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50) Do you need a tailor for this New Year?


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Pagoda Street got its name from the temple next door – Sri Mariamman Temple.  It was one of the earliest streets of Singapore and was well known for its opium-smoking dens in the early 19th century.  The street turned into a coolie-trading center in later part of the century and extended its role to coolie-station and in the mid-20th century turn itself as a textile/tailoring place.

“洋服” in Chinese literally means western style clothing, you can see in the picture they were many shop fronts written in this words.  According to records, it has 18 tailor shops in the 50s along this street.

At one time, two brothers whose names Chan Cheak Tin and Chan Kai Kah own 5 tailor shops in the street, and all end with the name “Cheong”.  In 1972, Queen Elizabeth II visited Pagoda Street.

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And now, you may be able to have a glimpse of the historic background behind these Indian’s tailor shop.

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A corner in the Chinese Heritage Museum reflects the typical front portion of the tailor shop.

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Does the tailoring accessories remind you of the yesteryear of black and white?

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How about the pendulum weight, ruler and measuring tape?

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Middle portion of the shop reveals home-based lifestyles of the tailor.  Sewing machine, baby hammock, the off-colored plastic carrier, does that hark back to some old memories?

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How about the metal baby tram and the bicycle?  Does that recall stories to our folks or childhood?

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There is no sight of any water dispenser or fridge at this corner of the pantry.  Perhaps, the feather duster looks quite similar.

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Picture of stars!  The paper cut-outs in the middle is the original famous Kung-Fu movie, acting out by Jack Lee now.

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Kitchen reflects simple and prudent lifestyle of that era.

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What about the condition of the lavatories?  It’ll be an experience to use it then!

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Today, the sunny area here welcomes all from, all walks of life.

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And now, you can easily get a chilly authentic ice cream from the roadside cart.  This is how I define “blessing”.

Author: Sydney Fong

Hi, I am Sydney, a Singaporean. Making a living as an Architectural Illustrator, 3d product designer and visionary. My blog entails categories of my interest, joy, upheaval of life and its destiny. Every post has its own characteristic. It conveys a story of its own, and the life of its owner.

38 thoughts on “50) Do you need a tailor for this New Year?

  1. Hoping for all the best in 2013, dear friend, for you, too!

  2. SO interesting Sydney! Happy New Year!

  3. I love tagging along on your adventures!!

  4. Great information and post!

  5. Beautiful post!! Happy New Year!!!

  6. Happy 2013! I need a tailor made jacket for 2013! :P

  7. An educating post. To think there are so many tailor shops in one area! And I bet they’re not as expensive as they are in England. :)

  8. Terrific post Sydney! It makes you realize just how quickly our lives (and cities) have changed. Wishing you and yours a very happy 2013!

    • Yes, our speed is too fast, sometime I just wonder do we need to be that extend?
      Never mind, I wish you peaceful and graceful in this wonderful new year!
      You are some one I look upon, cheers!

  9. Interesting! Happy New Year! :)

    • Thanks Bente! You are welcome! You Blog is interesting and creative too, I need to spend more time to walk into your world!
      You take care and have a wonderful year ahead! Cheers!

  10. Interesting walk, Sydney. I know my grandparents, grandfather, in particular, took his suits to the tailor, and that would have been in the 50s. He was so proud of that. My other grandfather took his shirts to the tailor because his arms were too short. The women in my family never had anything tailored as far as I know. Something “store bought” either fit the ladies or it didn’t. Most of us sewed some of our own clothes, so if something didn’t fit, we altered it as we made the garment. I do love museums!!! :)

  11. Very interesting history with photos. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Happy New Year Sydney :D Your blogs are always so interesting and the photos are fantastic! Hope your 2013 is wonderful! :D

  13. Super interesting post. I tried to leave a comment earlier but was having trouble with my browser.

  14. Very interesting and educating with a lot of historical photo’s.When man don’t find het choice there ,they are difficult people.Best wishes for 2013

    • Yes, they are the people suffer but yet contented. Compare to my society where I living now, we are so much blessed!
      Hey! Thanks you for visiting my tiny site, have a great weekend ahead! Cheers!

  15. Your work is so incredible, Sydney, I have miles to go I cannot figure out how to put pictures and text in correctly, my screen and preview were perfect, but then after I posted it, it was complete not what I wanted in home, soil, and rain. I will definitely be following you, my friend.

    • From the Blog you posted, You are such a nice lady and faithful in your religion! That is good enough for me to follow you!
      Frankly, I have so much things to learn from you all, the strength that you generate that is far for me to reach!
      Linda, well done! keep going! you are great! Cheers!

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