Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

I’m sure many of you are grinning and nodding your heads at this picture!

Yes, this is what Medan Kidd looked liked in the late 1960s. Some of the buses shown in the picture have seen better days, but they still make their way round the town 🙂

There was some talk about giving this place a ‘face-lift’……I wonder what’s become of it?

  1. Adr1970 says:

    Iconic Medan Kidd. Ask anyone travelling to and from Ipoh or Perak even, this destination point will always come up. It still is the focal point / meeting point for many travellers to the state. Although the outstation bus station has shifted to Medan Gopeng (and there are plans for moving them again!) Medan Kidd has still not lost its popularity. It is still not pedestrian friendly. They still have to dodge vehicles on the main roads to get to this bus station. There used to be a pedestrian tunnel in the 80s across one of the roads but it was removed when the Medan Kidd bridge was upgraded. A favourite with ACS students who used it to get to the bus station. If only the bus service could be revitalised (looks like it is happening with Perak Transit but it is happening too slow and a little to late), people might want to use the bus service again and avoid the jams or reduce petrol consumption. Its location within walking distance to the Railway station is another plus point for travellers.
    The row of shops in the foreground of the picture had everything a traveller needed. Last minute purchase of ‘assam’ and ‘sweets’ for travel-sickness prone me. Or a swipe of ‘ais-kacang’ after arriving there. No air-cond buses those days. Just open windows and natural breeze on a hot day. In my working days, we had to be fast and agile to get into crowded and cramped buses at peak hours. If it rained, we had frosty windows (not the snowing kind), it was pungent steam from the sweat and breath of bus passengers that fogged the glass windows. The driver has a wiper on the front of his windshield and a piece of cloth to wipe (the fog) of the shield on the inside. Then there was the drivers and conductors protest/boycott from time and again. Ipoh would be at a standstill. No buses on the roads until their demands are met. The supervisors (who were management supports) would take to the street as temporary drivers and conductors. The owners of Ipoh bus service was/is a prominent businessmen, whose family are still in the business but more diversified today. (i shall forgo naming names here). Another good picture article from the Ipohworld team…. Good job guys.

  2. LMS136 says:

    Yes, a very familiar scene. The depot and terminal is just right across the road from ACS Ipoh.

    Any one embarking for a bus ride could not avoid the familiar smell of engine and diesel oil which
    was particularly pungent on a hot afternoon. Maintenance and repairs took place right there where the buses stopped. So much happening, so many people in such a small area.

    it is amazing that the same old rickety buses are still on the roads. How did they pass the road worthy tests? Or is that Ipoh longevity for you?

    Oftentimes, the acrid ammonia smell of stale urine was unmistakable and one really have to wait until the bus got moving for the welcome relief of fresh air flowing in through the wide opened windows to displace the unwanted odour!

    • Ronnie Francis says:

      I can see myself sitting in those buses and pressing the bell…riiinng,riinng!to getting off at silibin road.Nice picture.Thanks ipoh world.Do you have a picture of 5th avenue greentowns government quarters.This is where i spent my 1960’s childhood.you could hear your voice echo back from the hills.Wonderful memories there.

  3. LMS136 says:

    Right across the main road on the ACS side under the shaded trees were a number of stalls selling Indian rojak, mee java, lontong, ice kachang, etc at fairly reasonable prices.

    Quite a good snack place particularly for a financially strapped student who couldn’t help splurging
    a little of his hard earned tuition monies once in a blue moon for a bout of self-indulgence 🙂

  4. UV@Valiant Knight says:

    Yes, we BB boys would always stop here for ‘ice kacang’ after or Saturday parade!

    The place LMS136 spoke of is no longer there. They developed blocks and blocks of shop houses and used it for Inter-city depot for buses. Then they shifted this to Medan Gopeng and many of the stalls and shops closed!

  5. PT says:

    Wonder anyone has a picture of the Medan Kidd bus-station during the 50s before this was built. I clearly still remember at that time the system was that the buses entered into a corridor, stopped to disembark and pick passenger and then out through the exit.

  6. Charlie says:

    The above picture is of the Ipoh Main Bus Station or used to be called the Kidd Road Bus Staion, which cater to town buses. I thought Medan Kidd refered to the area on the opposite side and adjacent to the ACS school, amongst the newer shophouses and was established much later, catering to express/outstation buses. This was the setup, as people who came to twon by express bus will pop across the road to the Main Bus Station to get to their desired destination in and around Ipoh. This area became really congested in the past decade or so, and I no longer dare to go to the various SpareParts shops located here.

  7. S.Sundralingam says:

    This bus station was a popular joint for some of the ACS boys. We use to cross the road ( not that busy) after school and patronize the fruit stall in the hawkers area at the bus station. The fruit stall owner was my classmate’s father. Now I notice that he (Ting Ming) has taken over his father business. Not much of a change, since the 60s.

  8. hasbi says:

    Way back in 1960s, the place was called Ipoh Main Bus Station, Kidd Road as the Tanjong Rambutan Bus Station was at Jalan Yang Kalsom. Medan Kidd was built in 1975 with spape-parts shops and office premises and a Ford car distributor, my old office was then transfered to the block next to MIC office.

    I used to take the General bus for Manjoi destination and have to scramble for this hourly trip. The bus route was through KED quatters at Kuala Tanggong and return back at Kampong Tengku Hussein Lama. Later on when Kg Manjoi was linked to Kg Sungai Kati, only then the bus serviced up to the village, renamed Kampong Dato Ahmad Said.

    There was only one express bus service, the KL-Ipoh-Butterworth and also attached at Kidd Road. In 1970’s Medan Kidd was used as the express buses station as more express bus companies came to exists such as Jasaramai, Restu etc. Buses to rural Perak is still operating from Bangunan Tajudin Ali.

    PT, the saloon car is a 1951 Ford Prefect E493A model, a 10hp sidevalve engine displacing 1,172cc with 3-speed gearbox on 16 inches steel rims.

  9. PT says:

    Thanks, Hasbi.
    Before the introduction of the express bus service to KL/Butterworth, the furthest you could go to from the Ipoh Main Bus-station were Kampar, Kuala Kangsar, Parit and Tronoh.
    Travellers from Ipoh to KL would normally take the taxi. The train services were poor. They were slow and during the peak seasons one was not assured of a seat. I had experienced standing all the way from KL to Ipoh.

  10. Charlie says:

    The area bound by the ACS, Lahat Road, Kidd Road and the FMS Railway Line, was once the compound of the Grand Hotel (1909-1918), then became the Majestic Hotel, after the War. World War 1 that is. This area, now known as Medan Kidd, was considered a good location for a Hotel, because it was a five minutes rickshaw ride from the Railway Station. It was also a good location as a stop for Express Buses, until the explosion of Express Bus Companies made the area so congested. It just became such a crazy place to go to, that a new and better planned location was required. Unfortunately this has not been done yet.

  11. ika says:

    Thanks for the information about the Grand Hotel site Charlie. One interesting thing we came across recently, thanks to Nicholas Jennings, is that the Grand Hotel was reopened in 1928 by a syndicate headed by Mr Brash of the Kinta Sanitary Board. It had an extension to give it the largest ballroom in North Malaya which opened in December 1928. The following year there was to be another extension with more rooms, What we don’t know is when this version of the Grand closed and when did the Station Hotel become the Majestic. Anyone out there that can help?

  12. Jeremy@palohchai says:

    It’s interesting to know the location of Grand Hotel’s where Medan Kidd is today. I’ve seen the pic of the hotel a couple of times but I had no idea its whereabout. Thanks for solving the mystery. By the way, I didn’t know that Medan Kidd was named after Kidd Road, interesting. Does anyone know who Kidd is?

  13. hasbi says:

    Hi . ika . . additional info:

    1. 6th December 1927 – The Grand Hotel building which housed The Anglo-Chinese Girls School turned again into hotel.
    2. 29th December 1928 – Grand Hotel new Dance Hall and Lounge were opened Saturday night by Mrs. E. A. Dickson, wife of D.O. Kinta.
    3. 1st May 1936 – Voluntary liquidation of Grand Hotel, bought over by a wealthy Chinese syndicate, manager Mr. Lim Hee Jee.
    4. 16th December 1937 – Dance Hall re-opened at Grand Hotel.

    resources : National Library, Singapoe – Sinpaore Pages/Newspaper Sg.

    Still needs further research.

  14. PT says:

    I remember the grand ballroom. It was a rectangular building, built lengthwise facing Lahat Rd. The land in Medan Kidd was higher than Lahat Rd. It looked more spectacular when the colour lights were switched on at night. Because of the tropical weather and without the luxury of air-conditioning, the building was an open building save the roof. Today, the image of that ballroom reminds me of the Parthenon in the Acropolis, Athens, sans the pillars.

  15. hasbi says:

    Hi . all . .

    Major G. M. Kidd was the Chairman of The Kinta Sanitary Board. In a report by Straits Times dd 19th August 1931 stated as ” Major G. M. Kidd, M.C., M.C.S the local mayor, Ipoh, Perak, F.M.S making the address to Honorable Archdeacon White, M.A. (Oxon) Hon. C.F. Ipoh at the Town Hall Ipoh for the farewell to the Office of Archdeacon of the Diocese And Chaplain of the St. Andrew’s Catheral, Singapore.”

  16. AP@IpohBornKid says:

    Memoirs of AP@IpohBornKid of Ipoh Bus Station circa 1950s

    Dear Ipoh Old Timers,

    In the 1950s it was called the Ipoh Bus Station (IBS). Two companies were running buses, the “Green” bus or General company and the “Red” bus (can’t remember the name).

    Looking at the photograph of the IBS, it was not the old wooden structure. Buses came in one side of the building (facing ACS), stopped to set down and pick up passengers. The waiting area was on the left side of the bus where the passenger door was located. Yes there were hawkers selling tempting food but in those days, I had no cash in my pocket to support the habit. I wondered, as an aside, whether any of you had tried to eat the rickshaw puller’s food in front of St Michael’s. It only cost 10c.

    The General buses serviced the mining towns south of Ipoh and their route signs would display Pusing, Batu Gajah, Tronoh, Tanjong Tualang, Parit and Bruas etc. The bus exit from the IBS heading towards Belfield Street but turn right at the roundabout to Lahat Road with the first stop in the shop houses opposite ACS. If you want a seat on the bus, you have to walk to IBS and that’s why many ACS students who lived in Menglembu, Lahat and beyond, did it. On its return journey the bus uses the same route and stopped at ACS Ipoh before returning to the IBS,

    The Red bus was more like a inter-suburban transport. Their destination signs read like Pasir Puteh, Pasir Pinji, Silibin, Greentown, Fairpark (remember the chow kuayteo king called spider?) etc. As far as I can remember, Pasir Puteh – Menglembu service was a popular one. Starting from Menglembu town, it moves north along Lahat Road to Falim and continued past ACS and into the IBS. From IBS it snaked along to Dr Chong Tak Nam’s clinic (or near the fountain), crossed Belfield Street to Kwong Fatt in Old Town, turn right to Hugh Low Street, the next right turn to Rex Cinema and onwards to Capitol Cinema, cross the round about, and then makes a right turn to Jalan Pasir Puteh and continued until it reached its destination.
    In the early 1950s, the Red bus parked in the coffee shop at Pike Street (jalan kledang), Menglembu and later went further down Lahat Road and make a U turn at “Bukit Merah” New Village (surrounded by barb wires during the emergency years).

    Betel nut chewing was rampant in the old days. Those red stains were common on top of the window frame and the side of the bus. If you are unlucky, and the wind is blowing in your direction, some of the red stuff might get on your face. Never sit behind a chewer or smoker. Butts do fly.

    As a boy who collected all sorts of cigarette packs, I was also collecting General bus tickets (thin cardboard). Red bus tickets were not collector’s item because they were made of thin paper. You will be thrilled if you get a 50c ticket. We gambled using cigarette packs and bus tickets as chips. There is another story about the value of cigarette packs. Common brand like Rough Rider had the lowest value and uncommon cigarette pack with black ace is worth 20-50 rough riders.

    Just to reflect on the travel costs in the 50s. A bus ride from Menglembu to Ipoh (old town) is 10c. You can also purchase a monthly pass. A pirate taxi charged 30c. A gallon of petrol is about $1.50 (I may stand corrected on this). Train journey Ipoh-Penang $3 (3rd class). My pocket money was 10-20c per day.


  17. felicia says:

    IpohBornKid……….you know the bus route by heart! 🙂
    amazing……..and thanks for sharing your memories with us!

  18. AP@IpohBornKid says:

    Dear Son of Ipoh
    I was born in Ipoh General Hospital but was raised in Menglembu. I have lived overseas for more than 46 years. I am trying to write my memoirs before I lose it!
    To Felicia, you make an old man happy. Keep it up. One day, I wil sneak into Ipoh and spring a surprise to all you bloggers living in Ipoh.

  19. hasbi says:

    My recollections :
    Green (total) bus – Ipoh to BG, TT, Parit, Bruas etc – Genearl
    Green (white line) bus – Ipoh to Gopeng, Kampar – Kinta
    Green (yellow line) bus – Ipoh to Sg. Siput, Kuala Kangsar – Reliance
    Red (white line) bus – Ipoh and outskirts area – Ipoh Internal Omnibus

  20. Eugene says:

    I did my thesis on Public Transport in Ipoh. There were few chapters on the history of the bus station and also Ipoh transport development history.

    Stesen Bus Medan Kidd or formerly known as Kidd Road Bus Station is located on a 2.3-acre land of Hill Street (later Kidd Road). It was built in 1938 and named after Major George Montgonery Kidd.

    In 1960s, the building was renovated from wooden structure to a concrete one. There were four bus companies operating at the first floor, namely, the Ipoh Omnibus Co, Kinta Omnibus Co,General Omnibus and Reliance Co. Each of the companies was allowed to bring a subsidiary company.

    *ps: i went in the bus company offices at the first floor. It was a traditional type of office with air-conditioned. The staff were friendly, and the working space was indeed spacious.

  21. ika says:

    Eugene, thank you so much for the wonderful detail. Info like this is so valuable. What is more we have nothing about Major Kidd exept that at one time he was a member of the Kinta Sanitary Board and later the British Resident, Selangor. Does anybody have a photo or other detail about him?

  22. Eugene says:

    Major Kidd was born in 1889. He joined the Federated Malay States cadet in 1912 and was Acting District Officer for Tampin in 1914. Kidd was appointed as the Chairman of Kinta Sanitary Board (1928 – 1931) and also Chairman of Kuala Lumpur Sanitary Board (1932 – 1937). He was also a Rubber Controller (1937 – 1939) and ended his civil career as the British Resident of Selangor (1939 – 1941).

    ps: the last time I heard, Kidd ventured into the rubber industry and was famous in the international rubber trade.

  23. Peggy says:

    Hi.. sorry for interrupting. May I know is there any bus service to the persiaran greentown business centre? Anyway, I’m from Ipoh too. But I’d been moved to KL few years ago. Thanks =)

  24. superyusrie says:

    Hi Felicia,
    Thank you for this nice discussion on Medan Kidd.
    Can I link this topic to my facebook page ? Cant’ seem to find the button to do just that. Hope Ipohworld can help. 🙂

  25. Eugene Khoo says:

    peggy, the last time i use the bus was a year back.

    around the klinik kesihatan greentown and hospital tuanku bainun there are two bus companies plying there, the ipoh omnibus and perak roadways.

    perak roadways serves from taman cempaka (TC) –> jalan SAS –> jalan raja dihilir –> greentown (hosp) –> to the north west of ipoh. the earliest bus departs from TC at 6.50 – 7.00am

    ipoh omnibus serves klinik kesihatan greentown (jalan raja muda aziz) –> plying around (mustapha al bakri rd(kamdar), theatre rd, yang kalsom rd, sultan iskandar rd) –> medan kidd

    to know more on ipoh bus service network please refer to this link
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/46016654/Kajianan-Pengangkutan-Bas-Awam-Ipoh-Ampang-Baru turn to the last page (Lampiran A7 and A8)

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