Monday, 28 December 2009
This cereal packet shows the cereal I remember the most and the free gifts, 'mini-models'. I wonder how many people remember these? There was a double decker bus, a penny farthing, a covered wagon, a locomotive, a steam engine and a car. We collected them all and I can even remember mum and dad having them on display in a cabinet in the front room! We'd get all our shopping from the little shop across the way from us at Jalan Wijaya and one reason I remember the cereal so much is that, one day, we bought a packet and when we got home, it was just full of ants! This
happened often and I also remember it happening with meringues and any other sugary food. I remember saying to my mum to fish the free gift out before we took the cereal back to the shop but she wouldn't! When we got back to the shop, he just laughed and gave us another box. They were always quite happy about things and it was just a normal occurrence to them that something edible would attract ants.
I loved all the stuff we got from those shops including all the toys. I think all the cheap stuff, that cost next to nothing, impressed me the most. Everything seemed to be 'Made in Japan' in those days.
Here's a menu from George's Steak House which was at Bukit Meldrum in Johore Bahru. We used to go there often and the waiters recognised us after a while. I always had soup and ice-cream and it got to the point that they just brought it to the table before we ordered anything! Although we went often, I remember little about it. I remember that they used to have barbeques in their grounds that we would go to and I remember that we would watch rows of ants climbing up the walls with small crumbs of food. When they got near a picture frame, a chit-chat would jump out and eat the lot!
We must have been quite busy at Christmas 1966 because we have photos at home, photos at the Naval Base party in Singapore and this menu from George's Steak House. The restaurant has, marked on the front of the menu, that we went with my parents' friends', Les and Bette Sharpe and their daughter, Debbie. I wish that I could remember more about it.
On the menu was Prawn Cocktail, Cream of Tomato Soup (my favourite) and Fillet of Sole with Tartare Sauce. Then there was Roast Turkey and York Ham with Chestnut Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Potato Maitre d' Hotel. Cauliflower Dubarre and Fresh Garden Peas. There was also Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce, Mince Pies, Assorted Nuts, Vanilla Ice Cream (another favourite) and Coffee with 'Christmas novelties free of charge' . Sounds great, I wish that I could remember more about it!
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
The Christmas cards sent in the 1960s had a different look to the ones nowadays especially the ones sent in Singapore and Malaya at the time.
My parents kept a few and some of them are shown here. The first card has a very Far East feel to it. It was sent to us by my parents' landlords when we lived at Jalan Wijaya. It's dated 1967 and reads inside, 'To Mr and Mrs Tait and children. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year from Mr and Mrs Dider Singh and Mr and Mrs Daljit Singh.' I remember there were quite a few Singh brothers who were all very friendly and would come around to our house when anything had to be discussed like the rent.
The second card comes from my parents' friend and my dad's work colleague at KD Malaya, Omar Mahmood. It say 'Bonne Annee' on the front which I think translates to 'Happy New Year'. Inside it reads, 'I wish you and family a Merry Christmas and enjoy your new year. May prosperity and harmony be bestowed to family. From intimate friend, Omar.'
The third card comes from my dad's good friend, Poon, who he also worked with at KD Malaya. It's a Naval Christmas card and was sent in 1969 after we returned to England and says inside,' Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy new year. Love, Poon, Kim and William.' Poon has written a message inside saying that he will soon be leaving the Navy. Unfortunately, we all lost
It's lovely having these Christmas cards and I often wonder what has happened to Poon, Omar and the Singh family over the last 40 years. I hope they're all well wherever they are. It seems a shame that you lose touch with people over the years, it has been a very long time though!
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Friday, 18 December 2009
Monday, 14 December 2009
Here's a photo of my Royal Naval School badge from Singapore. I'm surprised that I still have mine but I'm pleased that I do. Mine says 'Singapore' even though I went to school at Kebunteh in Malaya.
Many of us had these at the time but, unfortunately, many have been lost over the years. If, like me, you're nostalgic for anything connected with your time in Singapore and Malaya, you probably, if you've lost yours, would like another one. The good news is that in January 2010, I am having replicas made up and will be selling them for £2.99 each. You can order yours now, if you want, but they won't be ready until January sometime.
If you want one, please pay by PayPal, there's more details here
(Sorry, this is an old posting and they are no longer available)
Sunday, 13 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Monday, 7 December 2009
There used to be a shop in Sembawang that sold annuals and I know many kids got them for Christmas. I still have one today and here it is! I used to love the Flintstones when I was a kid and so did many adults. It must have been on at about teatime. It's amazing that this annual has lasted so long as I have no others from this time. The pictures are lovely and colourful inside and I remember every story in there like I'd just read them yesterday. This one is dated 1967 so I would have got in on the Christmas just before we returned home in January 1968. Looking at it today, it certainly brings back memories. I wonder what other presents I got that year?
I think a lot of the shops sprung up just to serve the forces personnel and their families. I wonder if the local kids liked the Flintstones too? I suppose they must have, though it was all shown in English. I remember Top Cat was on also as well as Yogi Bear, Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner which all the Navy blokes found hilarious! I also remember Casper the Ghost.
I wonder how many other people have kept their books and annuals from their time there? I used to love all the comics too, even the smell of them. Wish I had some now! This was probably just a boy thing, I suppose, and many of the girls probably didn't read comics or annuals. It's funny how much stuff you wish that you'd kept sometimes!
Incidently, the price is still written inside in pencil. The cost was $5.25. A bargain!
Friday, 4 December 2009
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
I'm glad that everyone enjoyed reading my previous books, 'Sampans, Banyans and Rambutans' and 'Memories of Singapore and Malaya'.
I had so many people write to me with their own memories and photos that I decided to put these all together in a new book called, 'More Memories of Singapore and Malaya' which has just come out today. It features stories about Forces life, our homes, food, drink, markets, the dreaded mozzies, parties, Christmas, schools etc as well as all the other things that we remember fondly from our time there.
I've tried to include all new photos and stories and I'm sure it will make interesting reading for anyone who, like myself, misses those idyllic days in the 1960s!