Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow


Any Alumni from the Malayan Teachers’ College – Brinsford Lodge out there? If you’re reading this, do you recognise these gentlemen?

We thank Mohamad Sharizan for the above photograph.
    • NCK says:

      Teacher educators are the people who train teachers. I did some googling and found that this is a common term in the teacher training fraternity.

      The language in the paper sounds colloquial and more proofreading should have been done. The study seems a trivial one. It was conducted by merely interviewing 20 educators in the country through emails and phone calls. There wasn’t any guidelines as to how the study should be conducted nor the results analysed. In the end, no clear suggestion was made.

      At first I thought this was the work of a student. Then I read that the author was a professor and the Dean of his department. Student or professor, diligence can never be enough.

      Anyone interested can find a guide for academic writing here: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/471294/Using_tenses_in_scientific_writing_Update_051112.pdf

  1. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Ngai C O

    Did you know that Kirkby is where the Tunku first announced that Malaya’s Independence Day would be August 31, 1957?

    But speaking of fire safety and such, I can’t help but recall a deadly conflagration at Brinsford Lodge in the early ‘60s. Four student teachers died. Their dormitory was a single-storey building and after the fire was extinguished and their bodies discovered, no one could understand why they hadn’t just climbed out their windows the way their twenty dorm-mates had. And they were all just kids — truly a ghastly business.

    Anyway, I notice that the Wikipedia entry you mentioned says that “Brinsford Lodge was offered to the Malaysian government as a Teacher Training College.” That passive-voice statement sounds vaguely generous but in fact the Malayan government leased the property on commercial terms.

    A note on the date of the photograph: The college at Brinsford Lodge took its first Malayan students in 1955 and closed its doors in 1964.

    • Ngai C O says:

      Hi Ipoh Remembered,

      Thank you for sharing with us this piece about Tunku announcing the Independence Day and the four unfortunate students, who lost their lives.

      In this day and age, smoke detectors, heat sensors, clear fire exit signs, break glass fire points, designated fire officers, fire assembly point and regular fire drills are mandatory.

      Even in meetings, part of the house keeping procedure involves informing participants about the fire procedure in the event of the fire alarm going off or what to do if one notices a fire/smoke.

      New residential buildings and refurbishments in the UK have to comply with fire containment structures in place like one hour fire doors and I believe doors at staircases to prevent the fire spreading from one story to another.

      I think registered businesses have additional clauses like double skinned ceiling boards (meaning two 18mm plaster ceiling boards sandwiched together to contain fire for one hour) and a maintained fire alarm system plus all the regular fire drill training for staff.

      In a nutshell, containing the fire by starving it of oxygen.

    • Ngai C O says:

      Hi felicia,

      According to the Wikipedia Link which I attached, the last batch of Malayan students left the college in 1964.

      The premises was converted to halls of residence for students of Wolverhampton Polytechnic.

      The buildings were vacated in 1982.

      Brinsford Lodge closed as a Hall of Residence in 1982. Without the drying effect of the heating system the buildings deteriorated rapidly, and they were demolished within a couple of years. As at November 2010, the site remains undeveloped.

      Anthony Burgess, writer, whose information you can find in the links as well, taught there as well after the war.

      He also taught at the Kuala Kangsar Malay College in 1954.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Good question — but no, the college at Brinsford Lodge was closed down (1964) not because of the fire (1962) but because, with the emergence of educational institutions back in Malaysia, the service it provided was no longer cost-effective. (For similar reasons the training of Malayan teachers at Kirkby had ended in 1962.)

    • NCK says:

      Well, whether there was a fire is uncertain to me – I don’t find any writings about such a fire. From what I read from some blogs, it seems that the decision to stop sending students was financially based.

  2. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear NCK

    Well, whether there was a fire is uncertain to me – I don’t find any writings about such a fire.

    That’s the only funny thing so far on this page. If you did not find any writings about the fire, it’s only because you did not look very hard. Even the Wikipedia article that Ngai C O referenced above mentions the fire, although what it says about it is tentative and inaccurate:

    There was a tragic event in 1961 or 62 while it was a college for Malayan students. There was a fire and three girl students died.

    As I said, the dormitory fire happened in 1962 and four students died — only hours after enjoying their last Chinese New Year celebration.

    The dormitory was for female students. Here are the names of the girls who died: Tan Eng Soo (age 18, from Malacca); Katijah Sa’ad (18, Jelutong, Penang); Yong Yet Ying (19, Setapak, KL, Selangor); and Theng Pit Fa (20, Pontian Kechil, Johore). Ms. Yong had been there at Brinsford for more than a year but the others had arrived only a few weeks before they died. Three of them were found in their beds; the fourth in a bathroom. My guess — and still my hope — is that they died from suffocation before the flames reached their bodies. If I had to guess how the fire got started, and recalling that it gets cold in February in the Midlands, I’d say someone’s electric blanket malfunctioned.

    The bodies of the three Chinese girls were cremated right away. The remains of all four girls were met at the airport in KL by the Tunku himself.

    As I said, it was a ghastly business. We can only wish that it had never happened.

    • NCK says:

      Oh, dear. I searched by Kirkby Lodge and didn’t find anything. However, I don’t think you see the root of the problem. You have been making claims after claims without justification, passing off your claims as historical facts.

      No proof is produced even after I have asked for umpteen times. Instead, once, you gave a poorly written passage and claimed that it was a quote from a century-old news article.

      You use the word ‘recall’ profusely as if each of your claims is your real life experience, even though some of the events would have happened a century ago.

      It would be nice if you would provide the link to your source every time you drew reference from a source, like Ngai CO has been doing, and not hope that your readers would simply take your word and believe everything you say.

      I know I don’t always provide the links when I talk about general contemporary issues, as these things are common sense and are easy to google. If anyone asked for a link, I would have provided it without accusing the person of ‘not having searched hard enough’, as I know it is my responsibility to justify my statements.

    • Hidayati Aziz says:

      My mother agrees to the cause of the fire. She lost her Convent classmate Tan Eng Soo and bestfriend Che Khatijah. Both of S Block. My mother was of T block.

  3. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Ngai C O … Thanks for finding and posting a link to that Star article! I was desperately relating what now seems like an ancient memory about the Tunku, so it is good to see the mass media of today going out of their way to recall old events for new generations. I must admit to a certain amount of (pleasant) surprise! Thanks again.

    And thanks also to Mohamad Sharizan for the photograph. Who among us can fail to admire the sheer idealism of the four young men so far away from home? Here’s to them!

    • Ngai C O says:

      Hi Ipoh Remembered,

      The site gives each of us who writes in an opportunity to share our lives, experiences etc. about Ipoh.

      With our contributions, Ipoh World keeps its exposure and grows its fame.
      Hopefully, felicia and Christopher will get to keep their jobs. HaHaHa.

      You certainly have a good memory of the distant past, which I for one never thought about.
      Examples are Shaikh Adam, Robin Hotel, the student teacher deaths, Tunku’s announcement of Merdeka and the landslides.

      It is amazing that through Ipoh World, many people have rekindled their past connections.

      It is mainly due to bloggers’s postings and your revisits of past topics that have spurred me on to the subject of people who got rich but also at the same time the many who sacrificed their limbs and life. The latter were the forgotten ones.

      This leads me to the subject of corporate manslaughter. After the Clapham Junction Train Disaster, the British Parliament passed a law that holds the CEO responsible for any Health and Safety breaches. It was significant because it shook up the corporate culture. For the first time, CEOs can be charged for manslaughter with unlimited fines if the company is found to be negligent.

  4. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear NCK

    However, I don’t think you see the root of the problem. You have been making claims after claims without justification, passing off your claims as historical facts. No proof is produced even after I have asked for umpteen times. Instead, once, you gave a poorly written passage and claimed that it was a quote from a century-old news article.

    “The root of the problem,” if I can be generous about it, may be your heart-felt belief that all information ought to be accessible to you at the click of a mouse button. I’ve said before that you should disabuse yourself of this notion. If you had really wanted to know about Raffles and the spread of five-foot-ways in Malaya, by now you might have read the book I cited. If you had really wanted to know whether E. W. Birch suggested a memorial be built to himself in People’s Park, by now you might have found the article I cited and quoted (instead of simply repeating a meretricious critique of its language). If you had really wanted to know whether a map that included the Birch memorial fountain was published before Birch died, by now you might have asked the local author I named who included that map in his popular history of Ipoh.

    In short, I’ve told you where to look. Have you looked?

  5. NCK says:

    Dear Ipoh Remembered, please allow me to refresh your memory. From last month to this month I posted some comments in the article “The E W Birch Fountain” to ask for your clarification about your claims as well as the proof. You dodged all my questions and wrote with yet more claims, long-windedly, to argue that the word ‘memorial’ was used to commemorate live people a century ago. I commented on your argument, but no more reply came forth from you. I would appreciate it if you would go back to the article to answer all my questions. Just search in this blog by the title of the article.

    A gentle reminder, please also reply to my query in the 8/3/2017 article “Papan Town?” and quote from the book in question that you possess. Just roll the date button under the heading “Archives” to select March 2017 and you will find the article. Alternatively, you can just post the quote in this article.

    Below is one of my messages to you in the article “The E W Birch Fountain”. The message dated 13/4/2017 is self-explanatory:

    “I hope you’d recall that, without any chance to verify the texts which you purportedly quoted from the so-called Raffles ordinances, I did assume in your behalf [i.e. to your benefit] the truth of the texts. No one would go such distance as to purchase a book, or look up a book from a library, so as to verify someone’s claim. (I might look up the book one day when the time is convenient.) I asked you to quote the relevant section of the book, which you said you had, as regards your claim but until now you haven’t quoted any. That is the only time you have ever revealed a source (the book) upon request.”

    Of course, Raffles the purported inventor is just one of the concerns now, as you have continued to make claims after that article. But please do quote from your book without further delay.

    This is another message dated 3/5/2017 I posted for you in the same E W Birch article:

    “I have to say all that you have claimed as your references cannot be found on internet. It doesn’t take an Einstein to know that reading a quote without referring to the original document is as good as taking the quoter’s word – the quote [i.e. the passage] could have been tampered with, or it could be a scam altogether. So far you have not given any single link to your so-called references nor have you produced any piece of evidence for your copious claims, which you have presented as facts, despite my requests.”

    As I have said before, if any of the evidence for your claims is in the physical form, you just need to produce the evidence in a scan or photograph copy. I noticed that, in some occasions, you purportedly quoted from some ancient articles of the Straits Times of Singapore which I’m sure are not available for the vetting by most visitors to this blog. So basically everyone has to take your word.

    I don’t know where you live nor the social norms of your place, but I hope you will learn that when you say something, it is your responsibility to justify your words to someone who asks, not the other way round.

  6. Ngai C O says:

    Hi NCK,

    I found this reference from a study on the origins of Qilou in Guangzho if it helps.

    3. According to the Raffles Ordinance
    (1822), “All houses constructed of brick
    or tiles have a common type of front each
    having an arcade of a certain depth, open
    to all sides as a continuous and open
    passage on each side of the street.” See
    H.Y. Lee, “The Singapore Shophouse: An
    Anglo-Chinese Urban Vernacular,” in R.
    Knapp, ed., Asia’s Old Dwellings: Tradition,
    Resilience, and Change (Oxford and New
    York: Oxford University Press, 2003); and
    H. Davis, Living over the Store: Architecture
    and Local Urban Life (Abingdon and New
    York: Routledge, 2012). On a field trip to
    Singapore and Malaysia in 2014 I noticed
    that qilou streets were common in big
    and small cities and towns in the region.
    Judging by the years inscribed on the
    buildings or the opening years of the stores,
    many were built in the early twentieth

  7. Ngai C O says:


    Now that these young men have been ‘honourably’ exposed, I just wonder whether they have something to share with readers.

  8. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear felicia

    We’re pleased to announce that we’ve managed to get the names of the 4 young men in the photograph.

    That’s good, but let’s hope they (or their survivors) don’t mind their names being published.

    The second picture shows a gentleman posing in front of the Ormonde Hotel. We believe this to be the once famous Ormonde Hotel, a prominent building along the Liffey Quays in Dublin (Ireland). This hotel closed around 2005, and year later was bought by developer Bernard McNamara for €17 million. As of April 2016, a new application was made to have this building demolished.

    No, I don’t think so. The hotel in the photograph does not resemble the famous one in Dublin; and moreover, the latter’s name is written thus: “Ormond” (without the terminal “e”).

    If you are able to reach the gentleman shown posing in front of the hotel, perhaps you can ask him where the picture was taken.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      But speaking of demolition, the Brinford Lodge site went through several reincarnations (before and after its role as a Malayan teachers’ college); and now it seems it is becoming a housing development.

    • felicia says:

      Hi Ipoh Remembered. I might be wrong, thanks for pointing it out. I typed the hotel name in Google and this was what came up. Silly me for assuming ;)

  9. linda says:

    My father was a student at the college in year 1958/59….he wished to contribute some pix here…how can he do it ?
    Pls do reply….

    • felicia says:

      Hello Linda and welcome to the Blog!
      Yes, we’d be delighted to see your father’s photos. He may send them to this email address = info@ipohworld.org
      We prefer the photos scanned at 300 dpi or higher, as the images would be clearer for others to see. Looking forward to hearing from you both soon. :)

  10. Hidayati Aziz says:

    Hello there,

    My mother went to Brinsford Lodge. She arrived in 1961.
    She was so excited when she saw the photo (because of the sign), unfortunately she she did not recognise anyone in the photo.

    We then clicked on http://www.brinsfordlodge.co.uk and there my mother saw photos of many of her Brinsfordian friends, she squealed with laughter. Pleasant memories. Was nice to bump into this blog, though. Thank you for brightening my mother’s evening :)

  11. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Hidayati Aziz

    My mother agrees to the cause of the fire. She lost her Convent classmate Tan Eng Soo and bestfriend Che Khatijah. Both of S Block. My mother was of T block.

    I am saddened to hear that your mother lost two of her friends in that horrible fire. I am grateful that she is OK, and very grateful that you are here to tell us so.

    Thanks so much for writing.


    Hi, I’m Khairul Amilin.

    If anybody knew Zainun Megat Mohamad, she had passes away on 14th May 2015. She also trained there. I’m her son.

    Regards to all.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Dear Khairul Amilin … I am saddened to hear about the loss of your mother. Thank you for mentioning her name here so others can know it and remember that she trained to be a teacher. All my best to you.

    • felicia says:

      Welcome to the blog, Muhammad Khairul. Sorry to hear about your mother. Perhaps some of her friends from Brinsford might leave us a message here.

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