turned into one-way access to cope with Ipoh’s rapidly increasing vehicular traffic. The jist of the report was that motorists were startled by a loud explosion during rush hour on Brewster Road.

    This must have created one of the notorious traffic jams that we are noted for whenever untoward incidents take place on our roadways. Furthermore, there is no doubt that the spectators who rushed down to take in the scene would have been alarmed at the apparent disappearance of the petrol station that had been sited for decades in front of Borneo Motors. Not only that, there also appeared to be a large crater in the ground!

    Good thing nobody got hurt, but to set things straight:

    The petrol station was in process of being demolished, and the concrete roof and pumps had been removed earlier. The storage tanks would have been drained earlier, but residual gases must have ignited and caused said explosion in the exposed steel containers.

    I may not have nailed down all the facts and thus remain open to correction by anyone who was in the vicinity at the time.

    End of loud tailpiece.

  4. LayManWan says:

    Good work,my good friend Shaoming. Borneo Motors might just be Ipoh Motors then,known for selling the most number of Mercedes as there were many rich miners around in Perak.Ipoh is rightly dubbed .I suspect the large crater SM mentioned would have been made larger still for whatever residual tin deposit left as Kinta River is only 200 yards away.It was rumoured that the earthwork contractor who worked on YikFoong complex made a fortune from the digging and just need to cross the road to Ipoh Motors to book a new Mercedes

  5. Wang Shaoming says:

    I was only recently told that Ipoh airport’s electronic equipment once shorted out when a thunderstorm erupted. Upon repair / replacement, it promptly shorted out again in another storm.

    This led to some head* scratching as they say, whereupon a clever consultant suggested that the site be assayed for tin, which was quickly confirmed.

    Armed with this epihany, engineers deviced and implemented a much more comprehensive earthing system and I suppose that was the end of the matter.

    ACS Ipoh was also rumored to be sitting on a tin field. For all we know, the entire city might be too.

    *but why the head and not anywhere else?

  6. AARON ONG says:

    Agree with WSM that the aboev pic is on Laxamana St, right in front of the present Yik Foong Complex.

    The closest building is currently Hong Leong bank, while the partially obscrued building is the present Public Bank.

    The clump of trees on the left side of the picture is where the present Yik Foong Complex sits.

  7. Addy says:

    Wang Shaoming is right about the exploding underground storage tanks. It happened when workers were demolishing the petrol station but i think it happened around the 90s. Currently it is being used by Cosmopoint (a college). Students going to college, sitting on a former “exploding petrol station”. But I heard that they removed those tanks after the incident.

  8. Ipoh Remembered says:

    However we cannot name it nor decide why it is said to be important.

    As others have said above, the picture shows the intersection of Laxamana Road (looking north) and Brewster Road.

    As to importance, I suppose it depends on your point of view.

    One might say that, with the market behind and the office of the Food Control Department just ahead, the photographer is standing in a crucial spot.

    Or one might ascribe importance instead to the trade-union offices on the left (not in the photograph) or the Establishment’s propaganda operations on the right (the Information Centre run by the Department of Public Relations, not to mention the Straits Times Press).

    I should perhaps also note that the Lok Lum Club, which I discussed a few weeks ago, was at one time located in the area beyond the left side of the photograph.

    Wang Shaoming wrote:

    IIRC, the tall single-storey shops in the left distance formed part of where Borneo Motors used to be. […] It’s a pity that a bank across Brewster Road […] has chosen to completely sheathe the original Art Deco building in anodized aluminium panels.

    Borneo Motors was further to the left on Brewster Road, closer to the river. The building one can see in the photograph is part of what used to be Ipoh Motors.

    As for the “original Art Deco building,” now sheathed in aluminium for Messrs. Public Bank: it was one of several edifices on Brewster Road built before the war for Chua Cheng Bok.

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