Here's a film sent to me by Hari Ramachandran which shows an advert for Singapore Airlines in the 1960s.
It features the music, 'Singapore Girl' and I believe that air hostesses with Singapore Airlines were called 'Singapore Girls.'
It's interesting because there's lots of shots of Singapore as it once was showing clips of Collyer Quay, Orchard Road, the boat Quay and Paya Lebar Airport.
There's also shots of trishaws and the black and yellow Mercedes taxis that we all remember. It's great to see Singapore as it once was including all the old buildings, the many sampans on the river, the many market stalls and also all the old cars.
I hope to include many more films like this later on in this blog which I hope will jog many people's memories of Singapore how it used to be.
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Friday, 29 January 2010
Here's a lovely film that was shot several years before we arrived in Singapore. It's all just how I remember it. There are clips of the airport and views of an old-style bus taking people from the plane to their hotel which, at the beginning of the film, is Raffles. Raffles looks very posh, we certainly never stayed there!
There are also shots of the local fishermen with their huge nets and footage of the beaches around the coast. The quay looks very busy with many boats and the many sampans on the Singapore River can also be seen.
Then, there are many views of Singapore including the shops, temples and markets. It's good also to see all the people and the many old cars and buses passing Sir Stamford Raffles' statue. The area has certainly changed a bit over the years.
It's interesting seeing the old film posters and 'Kismet' is showing at the Cathay Cinema. I think that I spotted a Chinese Cary Grant on one of the posters!
Next, there's a trip down to busy Chinatown which shows much washing hanging from windows on bamboo poles. The markets all look very busy and colourful with plenty of stalls selling fruit and other goods with many trishaws cycling up and down.
A Chinese funeral is also featured which shows many mourners carrying umbrellas while a man strikes a gong to frighten away evil spirits. It seems a lot more solemn than I remember.
Next is a place that everyone will recall - Tiger Balm Gardens! Suddenly, there seems to be a lot more Westerners around and the narrator tells us that these are the visitors from the airport who were seen earlier in the film. This is just how I remember the place before it was knocked around and torn down. It looks a lot better than the Tiger Balm Gardens I visited again in 1990.
The next scene takes us to the Botanic Gardens where people are seen feeding the many cheeky monkeys. The Aquarium is also featured but I can't remember if we ever visited it during our stay in the 1960s.
Lion dancers, Change Alley, night time entertainment, Chinese food, crazy Western dancing are also all featured. Did people really dance like that?
The film ends with the tourists leaving on a lovely old BOAC plane. This is just how I remember Singapore and I hope this film will bring back very many happy memories for many of you.
Thursday, 28 January 2010
We went to Sandycroft three times and I think I remember going on the railway several times although, perhaps, my memory is playing tricks with me and I just remember the journey up and then down again. I haven't been back to Penang since we came home in 1968. I would love to go there again one day and once again travel on the railway. Looking at YouTube, it looks much the same today as it did then.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
probably bring back memories for many people.
that they were used side by side with one dollar notes and the $1 coins weren't used much so weren't seen. I remember being on the plane returning home in 1968 and dad showing us all the money we'd be using when we arrived back in the UK - huge pennies, half crowns, two shilling coins and half pennies. The threepenny bits were an odd shape, which I loved! I think you're fascinated with coins when you're a kid especially back then. Again, I wish that I'd kept some of that old money. There was also another kind of money used in Singapore and Malaya - Hell notes. These were specially printed bank notes that were burnt so that the recently deceased person would have money in the next life! Other items such as paper cars and houses were also burnt to bring them good fortune in the afterlife. I've a few of those old coins and just holding one of them reminds
Friday, 22 January 2010
The second advert is for Pan Electric. Look at that very 1960s fridge. I can't quite remember if we had one like this or not. I like how the artist has made sure that the bottom shelf is taken up by Tiger Beer! The family look very much like the cartoons at the beginning of 'Bewitched' and that too reminds me of our time there. Talking of Tiger Beer, the next advert features that very popular drink that seemed to to be drank by service dads all over the Far East! There never seemed to be an establishment that was short of it!
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
This photo shows a party at my parents' friends house at Johore Bahru in 1967. At the time, many of my parents friends smoked and enjoyed a drink. Nowadays, there seems to be a lot of stories in the papers about people giving up smoking. Back in the 1960s, all our dads seemed to smoke and some of our mums did also. I think that it might have even been seen as cool and sophisticated by some Navy wives. It was just a done thing and I don't think that anyone then thought much about future health problems. I think a lot of forces personnel smoked at the time and I believe cigarettes were free in the Navy (or very cheap). No wonder all our dad's got hooked on them! I remember the long drive we took up to Penang. It was very hot and very smoky! At the time, I really didn't mind the smell of the smoke and it just seemed natural that all our dads and their friends smoked. Certainly all the bars, like the one at Sandycroft, were full of smoke and the smell of beer (another smell I still like and which instantly reminds me of Sandycroft!). Unfortunately, the habit probably killed off a lot of servicemen and their wives! My mum never smoked and luckily, my dad gave up about 25 years ago probably because we all nagged him so much about it! In Singapore at the time, most people seemed to smoke. I remember many of the Chinese market stall holders and fishermen smoking as well as the general population of Singapore and Malaya. There were many adverts on the television and in the newspapers and magazines for various brands of cigarettes. I think that there was even a huge billboard poster for Rothman's beside the Esso garage that we always went in to Put A Tiger in Our Tank! It seemed like a different world 40 years ago and it was probably thought unusual if you were in the forces and didn't smoke! No-one then would have imagined all the smoke free zones that are in place nowadays.