Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

This house in Hume Street, New Town, Ipoh is often admired by visitors and locals alike. It has appeared several times on other blogs and it would be a serious omission if we did not include it on ipohWorld’s World as it is a great example of how nice Ipoh could look if other owners cared as much as this one. Just compare this to the shophouse in Market Street on this blog and you will see what I mean.

Hume Street is an interesting place with of course the grand old Panglima Mosque at the end of the street next to the Kinta River. But add to that the other buildings, most of which are in almost original condition, even if not beautifully painted, and you have an ideal street to turn into a small heritage enclave. Wouldn’t that be nice!

The street also contains several Chinese clubs/associations. Perhaps thay could donate some paint for their buildings as the next step to preserving this short street for following generations.

Finally may I offer my congratulations and thanks to the owner of the house pictured. You are an asset to Ipoh.

  1. Jeremy says:

    This is is definitely the jewel of Ipoh. I’ve tried searching for another house in Ipoh that looks like this but to no avail. While Penang and Singapore can feel proud of their Strait Eclectic Style shophouses, I can only feel proud of this house as a son of Ipoh. It’s really sad to see the rest of the houses along this row are now being converted into modern shophouses with the delicate ornaments long gone… Anyway, kudos to the owner of this house. In fact, early this yr when i passed by this house, the owner took the initiattive to take out the aircond( stuck outfrom the top window) and restored the window to its original look.. good job..

  2. Paul says:

    Hume street or “Coffin Street” because that is the place where all the coffin shops are.

    There used to be a curry mee stall there that was really delicious.

  3. sl tan says:

    the house to be proud of used to belong to my grandmother,Madam Chee Geok Lan. That house, 11, hume street, ipoh, was held as a centre of the devotees of Datoh Kong and every year there would be a feast for all devotees who would come from all over to pay homage to Datoh Kong. there would be a medium, who would be my fifth aunt and Datoh Kong would come and all the devotees would be blessed and anyone asking for success for businesses or exams would be granted by Datoh Kong. After the visit, my fifth aunt would be informed of the prophesy of Datoh Kong. Only those who used to attend the featival will know what i am talking about. If anyonewants verification of this, all they have to do is contact me at my e-maill address which is plily@hotmail.co.uk
    I am not a crank, i know the full history of 11 hume street and yes, the owner of that house does not welcome visitors. i could tell you more about him but i wont even waste my breath. If you do contact me i will be able to tell you more.

    sl tan

    • kh says:

      Hi sltan,

      Am still waiting for your comments as to why you change the surname of your grandmother ( if she is your grandma) you know the full history of this house when you do not even remember your grandma’s surname–tell me– when was this house built?

      What do you know about the owner or this house, and who is he or she?

  4. Eugene Khoo says:

    It’s rare to see such town house in Ipoh.

    There are six town houses in Taiping, five of it are well maintained and only four are still occupied as dwellings.

    Taking a close study, such houses normally lived by the Straits Chinese families (Peranakan). It is common to see this in George Town and Malacca, where the Hokkien people are famed to be the Peranakans.

    In a place where Hakka and Cantonese are the majority ethnics, such ornamented houses are less seen. There is one exception in Seremban, a town house located at 86 Paul Street which was belonged to Chu Kik Moon & family.

  5. keserasera says:

    Yes, it is a nice building–is this a public building or private owned–do one need to pay to go in to have a look-see.

    Can sltan give more info on this–please

  6. kh says:

    I know this house as well as the family as I also grew up in Hume Street and was living there from the 40s till the 60s. In the early days, they have a “peen pak” Cypress tree in front of their house–this tree died after they tar the road.

    I have seen the Hume Street road changed from gravel to tar. In the old days more bullock carts passed by Hume Street than cars. We used to play basketball in the basketball court just behind this house, there was the Chin Woo Association there in the old days too, where people learned “kung fu” at night

    The lady who build this house was Madam Choo and fondly known as “koo por” grand aunt, she used to dress in a blue sarong and white shirt and had a bun on her hair–the Nyona style.

    She was a very kind and loving lady–in fact in those days all living in Hume Street have great respect for her, almost everyone call her “koo por”–her door was always open and the trishaw man will just walk into her house for a cup of hot tea whenever they so wish as her door was never lock during the day–in the old days–never a problem.

    Her grandson is the present owner of the house and he is maintaining this in memory of her (Madam Choo) as he and his younger sister were brought up by the Grandmother as their father (who was Madam Choo’s youngest son)died during the Japanese occupation of Malaya.

    I believe he has also made a trust to look after this house when he is no longer here to do so in the future as a token of his gratitude to his grandmother for all the sacrifices she made in bringing him and his sister up–so I guess there will be a future for this house–even in later years, which will serve as a memory to a grand old lady–Madam Choo. How nice a grand old house to remember a grand old lady.

    Madam Choo had 3 sons and 8 daughters and many grandchildren and great grandchildren–it seems that sltan (according to her comment on the 9th July 2011) is one of the grandchild but why sltan said her grandma’s surname is Chee?? She claimed to know the full history of this house–I wonder. Was sltan living there before–I do not recall.

  7. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear ika

    This “House to be Proud Of” on Hume Street … Is it still there?

    And if it is, what is its current address on Jalan Masjid?


  8. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Still wondering where on Hume Street the house is.

    Any clues?


    Anyway, above, louis asked: “What is the modern name for [Hume Street] please?” And ika answered: “Jalan Masjid I believe.”

    This is correct.

    But in the database (item 872), it is said that Jalan Masjid was “originally Hume Street.”

    This is incorrect. Jalan Masjid never had an English name.

    A contradiction? No.

    The key is that Jalan Masjid and Hume Street used to be separate streets. Jalan Masjid (meaning both the street and the name) existed decades before Hume Street (meaning, again, both the street and the name). Then, after Hume Street was built, the two streets, and the two names, co-existed for at least thirty years, probably longer.


    There is a road in Ipoh today called Jalan C. M. Yussuf. It used to be called Chamberlain Road. If you followed it north, just before New Town you came to a fork. The right side of the fork was Anderson Road; the left side was the lower end of the original Jalan Masjid.

    From the fork, that original Jalan Masjid ran in a north-westerly direction until it passed the eponymous mosque, where you then turned northwards to meet the southern end of Laxamana Road, near Hugh Low Street.

    The mosque was built in the late 1890s and the road named after it dates from that era. Originally the road was quite short: it linked the mosque to Kampong Laxamana, due north on the east bank of the Kinta River.

    Whereas Hume Street dates from the 1920s: it was built and named after Billy Hume had served his second term as (Acting) British Resident in Perak.

    Originally, Hume Street ran west from Cowan Street to Cockman Street (at the time called Togo Street). Some time after Hume died in the early 1950s, Hume Street was extended further west past Cockman Street until it was joined up with the river end of Jalan Masjid, the two parts keeping their separate names. Later — quite a bit later — Hume’s name was dropped and the entire (merged) length became known as Jalan Masjid, even east of Cockman Street; whereas the lower end of the original Jalan Masjid — the part below Hume Street — more or less fell into disuse (although remnants of it are still there, I believe).

    • ika says:

      Hi Ipoh Remembered, All that about Hume Street is very interesting and ties up well with a photo I took a couple of years ago where, at the end of the street that contains the mosque there were two street signs, Hime Street at above a second sign, Jalan Masjid, directly below it. I must see if I can find the photo again. Maybe both signs are still there!

    • IKA says:

      Hi Ipoh Remembered, just for you I made a special trip to Hume Street this afternoon. house in question is No 11.

      I them looked for the old street signs, but alas, the corner pet shop has erected one of those huge, ugly illegal shop signs and completely masked the signs if they are still there. Ipoh is full of such ugliness and it is about time the enforcement officers got out their summons books.

      • Ipoh Remembered says:

        Thank you, IKA; that was very kind!

        I assume that 11 is the number on what’s now Jalan Masjid, which means, I suppose, that the house is on the mosque half of the street (as opposed to the half that used to be Hume Street).

        As for the erasure of Billy Hume’s name: it occurs to me that somewhere, Charles Alma Baker is smiling. The two men disliked each other intensely. Baker claimed that Hume nearly bankrupted him by withholding payment for services rendered; whereas Hume retorted that the services rendered were of a quality so far below par as not to deserve full payment. Ernest Birch, Resident at the time, was fulsome in support of Baker, but upon receiving the latter’s appeal, a higher-up said: “Baker has re-opened this subject because he finds that his work which was pronounced incorrect is now found to be correct. He is however wrong in this supposition and there seems [to be] no reason, therefore, to do anything [for him].”

        As for the pet shop, you can’t mean that they have covered up the official white-and-green-and-red street signs, can you? Or have they actually done that?

        Thanks again.

        • IKA says:

          No. 11 is on the same side of the street as the mosque. No. 1 is the nearest to the mosque.
          The signs they have covered up are the old type and I have just sent a copy of my photo taken in 2009 to Felicia to upload. The sign you mention is on a pole at the street corner, outside the pet shop, which is on the opposite side of the street from No. 11.

  9. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Thanks, IKA.

    Pursuant to my comments above, you will have seen by now that this house never was on Hume Street. The stretch of road on which it sits was always Jalan Masjid. (I could not find the photograph in the database so I don’t know if it’s correctly labeled there.)

    Similarly, in item 7130 of the database a photograph, donated by Nicholas Jennings, is presented thus:

    The picture shows the Panglima Mosque, at the end of Hume Street (of Coffin Street, as some call it).

    As again you will have seen by now, this, too, is incorrect: the mosque never was on Hume Street; it, and Jalan Masjid on which it sits, existed long before Hume Street did.


    Looking around in the database for traces of Billy Hume I found item 5557, which presents two more photographs donated by Nicholas Jennings.

    The first photograph is described thus:

    On the left is a picture taken at the retirement dinner for the British Resident of Perak, Lt. Col. WJP Hume

    You might be interested to learn, IKA, that the dinner took place at the Station Hotel — so what you have is a rare photograph of the interior a mere four years after the Hotel’s first guests were served.

    The database entry continues:

    On the right is a picture taken outside Eu Chateau. The year this picture was taken is unknown to us.

    This second photograph, showing a party given for Billy Hume by Eu Tong Sen, was taken a mere four days after the first one. That is to say, both photographs were taken in 1921.


    Words cannot do justice to the occasion but let me record, anyway, my heart-felt gratitude to Nicholas Jennings for donating these priceless photographs.

    • IKA says:

      Ipoh Remembered. When you see the photo of the two street signs that Felicia will put up today you will see that Hume Street i son the top and there is a separate sign for Jalan Masjid below which is painted out. Therefore I believe at some time the street that contains the mosque was officially called Hume Street. That would tie up with Nicholas who sent us the other photos taken with captions from his grandfather’s album which clearly called the street Hume.

      Yes I am delighted that you can identify the Station Dining Room. I was saw a 1925 postcard of the dining room on eBay, but we just could not afford to go sky high and I was outbid.

      • Ipoh Remembered says:

        Looking forward to seeing the photograph, IKA and felicia, thanks!

        Meanwhile, if you have looked at maps of the area in question, I’d be interested to know if you’ve seen any in which the street that contains the mosque is labeled “Hume Street.”

        (Bearing in mind, as I explained above, that the Jalan Masjid that contains the mosque today runs more or less east-west, whereas the Jalan Masjid that originally contained the mosque ran in a north-west/south-east direction.)

        As for that item on eBay, perhaps the photograph you do have is better, given the historical importance of the scene and actors it captures.

        • ika says:

          Ipoh Remembered. We have a survey map of 1931 which shows Jalam Masjid running from the river, in front of the mosque and then bending around the back of the row of houses containing No. 11.

          Hume street is shown as running right down to, but not past the mosque. There is a small lane from that end of Hume that leads to Hugh Low Street which is not there today.

          What was Hume Street then, now runs past the mosque to the river where there is a lane that runs through to Hugh Low, right alongside the bridge. This is now called Jalan Masjid.

          The original Jalan Masjid no longer curves around the houses although there is a narrow lane that leads from today’s Jlan masjid to the back of the houses. It is in a state of disrepair.

          So to summarise there was originally two roads, Huma and Masjid. Hume became Masjid allowing the original Jalan Masjid to deteriorate. It is nonetheless shown on Google maps.

          To complete the story turn to page 158 of my book where you will find the story of living in Hume street at No. 30 in 1940, That is almost opposite No. 11.

          I hope that puts this story to bed!

  10. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear ika

    Thanks for your précis. To me, what you write seems consistent with what I wrote, except for the following:

    [In a “survey map of 1931”] Hume street is shown as running right down to, but not past the mosque.

    As I indicated above, I’m not sure Hume Street extended that far west in 1931.

    To refresh my memory, I’ve now looked at some old maps myself and, via e-mail, I’ve sent you an image file comparing the street lay-out in 1921 versus 1936. (I picked 1921 because that’s when Billy Hume left Ipoh; the eponymous street was built later in the ’20s.)

    If you take a look at the comparison, you’ll see that Hume Street is not present in my 1921 map; whereas in my 1936 map it runs from Cowan Street in the east right up to (but not further than) Togo Street in the west. Does the map you’re looking at distinguish between metalled roads and other paths?

    As your map and the 1936 map I’m looking at don’t agree, I wonder if you can display all three maps beside each other (either in this post or in the one felicia kindly put up two days ago).


    [A sign for] Hume Street [is on] the top and there is a separate sign for Jalan Masjid below which is painted out. Therefore I believe at some time the street that contains the mosque was officially called Hume Street.

    In this scenario, when would the “Jalan Masjid” sign have been painted out, and why?


    As for the photograph that shows Hume’s dinner party at the Station Hotel in 1921, you wrote:

    Yes I am delighted that you can identify the Station Dining Room.

    Frankly, after all these years I was delighted as well — but that’s neither here nor there. The reason I mentioned the location is that the database entry does not mention it. Do you think it should?

    • ika says:

      The Heritage House is on the same side of the street as the mosque and just 5 houses from the Mosque at No 11. The Mosque complex i No 1 I . You can see it clearly on Google Street View.
      Incidentally, the Bird House was almost opposite.

      • Ipoh Remembered says:

        Yes, via Google just now I see the “house to be proud of” is at 11 Jalan Masjid. Almost opposite was the menagerie pictured in the post “Recognise This?”

        The menagerie belonged to the owner of the Bird Shop, which was itself on the other side of the menagerie, facing Hugh Low Street. I’ll send you something about it.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Dear kh

      Regardless of the details, it’s a real privilege to hear from someone who recognises this “house to be proud of.” If you have more memories or photographs to share with ipohWorld, I would appreciate it very much!

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