Thursday, November 15, 2007

Growing up in Ang Mo Kio: a toy from the early 1980s

My family moved to live in Ang Mo Kio in the early 1980s when I was about one years old. According to my mother, the shape-sorter in the above photo was a present to me from my father when I was about one years old. It was one of the very few toys that my parents have still managed to keep and have not thrown away over the decades.

Did anyone who read this post play similar shape-sorter when you were a child?

As I write about a toy that was given to me in the early 1980s, I began to wonder how Ang Mo Kio had looked like in those days. I had not been a child who have actively taken photographs and I don't have readily available photos of Ang Mo Kio in the 1980s to share.

In hope to find photographs of Ang Mo Kio that were taken in the early 1980s, I searched Access to Archives, and selected the following photo:

Photo credits: National Archives of Singapore,
PhotoCD Number : 19990007547
Image Number : 0056
Taken in the year 1980.

Having realised that I actually do not have much clue how Ang Mo Kio had looked like in the past, I began to appreciate how invaluable an exercise it can be to take photographs of the surrounding neighbourhoods where one grew up in. I am sure having such photographs would lend one insights to how the environment has changed ever since one was born.

If you care to, start taking a few photographs of the places nearby your place of residence and then schedule to look at these photographs a few decades later to see if there would be any difference.

Below is a photograph of a part of Ang Mo Kio taken in the year 2006. Shall we schedule to look at this photo twenty years later?


Lam Chun See said...

Today I gave a talk to seniors at RSVP about blogging and pointed them to your site claiming that you have been influenced by yours truly. Really glad to see more people capturing bits about our country's past.

oceanskies79 said...

Hi Chun See, I am sure that your talk was well-received.

How did you know that my post was partly influenced by your writings on your childhood years? Thanks, it has been a positive influence.

In addition, Kenneth's post on Bishan also influenced me in some ways to write about Ang Mo Kio.

Lam Chun See said...

hey .. I just realized that I had that toy for my eldest daughter. She was born in '87.

oceanskies79 said...

Ah, I guess shape-sorters are one type of toy that would help build certain coordination skills in children, and hence are toys many children would have?

Weichong said...

Thanks for the series of blog post about AMK. I remember studying in Chong De Primary School in AMK and staying in a one-room flat in AMK Ave 10 as well. Sad that both school and flat have since been torn down. I do have some photos though, for memory sake. :)

oceanskies79 said...

Hi Weichong, what photos do you happen to have?

Do you happen to have any of those places that I have blogged about in the Ang Mo Kio series (particularly the mini road-safety park in front of the previous Broadway Cinema)?

Weichong said...

I have some photos of my old school (Chong De), and my old flat near Mayflower Secondary. A pity my mom didn't took any photos of the mini-road safety park

oceanskies79 said...

Hi Weichong,

Thank you for your reply and offer. I appreciate it.

The thing is that I don't have much personal memories of Chong De and the area near Mayflower Secondary to write much about it. If you happen to have the interest, maybe you could contribute your own "Growing up in Ang Mo Kio" posts too?

Even if you are keen, do so at your own pace please. Actually, it took me more than a year before I gained the momentum to start writing and publishing my "Growing up in Ang Mo Kio" posts.

Weichong said...

Thanks for the advice. :)

My memories are more of Bishan because I stayed there during my school days (10 to 20 years of age). Before Bishan, I was staying in AMK and I'm currently in Yishun.

Bishan was the place where I grew up, the basketball court near the CC where I spent hours and hours with my pals, Bishan St 12 and J8. There was no J8 when I first shifted there in 1988. And now they have a library, the CPF building and so many things gg on. Its not considered an "old" estate I guess. But will definitely consider doing a "Growing up in Bishan" after I dig out some old photos!

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