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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Nov 18, 2013

Olden Day Coffee Shops in Singapore

Kheng Cheong Coffee Shop at North Bridge Road in 1989
The same location at North Bridge Road  in 2013

The two photos of Keng Cheong Coffee Shop at North Bridge Road taken in 1989 before they were demolished together with an entire row of dilapidated shophouses opposite the Bras Basah Complex.

The two photos of the same location replaced by the new building taken recently on 12 November 2013.

The juxtaposed photos of the old and new buildings in Singapore then and now reflects the physical transformation brought the elder Singaporeans a strong feelings about the loss of the buildings and places which they have grown up in Singapore.  Why demolish my personal memories, my heritage, many asked.

Me too, I told myself.

Thanks to my Facebook friend Raymond Ang who posted the above juxtaposed photo of the Boat Quay Food Centre in the 1960s and another photo of the same place beside the Singapore River in 2012 on the most popular Facebook group "On a little street in Singapore" created by my blogger friend Jerome Lim.

I then posted a related blog topic link to share our like-minded nostalgia friends here .

The comments from Lynn Gray and Terrence Bettesworth, my two Facebook friends of the same group, were spontaneous and I can understand his thoughts.  So was reply as swiftly.

My children and the younger generations born over two decades ago in Singapore have not seen the rapid development and changes in our country.  An article by Mr Kishore Mahbubani's "Singapore: Butterfly or frog" published in the Straits Times here .

I was born in a different era, a different world ... as a baby boomer after the Japanese Occupation.

My children were born after independent Singapore as a sovereign nation in peacetime.

It would be impossible to expect the X or Y generations to bring back to the olden days of Singapore and that kind of lifestyles, ambience or environments like the kampong days like what I grew up in Bukit Ho Swee.

Courtesy of The Straits Times

What is this contraption used in the olden days coffee shops in Singapore?  A Singapore memory quiz.

The coffee shops in Singapore in the 1950 to 1970s

Flooded in the coffee shop ... business as usual.
Coffee shop in Chinatown with bird singing corners inside the coffeeshop c 1960s
"Unwanted Dirty Food" Campaign in the coffeeshop  c 1974

Newspaper reports in Singapore about coffee and coffee shops

Source:  Singapore Monitor, 15 May 1985
Source:  Singapore Free Press, 5 July 1949
Source:  Singapore Free Press, 3 July 1948

The relevant newspaper reports are selected to reflect the olden days coffee shop business in Singapore.

Thanks and acknowledgement to the National Library Board for the archived photos from the National Archives of Singapore and the old newspaper articles from NewspaperSG.



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