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.

  13. Mano says:

    Not done with the memory lane yet, Felicia.
    Being teenagers, we were too ‘sophisticated’ to be seen playing with paper planes or even the rubber band powered planes. Back in them days, Lim Gardens had some of the most gorgeous girls ever! And we needed a real attention seeking plane with a real engine. This was the Cox glow engine. It ran on a mixture of one part ethanol and two parts castor oil…or was it two parts ethanol and one art castor oil…hmm…Back to the story, as luck would have it, in my group, there was this one guy who was really into them and built them from scratch. The plane was then tethered to wires to control the flaps and flown round and round…at speed. Wireless remote control was a pipe dream ‘them days.
    We used to fly one round and round in the field at Jln. Toh Muda Hashim and Jln. Tapah. Well, actually, it was the guy who was flying it. We just stood by him looking very focused and important eyeing the eye-candy in the scenery;)
    The aerial maneuvers with this plane was quite limited and in the hands of an ‘expert’ one could do a loop which is what our friend decided to do one day. He made some movement with his arm and wrist and next thing we know, the plane was coming straight towards us…at speed! It must have looked rather comical as we dived out of it’s way.
    I’ll never forget the girls’ giggles and laughter as we sheepishly picked up the bits and pieces of the plane.

      • Mano says:

        That’s when I took up the guitar, Ngai CO. Not only was it a chick magnet but a lot safer too!
        However, when a few of my mates cottoned on to this, I took to the drums.

        • Ngai C O says:

          Hi Mano,

          When your mates saw the attraction, they jumped on the band wagon. You had competition.

          You then switched to drums. You made a very smart move. I hoped the trick worked.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Great story, Mano. What fun it must have been. I can almost hear the engine and see “our heroes” diving for cover!

      It ran on a mixture of one part ethanol and two parts castor oil…or was it two parts ethanol and one art castor oil

      More likely the latter, because the castor oil was only for lubrication. Methanol (or, in your case, ethanol) was the actual fuel.

      Incidentally, I do believe that field is still there.

      • Mano says:

        Yes, Ipoh Remembered, I looked it up on Google Maps, the field is still there. Nearly brought a tear to my eye.
        As for the fuel mixture ratio, it didn’t matter. Soon after, as I have indicated to Ngai CO, I got into music instead;)

  14. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Mano … Did you happen to know anyone who lived on the edge of that field in the ’50s? Does the last name “Petrus” ring a bell? I’m trying to remember someone from the distant past but it’s not working out very well.

    As for the field, I recall seeing boys and young men playing football there, but I don’t remember seeing your crew performing your aerial (and other) maneuvers!

  15. Mano says:

    Dear Ipoh Remembered, I moved to Lim Gardens in 1965. I was Std III then. Back then, what is now the field was part of a block of land that was for some reason was the last to be developed. In this block, there were two old wooden houses. Refering to Google Map, one was situated opposite the junction of Jln. Taiping and Jln. Tronoh. The other was more towards Jln. Toh Muda Hashim where the field meets what is now the extension of Jln. Goh Yin Foo. Between these two houses were thickets of huge bamboo. The field came to being around 1970. We did our flying in the early 70′s. I also joined in the football as well.
    ‘Petrus’ does ring a bell. I think one of the boy’s name was Linus. Their house would have been the third along Jln Toh Muda Hashim from Jln. Goh Yin Foo junction. They owned a green Holden Hydramatic, again, I think.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Mano, that’s a miracle! In one short paragraph you have organised for me many memories that I have for weeks now been struggling to recall and re-connect!

      Yes, that’s exactly where the Petrus residence was. The green Holden you’re talking about: was it an EJ, by any chance? Before you moved to Lim Garden in 1965, for a few years there used to be a blue car at that house, powder-blue, perhaps a Borgward.

      When you moved to the area, the houses must still have been fairly new. Looking at the area via the Internet, I see that the Petrus residence is now gone. It seems to have been torn down, the lot having been combined with a neighbouring one. This makes me sad — for no good reason, I admit — I suppose old memories are no substitute for real life, which must go on.

      In any event, thank you very much!

  16. Mano says:

    Dear Ipoh Remembered, you are most welcome. I’m glad to be of help and, yes, it was a Holden EJ. Incidentally, I noticed, you do know your cars!
    Lim Gardens was a fresh and vibrant place to grow up those days. Houses were being occupied as soon as they were completed. There was always a new kid in town!
    It looks sad and neglected these days.
    If I may ask, what is your connection to Lim Gardens and the Petrus’?

  17. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Mano

    Yes, in the old days, before automobile technology was quite mature, and before planned obsolescence was quite so ruthless, car designs were different from each other and each iteration (or mark) lasted a number of years. It was a sort of Golden Age of Cars. That seems to have ended. Nowadays, even across makes there seem to be standard “body types” — and cars within each type look more or less alike to my eye. There are still exceptional designs, of course — Tesla is an example, innovative inside and out — but otherwise there is a kind of uniformity that does not reward enthusiasm.

    Of course, it could just be that I am tired and paying less attention these days!

    I don’t have a strong connection to Lim Gardens beyond having watched it develop. There was a Convent School in the area, which is where perhaps your youthful admirers were students. There were also some prominent Indian and Eurasian families who lived there whom I knew, all professionals of one sort or another. The late Toh Muda Hashim was a friend. He was involved in the Amateur Football Association, which was among the groups that agitated for the construction of Ipoh’s first sports stadium. A good deal of money was donated.

    And my connection to the powder-blue Borgward is mere sentiment.

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