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Oct 25, 2011

North Bridge Road - Then and Now

North Bridge Road - THEN

Singapore Electric Tramways workers laying a track at North Bridge Road c 1904

Completion of the tram track at the same spot.

I was inspired by the nostalgia-worthiness of this blog to express the memories of North Bridge Road then and now.

The theme of the blog:

Same place, different times, different modes of transportation with memorable photos. Thanks to the courtesy of old photos from National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

North Bridge Road c 1900

North Bridge Road c 1910

From the observations at these photos, we could notice the unique architecture of the existing shophouses, the gas-operated street lamps to modern ones supplied by Public Utilties Board (PUB), the jinrickshaws to taxis, the electric trams to MRT.

The close-up of the electric tram in 1925. Most of the passengers are Englishmen wearing white suits and topi to travel in luxury.

Electric Tramways' terminus at "Gaylang" (Geylang). Electric trams were introduced in 1905 and ran until they were phased out by trolley buses between 1925 and 1927.

At the junction of Arab Street and North Bridge Road. The shop with Chinese signboard on the right of the photo was later demolished and replaced by the century-old Sultan Mosque. Do you remember this place on a little street in Singapore as time goes by...

Arab Street 1955 postcard.

Shoppers at junction of Arab Street and North Bridge Road c 1960.

The demolition of the shop with Chinese signboard in the above photo. The vacant land located for building of the Sultan Mosque.

Masjid Sultan (Sultan Mosque in Malay) at North Bridge Road c 1938.

Sultan Mosque at North Bridge Road c 1968

Masjid Sultan is the oldest mosque in Singapore.

Junction of Arab Street and North Bridge Road c 1960.

North Bridge Road c 1969.

Junction of Arab Street and North Bridge Road c 1970.

Junction of Arab Street and North Bridge Road c 1970.

North Bridge Road - NOW

Junction of Arab Street and North Bridge Road. Photo taken in Oct, 2011.

Over the century, the physical changes and infrastructure for public road development was ever-evolving through advanced transportation and communication in Singapore.

From electric trams to double-decked buses on OMO .



Blogger ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Further up the road, where I used to buy vinyl records in the 60s.

October 26, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger dashing hongeng said...

A very interesting account (accompanied with photographs) of the development of North Bridge Road through the century.

October 26, 2011 at 9:33 PM  
Blogger dashing hongeng said...

A very interesting of the account (with photographs) of the development of North Bridge Road.

October 26, 2011 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Andy, I remember one of the biggest LP record shop somewhere at North Bridge Road known as "Kwang Sia Record Company" in the 1980s as popular Mandarin songs.

October 27, 2011 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you, Hong Eng.

Although photos could only help as "memory-aids", the blogs you have posted with vivid memories and detailed descriptions are awesome. More words than what the photos could tell and pass them to the youngsters for posterity. Moreover, once written on the blogs, you do not have to repeat the stories over and over again. Happy blogging!

October 27, 2011 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger ....... said...

For the few photos on High Street, I lived near High Street and North Bridge Road junction for many years but couldn't quite recall the Sultan Mosque. Could they be Muscat Street and North Bridge Road junction at 小坡?

October 27, 2011 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Hi Navalant,

Thank you for pointing out to the photo captions at the junction of High Street and North Bridge Road.

You are right. The photos of the heritage building located at Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant opposite Sultan Mosque is the junction of ARAB STREET and North Bridge Road. Much obliged.

October 27, 2011 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger lim said...

If my memories hold, I remember North Bridge Road as a shopping street with continous shophouses on both sides of the road. You could walk under the verandahs of the shops starting from Raffles hotel all the way to Arab Street. You can't find that kind of street in Singapore anymore.

October 28, 2011 at 12:34 AM  
Blogger FL said...

My first impression of North Bridge Rd (NBR) is as a young kid in the early 1960s. One of our sibbligs would tag along with my dad to order shoes from one of the shophouses in the NBR /Arab St area. My late dad was a shoe-seller in Chinatown from around mid-1950 to 1970s. As a kid then, I remember then the Sultan Mosque was (and is still) a very prominent landmark in the area. You know, this landmark appeared like a "giant" to me when I was young kid ! Of course, those years, we took STC trolley buses ! Thanks for helping me rekindle past memories.

October 29, 2011 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thanks to Mr Lim for his "memory aids" created at pBase photo gallery of old and new photos of places and buildings to capture every nooks and corners of Singapore over the years.

With the courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore (NAS), the younger generation of Singaporeans the opportunity to take a look at these century-old photos from private collection albums generously contributed through NAS.

Few people own cameras in the olden days and they never heard of Internet or pBase...

These nostalgia memories through photos, including your personal professional collection on pBase, will benefit the youngsters for posterity.

October 29, 2011 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thanks you, FL, for sharing your memories of North Bridge Road in the early days in Singapore.

The Singapore memory is not of a single person...the collective memories of rekindling the past generation to the new one for posterity to remember.

October 29, 2011 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing about North Bridge Road and highlighting the changes via old versus new photographs. I feel that while there has been some changes in North Bridge Road, its visual identity has still been largely preserved somewhat because of the conservation shophouses along the stretch. The CBD and financial centre, on the other hand, has transformed tremendously over the decades.

October 30, 2011 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you for your keen observations, Cool Insider.

Fortunately, the older towns in Singapore are preseeved for conservations with the efforts of National Heritage Board and other nostalgia to save these buildings, monuments and places of interest which promotes tourism in Singapore to have the old and new together. Makes sense to restore historical memories for posterity. Cheers!

October 30, 2011 at 12:57 PM  

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