Thursday, July 22, 2010

Singapore of old

Singapore in 1938
Rare 1938 pre-war black and white film footage of Colonial days Singapore before I was born. I was born in 1953. It is wonderful to be transported back in time to see what life was like in the bygone days. There are lots of familiar sights except for some of the old landscape and roads which I wouldn't have recognized. Many buildings still stand today - Fullerton Building and Clifford Pier (2.05), MICA Building and Coleman Bridge (3.31), Sri Mariamman Temple (4.50), The Sultan Mosque (5.22), Vitoria Memorial Hall, City Hall (Municipal Building). In the film the commentator called St Andrew's Cathedral, St George's Cathedral (8.38); this is a puzzle. Perhaps some Anglican parishioners would like to take up the challenge to investigate and let us know how and when the name got changed. And then there is our love and pride, the Raffles Hotel. No more around but recognizable are the Public toilet by the river near Clark Quay (2.58 building on the right), the Godowns (warehouse), the Tongkangs (wooden boats) and the Coolies (Labourers).

"Beautiful residential section of Tanglin" (8.51), wow I grew up in Tanglin Road but I don't recognize it in the film. It is beautiful nonetheless, with trees neatly lining both sides of the road. 

The rickshaw, old  motorcar, Overhead Electric Cable buses, Lady barbers in Samfu (4.08), Anchor Beer Van (4.42), Bullock cart (6.31) and the Amahs dressed in Black and White stirs up a sense of nostalgia.

Singapore in 1957


  1. Nice video. I was borned in the year 1989. So most of my earliest memories of Singapore is only the 90s. I really wished i could have seen Singapore in the 80s with my eyes.

  2. Thanks for leaving your comment. Well at least with a video record you can see a lot more of what Singapore (the place) and life was like way before you were born.