Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Penang in the 1960s

Penang in the 1960s was very much like Singapore at the time, with plenty of market stalls, hawkers, tri-shaws and a large Forces presence. Here's some photos from that time which will perhaps bring back happy memories. The first photo shows the Magnolia Man delivering ice cream to a Forces family. There's something about the people in this photo that makes me think that they're British although there were also a lot of Australian families living in Penang at the time. I remember the tubs of Magnolia ice cream that we used to get from the van. It didn't taste much like the ice cream you get today and it had a sort of sweet, watery milky sort of flavour. It always melted as you ate it with the sun and humidity!

The second photo shows a market stall and I've a feeling that this photo was taken at the village of Ayer Itam. I remember going to the market there when we were on holiday at Sandycroft. I was about 5 at the time and the reason I remember the market is because my mum bought me a white monkey puppet! It's strange what stays in your mind. Most people stopped here before heading off to see the pagoda at the Ayer Itam Temple.
The third photo shows what appears to be a shoe repair stall. A mother is waiting with her small son. This photo must have been taken a bit later because I can see that 'The Exorcist' is being shown at the cinema in the background. It's funny that this film was banned all over the UK but was shown freely in Penang at the time!
The fourth photo shows a basket maker selling his wares, which includes all sorts of rattan work. There seemed to be someone, complete with all their goods, selling everything you could possibly want, up and down your street in those days. These included hot food sellers (remember the Satay man?), balloon men, gully gully men, fruit and vegetable sellers and even people selling live chickens. I hope to post more photos and memories of Penang here at a later date.

1 comment:

  1. Derek, it is interesting reading your post on Penang, as Penang also holds fond memories for me, albeit from a different time ... I have my own post on the Penang of today, which reminds me so much of the Singapore of yesterday ...

    The photographs you have posted are also reminiscent of the Singapore of old where you would find the Magnolia man, street side stalls, street clobbers, and people peddling goods very much like your fourth photo - including items like wooden stools.

    Looking forward to more photos of Penang!

    P.S. Is the cinema in the third photo the Odeon on Penang Road?