Someone posted an old photo of Raffles Place in the 1970s in Facebook and I recognised it instantly. It brought so much memories. I went in search for more photos like this and managed to find quite a few. I was looking for some particular places where I remember them in the older days when I was a little kid, but they are blurry memories to me now. Here I put together those places I remember fondly of. I have converted all the photos into purely black and white, just for that nostalgic feel.
This was Raffles Place in the
late 1970s. Then, it was a simple enchanting garden, the very playground I used
to play in. In the heart of the city, this place was first named Commercial
Square but renamed to Raffles Place back in 1850s. My late grandpa often bring me
here to the park to have a stroll and to play since we were staying nearby.
This open space in the landscaped garden had 2 ornamental fountains and 42
lamps that lit the garden by night. It was excavated to provide for a
underground carpark. Today, the underground carpark has been converted to the
Raffles Place interchange for the MRT trains. I thought it looked so charming
back then, with the surrounding colonial buildings.
My grandpa used to bring me jalan jalan around the neighbourhood as well, probably around Telok Ayer Street, Church Street and Market Street. I remember only rows and rows of shophouses along the bustling streets. I recalled indian coolies carrying large gunny sacks of spices and uploading/downloading the lorry. I still remember them vaguely because of the smell of spice, as their shop was just below our shophouse unit.
Then we would have our lunch or snacks from these street peddlers along the little lanes, sitting by the roadside. Sometimes my parents would bring me to have dinner there. There were plenty of stalls but I only remember fried dark noodles which looked so black, and which must have been really delicious. I do not even remember what I ate at home in those days.
"Good morning yesterday. You wake up, and time has slipped away.
And suddenly it's hard to find, the memories you left behind.
Remember. Do you remember?"
- Paul Anka, Times of Your Life