Warned that something was “up” in Gopeng Road I dropped by this afternoon. But nothing was “up” however – quite the opposite – No 62 was on the way “down”.
Yes, the Ipoh demolition team were at it again. So I dropped in on the Chinese foreman who seemed to agree with me that it was a terrible shame, but a job is a job! Well, the front still looked pretty OK.
But the back is a different story, where work is well advanced, both inside and out.
Then I noticed the left hand end and from inside saw this beautiful round room with open air designs to the garden and wondered why they had left it intact. Could they be going to rebuild and not demolish after all?
And I wondered – is this the second Iversen building to be destroyed in less than one week or do the owners have some other plan? What do you think?
Dear Ipoh-ites…..can you guys guess the year this photograph was taken? The familiar landmarks may give you some clues 🙂
Here’s another hint: at the bottom left there seems to be some construction going on (at the back of Waller Court Flats) – this site later became S.K. Coronation Park 😉
Here’s a photograph of Ipoh Motors – yes, the same Ipoh Motors which was once a familiar sight along Brewster Road. It is said that the building was previously the premises of Cycle & Carriage Co. Ltd.
Any idea as to WHEN this photograph was taken. We think it’s the 1950s – since Ipoh Motors did move off to another premise, leaving the building empty for some time…
Nostalgic flash back in Ipoh ACS – The little park in the site of the current Carpentry Shed 1953
Prior to the erection of the Carpentry Shed, there was a little park of green grass with a middle line of trees, one of which was a frangipani tree of nearly 12 feet tall. The park was bounded by a bamboo plant fence parallel to Lahat Road, the main entry road to the Ipoh Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) Main Building, the impenetrable fence (south) and a deep grassed slope (west). On top of this slope was a School Residence (see illustration above). From the park looking towards Lahat Road, you can see the Hindu Temple.
Some students waited in the park to be picked by private transport. Many activities occurred in that area within a space of 30 mins after school.
When a piece of leaf from the palm tree was found, it was everyone’s favourite to do “bob sledging” down the steep slope. You climbed to the flat top, position your bum on the end of the wide leaf (bark side), move it on the edge of the slope, and with one shove, you make a quick descent to the bottom of the slope. It was a cheap thrill. Sometimes, your pants could be severely stained if you accidently slide off the leaf and continue downwards without it or you simply fell off.
The frangipani was a source of entertainment and prankish behaviour. One day, whilst I was sitting under the tree for shade and was waiting to be picked up,I felt something wet dripping on my head. My hand reached for the spot and felt wetness. I inspected my fingers and found the wetness was caused by a sticky white liquid. At first, I thought it was bird shit but the consistency and the smell (rather sweetly) eliminated my first guess. On looking up the tree, I discovered that the latex from the tree was dripping on my head. What a sigh of relief because if that was bird poo, it was considered unlucky and to reverse the curse, I would have to buy lollies and shared it with my friends. However, I did remember seeing someone known to me, had climbed up the tree as I was sitting down. He had cut the bark of the tree (or carved a grove in the bark similar to tapping rubber). The latex then flowed to the opening and when it accumulated, gravity did the rest. It was the “dripping latex on your head” trick. I had a fight with him then but we remained friends.
After learning the trick from him, I was able to do it to another person. You climbed up the tree and waited for the next victim to sit in the spot where the cut in the tree would result in the latex falling into his head or body. All you need is a good pen knife. All bad things can be learnt from ACS boys if you are willing to learn.
The little park is only second to the ground below the gymnasium for fighting. Many scores were settled in the park after school. It was a good place because the teachers were busy preparing to go home in the teacher’s office and the park was unsupervised. I had cut lips, sore arms and black eyes during my early primary years. As a young boy with classmates 2 years older and bigger, you need to defend yourself when they dislike you being more intelligent than them or you being the teacher’s pet. Or they were just bullies. Once you have established that you can fight back and not necessarily win the fight, you have gained their respect and they will not touch you again. The motto “I can bleed all over you” .was a principle that we smaller beings lived by in ACS. Despite these fights, we were all friends in the later years and we seem to have forgotten our past disagreements.
My maternal uncle attended the afternoon school in ACS called the Methodist Afternoon School (MAS) with Mr Wong Wai Lam as the Principal. He parked my Grandfather’s green Vauxhall near the little park and he had the driver’s window wound down so I could use the horn to summon support if the boys tried to wallop me. His classroom was in the Main Building where he could see the car from where he sat. Fortunately, I did not use his service because I was able to take care of myself.
The ice-cendol Indian man always came and parked his tricycle store in the front lawn between Lahat Road and the bamboo fence. If I had 10 sen in my pocket, I would also get a bowl of ice cold cendol. Very tasty and when I think of it, my mouth watered. As boys we were curious to investigate whether there is any truth in the matter about earthworms at the bottom of the cendol pot. The Indian man obliged us by scooping out the green cendolwith his large spoon and declared “see, no earthworms”. We were satisfied. I found out the truth whilst I was overseas when the discussion of the earthworms in the cendol pot started again. Yes, there were earthworms but they were carefully wrapped in a white piece of cloth and it sat on the bottom of the pot. Some said that it reduced the chances of the coconut oil in the coconut juice turning rancid, ie an anti-oxidant. Believe it or not!
One last comment on the bamboo fence – there were no fighting spiders living there but you can make a single note flute by pulling a young shoot of the bamboo and pulling other joints out and use the one part with a leafy stem. You can make a single note by either blowing into it or sucking it. Another old ACS boy trick.
I believe the fence on the south boundary did have some spiders (fighting ones). True or False?
P/S Does anyone remember the rabbits that were kept at Horley Hall, adjacent to the railway line?
Iris Cheng posted on our FB timeline this very sad picture of the Art Deco Majestic Theatre in the throes of demolition. We heard about it on Saturday but honestly I found it too depressing to bother to go and take a photograph. However as Iris did bother I felt it was only right that I should publish it here for those of you who do not follow us on Facebook.
I fear that before too long we shall have nothing left that actually has any traditional architectural styles to please the eye. But perhaps I am that voice in the wilderness – the dinosaur that refuses to lie down. I make no apologies for that and believe that one day the people might understand why I think like that.
Back in the early 1900s, Hoot & Company were “direct importers of motor-cycles and tri-cars” (more can be found at our database). I wonder what has become of this shop lot today? It is also interesting to note that while Hoot & Co operated at No. 93 Belfield Street, their neighbour at No.95 was none other than Hinode Photographer.
The Americans termed it “The Witches Hat” by IpohBornKid
Introductory quote from:http://tstbob.blogspot.com.au/2009/12/walk-down-memory-lane-to-dangerous.html
“No; I’m not talking about those sterile plastic lysol-sprayed hunks of crap nestled in a bed of rubbery soft nerfy flooring. I’m talking aboutreal playgrounds. The kind we grew up with, the kind that mangled us and taught us life lessons. Playgrounds deemed too dangerous for today’s wussy youth, which sadly have become a thing of the past.”
The most awesome contraption in the ACS Ipoh primary school playground was the carousel-like equipment and in the US, it has the name “Witches Hat”. It was located adjacent to the monkey bars in the Primary School (Heritage) building in the 1950s. The equipment was built up of 2 circular metal rings (diameter 4 metres) welded together by 400 cm straight metal bars which gave 8 slots. The welded circular bands were suspended by metal rods/or chains (6-8 of them) to a central iron pole which lifted it to about 1 metre above ground but not too high so that a young boy of six can jump up a bit and grab the bottom circular ring . The design was very similar to the one illustrated in the picture above.
There were two possible motions of the witches hat. It can rotate horizontally with the axle represented by the large iron pole and it also swing (yaw) from side to side. The angle of the swing was about 45 degrees and this maximum was reached when the circular ring touched the central pole.
To get on the witches hat, one had to jump a little bit to grab the lower ring. The next step was to grab the upper ring. With your hands firmly on the upper ring, you lifted your body up and move one of your foot in between the two rings. With both legs in, you were then able to sit on the lower ring and your two hands holding the upper rings tightly. Not long after you have settled in, the boys on the ground will rotate the ring and if you did not hold tight, you will be thrown off by the centripetal force to the ground and be injured.
For the more experience boys, they can do two things. First, they could stand up on the lower or upper ring with their hands holding the suspending chain.At the same time, they could also swing the ring (yawing motion) and tried to hit the axle pole thus making a clanking noise. Just imagine the horror when you were a novice on the ring. The rotating ring would tried to throw you off whilst the swingding action would pulverise your legs. Whilst the ring was swinging, you had better get off or you stand on the rings.
Secondly, as the ring rotated, boys can be seen hooking their legs at the bottom ring (like the trapeze in a circus) and loved the thrill of being swung around with their face outside the rings and arms hanging down.
The witches hat was not designed for swinging and yet ACS boys found a way to intimidate younger novice on the witches hat by frightening them off the ring. Hence, swinging violently and increased velocity of the spins was a way of the “king” of the witches hat.
I fell off a few times when the violent swings and rotation started. If I had remained, I would have injured myself. Six months later, I was standing with the “kings” defying their attempts to throw me off.
An American experience is very similar to those experience in Ipoh ACS:
The idea behind these was simple – you and a friend (or multiple friends) grabbed opposite ends of the ring and ran in the same direction until you got whipped off the ground. Of course, that would be too easy; so instead you always tried to pair up people of very different sizes for each side, so it would be off balance and one side would be flown up in the air from the other people’s weight. Another important lesson in physics; often followed by a lesson in first aid.
Looking back, the witches hat was quite tough playground equipment. It looked innocent enough but it was not. It took courage and determination to stand up in the ring and most of the time, the bigger boys controlled the motion of the ring. That was rough and tough ACS playground equipment. Today, I still maintain that the witches hat was an awesome piece of playground equipment which was not designed for duels of supremacy but ACS boys found a way to make it more interesting. It was almost a jungle then – survival of the fittest. Lastly, it is definitely an American import since ACS was founded by American missionaries.
In 1999 the Perak State Government published a very nice heritage trail map of Ipoh. It was produced by our good friends from Penang, Lubis and Salma. One of the buildings featured was in Kampong Jawa and clearly the Government thought it had some heritage value as they included it in the map. It was abandoned then, but still looked good:
Today it is still published on the Internet by Perak Tourism (http://www.peraktourism.com/places/place_view.cfm?id=8A1F8B4D-5BA0-412C-8444ABE654D29B1A) as one of the “Places to Go” but now it looks like this:
I have to ask the following questions:
What on earth are they doing bringing people here? Do they really think this is heritage tourism?
If they thought originally that it had heritage value, why didn’t they do something about protecting it?
I look forward to your answers/comments.
Besides the Seenivasagam brothers, Ipoh was also ‘home’ for two brothers of the LaBrooy family – C H LaBrooy & H W LaBrooy. These brothers used to live at Dulcieville Lane, Ipoh (the area which is now Parkson Ipoh Parade).
We have here a 1980s picture of the LaBrooy Building. As you can see, it was once used by UMBC. Anyone know what the LaBrooy building is used for now? Has any company bought it/renting it?
Before it was converted into the Darul Ridzuan Museum, this 10-room bungalow (along Douglas Road) was built for none other than one of Ipoh’s famous miners – Foo Choong Yit – back in 1926. Later, in 1940, two air raid shelters were constructed in the compound (in anticipation of Japanese aerial attacks). Ten years later, the Government took over this building and it became the premises for the Perak National Home Guard. Post Independence (1957), this place housed the Public Services Department, then later (1992) converted in the Darul Ridzuan Museum.
[Note: This is NOT an actual photograph of Foo Choong Yit’s mansion; it has been Photoshopped to create an impression of the original building]
One thing I do not understand about Ipoh is that here we have a beautiful hotel building used as an electrical store while so many entrepreneurs are knocking up ugly buildings all over the place which they happily call one of the three b’s – backpacker, budget or boutique hotels . Why didn’t one of them consider this fine building for restoration instead?
Do you have any thoughts on this anomaly or any stories about this building?
No, this is NOT a product of Photoshop!
There was a ‘Parkson Ria’ shopping mall in Ipoh, somewhere in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Does anyone remember it? Did it close because of the fire….or before the fire broke out?
[ For those of you still wondering, let me put you out of your misery – yes, this IS the famous Lam Looking Bazaar 😉 ]