Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

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Recognise this drawing? Were you any good at it? Did you have ‘flying’ competitions with your friends? Ok, own up…how many of you played with paper planes? We’d also like to hear from the model airplane enthusiasts.

I'll admit I had paper dolls once. Spent hours designing, colouring and cutting out clothes for them ;)
  1. Ngai C O says:

    Hi felicia,

    At this rate, you may be posting marbles, rubber bands and playing cards one day. HaHaHa.

    Well, apart from this version, the home made ones were part of our amoury of palystaff, for boys at least and I am not sure about girls. I qoute during my era.

    Whilst the teacher was writing on the blackboard, the planes would be flying behind at the back until one went astray and hit the teacher or landed nearby.

    The name, shame and punishment would begin. Punishment could vary from writing lines like I must not fly aeroplanes in class, standing outside the class, detention or the more physical form. Which could be anything from a whack on the head, a whack on the knuckles with a ruler or caning or even flicking the earlobes with fingers.

  2. ika says:

    Ngai C O – Ha Ha – if you have a look at our database we have already done marbles, playing cards and the rubber seed propeller plus many other toys. We just have not found a rubber band gun from the old days. When we find one it will also be entered. These are all part of Malaysian heritage.

    • Ngai C O says:

      Hi Ika,

      In that case, you would most likely have covered Adenanthera pavonina, common name is red lucky seed, of the leguminous tree, which is also grown for shade.

      I had never seen a rubber band gun in my time, maybe another period. We did use rubber band to shoot at others. We rested one end on the tip of a second finger and pulled the other end with the other second finger and thumb, aim and release. It could inflict a fair amount of pain if it hit the skin but no effect on clothes.

      As for sling shots, we chose wild coffee tree for the material as the branches more or less had a perfect Y profile. The wood was hard and at the same time stiff. At home the crafting began with removing the bark and shaping the Y into a U with the use of a former and steam from a boiling kettle. The elastic came from bicycle tube and the projectile holder was leather with the rough side to hold the projectile. I am sure you do have one.

  3. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear felicia

    Is there a date associated with the item shown in the photograph? I see the “PANAM” logo; it was designed in the late ’50s.

    Ok, own up…how many of you played with paper planes? We’d also like to hear from the model airplane enthusiasts.

    Paper planes, certainly.

    But model airplanes came mostly after my time. Balsa-and-paper models were popular a long time ago, but not the plastic-and-glue kits that you’ve probably seen.

    I’ll admit I had paper dolls once. Spent hours designing, colouring and cutting out clothes for them ;)

    Sounds wonderful!

    If you still have any of them, enter them into the database!

    • ika says:

      Hi Ipoh Remembered. As far as I know the logo was in vogue from 1957 to 1991. There is no clue on the box as to when it was issued and thus I took an estimated date somewhere in the middle. Can you help me out with a more accurate dat please?

  4. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear ika

    Regarding the logo: your dates — 1957-1991 — sound about right to me.

    Another clue might be the letters “F-WTSS,” which were famously on the first Concorde, which flew in 1969.

    Now, if I remember correctly, Pan Am did sign up to place orders for the Concorde, but then never went ahead to actually buy any — thus there was never a Concorde bearing a Pan Am logo.

    And of course, the paper plane looks nothing like the Concorde.

    So perhaps the use of “F-WTSS” is a mere co-incidence, but somehow I imagine it is not.

    Do you know where the product was made?

  5. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Ngai C O

    In that case, you would most likely have covered Adenanthera pavonina, common name is red lucky seed, of the leguminous tree, which is also grown for shade.

    I do remember those trees: they were not rare, and there were a few in some of Ipoh’s early school compounds, where younger children — both girls and boys — used to collect the red seeds for use in games and as a sort of currency. I wonder if they still do that.

    • Ngai C O says:

      Hi Ipoh Remembered,

      If they grew by the road side, it would be lethal as the tyres would not grip due to the seed slippery surface.

      The tree used to be very common. I did not realise it had edible parts provided it was cooked. At the time, all I knew was the seed was poisonous. One could play with it but no consumption.

      In my last few trips back to Ipoh, I did not come across any such tree. Those that existed way back in the 50s and 60s would have reached end of life by now or cut down and planted with what we see today.

      In the wild, there may well be some growing propagated via bird droppings just like the wild coffee that I came across in secondary jungle at residential fringes.

      Yes, it was used as some form of currency by me as well. Because it was so abundant on the ground under the tree, it soon lost its value as a bargaining chip. I would not tell my peers where I got the seed to raise the bar. It was quite funny. I think girls outnumbered boys in using the seed as a game.

      As I grew older, the seed game got rarer. Coupled with the tree rarity, my guess, I can only presume it has not lived on. Most likely, people growing up a generation ago may not even be aware that the seed was used as a game.

  6. IKA says:

    Ipoh Remembered.

    I have to say I did not notice the Concorde registration F-WTSS which is only on one of the designs. You can see the others at http://db.ipohworld.org/view/id/8906. I did try to track down them by shape, but did not recognise it as the Concorde shape as the very distinctive nose is not there.

    Anyway, I shall add in the bit about the registration on the database entry, Thank you for pointing ot out.

    Also, now that we know about the registration perhaps we should change the date to 1970.

    The box is in shocking state with only the front usable and we cannot find the maker. I did look for IGROs on the box but there was no lead to paper planes, cutout or design companies.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Dear ika

      Yes, I agree that circa 1970 would be a decent guess.

      I wonder if the toy was made in Hong Kong.

      Thanks for the link to the relevant database entry. I shall take a look.

  7. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear IKA

    the Concorde registration F-WTSS which is only on one of the designs. You can see the others at http://db.ipohworld.org/view/id/8906.

    Thanks. I took a look at database entry 8906 and I think I saw “F-WTSS” marked on two of the designs — the two that looked least like the Concorde!

    From the entry:

    The logo shown on the planes was used by Pan Am from 1967 to 1991.

    1967 does not seem right; 1957 is probably what the writer meant.

    ——

    Incidentally, do you have an actual copy of the book that is the subject of database entry 323?

  8. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Ngai C O

    The tree used to be very common. I did not realise it had edible parts provided it was cooked. At the time, all I knew was the seed was poisonous. One could play with it but no consumption.

    I had no idea, either, about eating any part of the tree. I suppose it must have been done but I never saw it.

    As for the seeds being poison, I imagine young children must have inserted them into nose and ear, as well as mouth.

    In my last few trips back to Ipoh, I did not come across any such tree.

    Sorry to hear it. I wonder if anyone resident in Ipoh could confirm.

    I think girls outnumbered boys in using the seed as a game.

    My impression also, but it’s only a vague impression.

    Most likely, people growing up a generation ago may not even be aware that the seed was used as a game.

    Again, I wonder if a local resident could confirm.

    • Ngai C O says:

      How very true that you reminded us that kids might put the seed up their noses and into the mouth.

      I ended up in the General Hospital A and E Dept because I lodged a ladies button up my nose. It was removed with a pair of pincers. By the way, the building front is still there but serves a different purpose.

      As for edibility, I found out the other day on google wikipedia.

      I like the way you try to tease readers to share their experiences of this or similar seed.

  9. Mano says:

    There were a couple of red seed trees at the National Type Primary School, Pasir Puteh. They are probably gone by now as the last time I visited the place about seven years ago, the trees were old and withered. I believe one of these trees was even rarer as it produced seeds which were rounded and had a black marking.
    During my time, the red seeds were used to teach preschool kids arithmetic. Another use for these seeds was for playing ‘congkak’.

    • felicia says:

      Hi Mano. I remember collecting those red seeds….I think I had more than a hundred of them at one stage. Yes, I did use them to play congkak :)

  10. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Mano

    I believe one of these trees was even rarer as it produced seeds which were rounded and had a black marking.

    The red-and-black combination sounds vaguely familiar but I can’t remember anything specific.

    During my time, the red seeds were used to teach preschool kids arithmetic.

    More teaching aids!

    Another use for these seeds was for playing ‘congkak’.

    Yes, I remember this game. It’s a version of mancala, a family of games played around the world; more than a thousand years old.

  11. Mano says:

    On the subject of toy planes, we used to tie a string to a dragonfly and have our own helicopters.
    Oh, and during the Chinese New Year, which is about now, it was also the season for cicadas. Tie one to a string and you had a fighter jet!

    • Ngai C O says:

      Hi Mano,

      That was ‘cruel’ but did we give a second thought about these matters. Unless one was a scout in which case knowingly stepping on an ant killing it was a crime. What if an ant bit us? Should we brushed it off or smacked it to finish it off in the pain of the moment?

      Don’t forget the founder of the scout movement committed a much bigger crime.

      I should definitely be a very guilty party given the fact I killed tens of dozens of birds to compete as to who bagged the most kills. You guess it – the homemade sling shot with a most lethal projectile, the haematite ore that I collected from the mine a Tambun.

      As for cicadas, many probably lived on the palm trees. I enjoyed pressing both its bottom side to force it to squeak and to compete with peers for the loudest sound.

      I forgot to mention that the Chinese New Year Greeting has the genuine article. Unlike some who replaced it with a cockerel. How could it be? Even such an important part of Heritage has been turned into a political football.

  12. felicia says:

    Wow! You guys have been ‘busy’ with all these comments!
    Thank you for sharing all your stories with us. It’s a nice walk down memory lane.

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