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The Moss Collection: Streets And Buildings 8 - Taiping Clubs (The Perak Club And The New Club)
The first three pictures show the Perak Club. This club, founded in 1880, is said to have been located at the ‘south side of the Esplanade’. Among the early patrons of this club were Sir Hugh Low, Mr William Edward Maxwell, Major Paul Swinburne and Colonel Robert Sandilands Frowd Walker. In the front of the building was a large field where cricket, football, hockey and other sports were held. To what we know, the premises of the Perak Club was a government building (south of the Esplanade). This building was damaged in a fire in 1947; during which time it was occupied by the military and in use as a dining hall.
Later a new club, simply named "The New Club", was erected, as shown in the fourth picture. This is the view from the right, overlooking the Esplanade at Old Club Road side. The fifth picture is a map of Taiping, circa 1920s. The red dots are where the cameras were positioned when taking the first three photographs. Also marked in the map are the locations of the Old Perak Club, the New Club, the Esplanade and the Town Hall (see a picture of this Town Hall here).
Ipoh Remembered confirms the location:
Yes, it was; and on the north side was the “New Club,” founded just a few years later by people who weren’t allowed into the existing club. (Both groups were European-only, of course.)
Ipoh Remembered explains that: The New Club was founded in the early 1890s, It did not immediately replace the Perak Club (which was established in the early 1880s). The two clubs co-existed for decades, although by the time of the First World War the Perak Club — the older and less exclusive of the two — was obviously fading. He also offers the following clarification:
"While the Perak Club had its lair on the south side of Taiping's Esplanade, the New Club, founded a few years later, was based on the north side.
The two clubs were distinct and the two memberships had a distinct dislike for each other.
I forget now precisely what the original casus belli was — but no doubt it was silly.
Henry Aylesbury led the insurrection. I think perhaps it was because the old club was felt to be insufficiently exclusive — too many planters, or maybe too many military types, or maybe too many Eurasians.
Possibly all three complaints were levelled."
The all four pictures were taken by Percival Moss, a tailor who sewed uniforms for the Malay States Guides and other military organisations. The map is from our blog reader Ipoh Remembered.