Sunday, July 25, 2010

Children Little Museum

At 42 Bussorah Street, just next to the Sultan's Mosque is the Children Little Museum, a place that houses lots of beautiful memories for those who grew up in the 60's and 70's.

At the ground floor, vintage adult finds are up for sale while the Children's Little Museum is just a few flights of stairs up. For 2 dollars, you can have a fun time reminiscing about those good ole days in a remarkably compact and well designed space, where every inch is put to good use.
There is an old barber corner complete with a blue, red and white candy stripe light pole, a vintage hair setter as well as vintage jars of old hair jel and oil, all neatly stacked on a glass shelf. Brian Richmond, an iconic figure of the era related to me how guys would come into a barber shop holding a picture of Rock Hudson or Cary Grant, asking the barbers to give them the same look. They would nod their head in agreement and yet gave the same old style as they had given the past few times which looked nothing like Rock Hudson or Cary Grant. At the other corner of the museum was a bookshop filled with all the stationery of the era - fountain pens, bottles of refillable permanent blue black and Royal Blue ink, made in China sharpeners in the shape of cherubic kids, trophies, houses and giraffes as well as old school alphabet erasers and Venus pencils. Bookshops then were always fun to visit. In today's world, bookshops take on a different meaning for some kids, a place that is overstocked with assessment papers and books. A sense of dread for some.

There's also an old school facade which reminded me of little village schools back then. My mum who was a teacher in the 60's and 70's had a short teaching stint in a village school in Nee Soon (today's Yishun) . The principal was a nice and simple man and parents had no qualms of having their children caned if they misbehaved. I once went along with my mum to school during open house and had quite a culture shock. A vast difference indeed from my city school. And outside the school facade at the museum was an exhibit of a hawker stall selling the ever popular ice ball which was made of ice and rose syrup. To slurp and suck an ice ball was a simple joy for kids back then and hygiene was never an issue. And if toys are up your alley, the "mama" toy shop display was quite a blast with rows of toys guns, swords, plastic dolls, tintoys and even little cards from the highly popular Man from Uncle TV series.

Good use was also made of the the celings and walls with rocking horses, racing cars, prams and bicycles of the different eras stacked as overhead displays. And right in the middle of the museum, a movie box with peep holes at different corners. In those days, a few cents will get you a screening of little movie clips and animations. Simple life, simple pleasures.

A charming place indeed, highly recommended for a walk down memory lane.
Children Little Museun
42 Busorrah Street

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