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

Posted on Updated on

pagoda 01

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.

pagoda 04

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

pagoda 06

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

pagoda 07

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

pagoda 08

How about the pendulum weight, ruler and measuring tape?

pagoda 09

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?

pagoda 05

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

pagoda 10

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

pagoda 11

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

pagoda 12

Kitchen reflects simple and prudent lifestyle of that era.

pagoda 13

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

pagoda 02

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

pagoda 03

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


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

    wolfgangpowerpoint.wordpress.com/ said:
    January 2, 2013 at 2:13 am

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

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 2, 2013 at 2:22 am

      Thank you, Wolfgang! May your gang be nice and gentle to other plant eater!
      Haha! Have a great year ahead! Thousand happiness! Cheers!

    cindy knoke said:
    January 2, 2013 at 3:28 am

    SO interesting Sydney! Happy New Year!

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 2, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Thanks, Cindy! A new year, a new hope!
      May good fortune and success fall on you!

    Clanmother said:
    January 2, 2013 at 5:48 am

    I love tagging along on your adventures!!

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 2, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Thanks, Clanmother! You are always so sweet!

        Clanmother said:
        January 2, 2013 at 11:47 am

        That is the nicest thing I have heard so far in 2013!! That means it is going to be an amazing year – a great start!!!

        Sydney Fong responded:
        January 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm

        In fact, you should deserve more than that!
        I hope we can prolong our bond and friendship as long as we can!
        This is just my lame resolution!

        Clanmother said:
        January 2, 2013 at 1:35 pm


    Still Times said:
    January 2, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Great information and post!

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 2, 2013 at 11:29 am

      You are so much better than me, truly !
      You should be getting more famous by your adventure and education trails.
      Thanks, have a great year ahead!

    Rexlin Victor said:
    January 2, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Beautiful post!! Happy New Year!!!

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 2, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Happy new year, Rexlin! Sydney n Cougar!

    CK said:
    January 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Happy 2013! I need a tailor made jacket for 2013! 😛

    sarahneeve said:
    January 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    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. 🙂

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 2, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      I am not sure about the prices but compare to ready made and tailor made, I am sure ready made are much more cheaper.
      Hey! Thanks for reading my post!
      Have a smooth day!

    Jeanette said:
    January 2, 2013 at 7:39 pm

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

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 2, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      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!

    bentehaarstad said:
    January 2, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Interesting! Happy New Year! 🙂

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 2, 2013 at 11:25 pm

      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!

    tchistorygal said:
    January 3, 2013 at 12:23 am

    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!!! 🙂

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 3, 2013 at 12:40 am

      I was born in Baby boomer, when I was young, we don’t buy ready made cloth often.
      We only get new tailor made cloth during the Chinese New Year, and that last me for a year!
      But for casual wear cloth, we have to buy from the shop, that is for sure!
      As for now, the word ‘tailor’ seems like disappear from my dictionary and replaced by Giordano! 🙂

        tchistorygal said:
        January 3, 2013 at 1:41 am

        I mostly only wear casual, now Sydney. I’ll get a new dress when we dance. 🙂

        Sydney Fong responded:
        January 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

        Oops, I better get ready my Tuxedo now!

        tchistorygal said:
        January 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm


        Sydney Fong responded:
        January 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

        PS, not the Jacky Chan type! Have a great day!

        tchistorygal said:
        January 3, 2013 at 11:11 pm

        I’ll have to research his tuxedos. You have a great day, too, Sydney! 🙂

    friendlytm said:
    January 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Very interesting history with photos. Thanks for sharing.

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      You’re welcome! Have a great day! 🙂

    kelihasablog said:
    January 4, 2013 at 4:06 am

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

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 4, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Hi, Keli! So nice to read you in 2013!
      I wish you all the best and fulfill all the dreams that you left behind in 2012!

    Julia said:
    January 5, 2013 at 4:55 am

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

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 5, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Haha! Is okay, Julia! Thanks for your compliments!
      Have a wonderful weekend and rest well!

    natuurfreak said:
    January 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    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

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      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!

    linesbylinda said:
    January 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    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.

      Sydney Fong responded:
      January 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      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!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s