Modes of transport from a bygone era

Modes of transport from a bygone era

The landmarks of today's Singapore may be defined by the distinctive Marina Bay skyline, or the stations on our MRT train system.

But what were the icons of the past?

The National Archives of Singapore launched the Citizen Archivist Project last month, an initiative that invites Singaporeans to help caption photographs from Singapore's past that have been digitised and posted online.

The New Paper is featuring photographs from the archives, and this week, we focus on landmarks from around the 1960s.

They include scenes from streets, kampungs and public transportation.

For example, one photo shows a trolleybus, which was used for transportation here from 1926 to 1962. Trolleybuses were vehicles that drew electricity from overhead wires.


They were owned by Singapore Traction Company (STC), which faced post-war competition from smaller Chinese bus companies.

Athough STC owned buses as well, they suffered losses after they closed down their trolleybus services and ceased operation in 1971.

Meanwhile, the distinctive sight of the shophouse Da Tian (Big Sky) brings back memories for many Singaporeans.

"This is Hock Lam Street, where the famous Hock Lam Beef Noodles first set up their shop," said Mr Andrew Lin, 46, an accountant.

He was referring to the popular brand, with several outlets around the island.

Mr Lin had eaten there when he was young.

"The Central Fire Station used to be behind this street," added Mr Lin.

Hawkers used to sell food and fruit along Hock Lam Street, which no longer exists and the site was redeveloped into Funan Centre in 1985. It is where Funan DigitaLife Mall stands today.

Some of these photos have no captions, especially those about kampung life. If you recognise the places in the photographs, contribute to the archives by logging on to The Citizen Archivist Project website at and captioning the photos.

This article was first published on April 21, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.

More about

Purchase this article for republication.



Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.