Old Town News…
Recognise this place?
Familiar, right? Perhaps the next two pictures will give you more clues.
Here’s a nice one from a family album. We thank Alexander for this gem. According to him, the girl (standing) is his grandmother Madam Ursula. Behind her are her parents Mr Arokiasamy and Mrs Iruthayamary. The little one on the car is Ursula’s sister Kolanda Theresa. Incidentally, Mr Arokiasamy was involved in the textile & liquor business.
Anyone else have similar memories of their childhood to share? We’d love to hear from you 🙂
I had a brief ride around Old Town this morning to see what was happening. I couldn’t get any photo or update on the Railway Station Gardens as they are still hidden behind tall blue fencing. However apart from the Cenotaph and the Ipoh Tree there seems to be nothing of the gardens left. Not a great welcome for the tourists in “Visit Perak Year 2012!”.
Then I wandered along the road to see the Birch Clock Tower Garden renovation. What a surprise – as although it is unlikely that anything has been done to preserve the two statuues, Justice and Fortitude from falling down (see http://ipohecho.com.my/v2/2012/03/01/ipohs-virtues-in-danger/) the tower has been repainted Black and White.
Although that may be approproiate ……… Black and white stands for mourning and cheerless occasions. For example, traditional garb for a funeral is black and white. Black for the loss, and white for their passing onto the heavens, ……… I must say I don’t like it, but then again I did not like the pink either, much preferring the 1909 odiginal version which was all-white. Clearly I am a traditionalist.
By the way, could someone suggest (again) to Datuk Bandar that he gets the clock working.
As you can see the gardens have not progressed too much either. Sigh, maybe they will be ready to celebrate the successful (?) end to our special tourism year.
We welcome your views.
Most of us are familiar with the Birch Clock Tower (along Post Office Road). In one of our previous posts, we were wondering what building seemed hidden in the background, far left of the picture (see below).
Well, the mystery has been solved – the building is none other than the old Court House!
Yes, this was what the court house looked like in the late 1800s. This court house was built in 1888 and remained a court house till 1909. The court moved to another location, but later settled at its present place – Club Road. This structure, however, remained there till the 1960s; it later paved way to the construction of the Perak State Mosque.
“Oh No!” I can hear you say, “Not the clock tower AGAIN!”, but please be patient because this postcard sent to us as a scan was bought here in Ipoh in 1955 and there is something quite different about it.
“Different! What is different?”
Well, out of the many similar pictures we have seen from the inauguration in 1909 to today, we have never seen the wooden building at the bottom left of the picture. So please enlighten us by telling us what it was and when it was there.
We know that with so many readers with great memories of Ipoh, somebody will be able to tell us.
A friend visited the Birch Memorial Clock Tower and brought us back these pictures.
The top two are at the top of the steps as you approach the tower from the lower road. Rotting food and goodness knows what else to navigate past as you visit Ipoh’s heritage. Bottom left is the base of the tower, complete with broken bed and water bottle and the bottom right is just across the road from the mosque. What a dreadful sight for our Muslim friends as they leave their place of prayer.
Now you may not like the reason that the tower was put there in the first place – many don’t. But the fact is that the structure is 100 years old this year and represents a key bit of history for this country and its people. Nobody denies that Birch was not a good administrator, nor that he treated the Malays badly, but as they say, that is history and whatever else, it is history like this that brings in tourist dollars.
Surely the place deserves to be treated better than this!