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Market Street From Courthouse Road, Showing The FMS Hotel
This used divided-back postcard was sent from Batu Gajah to London on 19th January, 1913. It carries three one-cent Federated Malay States Tiger Stamps. This is an important card as it shows an early hotel in Ipoh, the FMS, founded by Messrs. Jwi Fong Loong and Co. However, this view is simply the rear of the building, the front, on Belfield Street, not being visible.
Also shown at the far end of Market Street is the original Ipoh Old Town Market alongside the Kinta River. The street is crowded with rickshaws and pedestrians on their way to and from the old market. A number of traders' barrows are also in evidence around the street. The FMS Hotel remained on this site until it moved to its new home on the corner of Belfield Street and Brewster Road in 1923. At that time Cheam Tin Suan bought out the owners and became the sole proprietor.
By 1908, Courthouse Road which led, as the name implies, to the courthouse, was also called Post Office Road because the new post office was adjacent to it. Thus, on 7th May that year, a local newspaper, The Perak Pioneer, reported:
"The FMS Hotel here, run by Messrs Jwi Fong Loong and Co, situated at the corner of Belfield and Post Office Road, is doing great business, and the rooms available are practically full every day. In the restaurant line, the place is equally popular, and many residents mess there daily. If Messrs Sarkies Brothers intend opening up, they had better start at once, or they will find the ground very much cut away from beneath their feet, as the charges asked in the present establishment are very reasonable and the cuisine excellent."
The reference to the Sarkies Brothers alluded to their proposal to build a magnificent hotel in Ipoh. For various reasons they abandoned their proposal. Instead one of their employees seized the opportunity, moved to Ipoh, and opened the Grand Hotel.
The earliest the photo could have been taken is 1908. As the caption indicates, the street in the foreground was called Court-house Road. That’s because it ran adjacent to the court-house (not visible). Once it crossed Belfield Street it was called Market Street because it led to the old market (visible). Incidentally, by the date of the photograph, the old market shown, completed by 1893, was no longer Ipoh's main market. Court-house Road soon became Old Court-house Road because a new court-house was built (in a different part of town). Then, when a new post office was built, Old Court-house Road became Post Office Road – a name that survived for decades. Now for the last few decades the road has been called Jalan Dato Sagor.
We thank Ipoh Remembered for the above explanation.
To read more about the second FMS Hotel and Bar, click here.
To see a colour photograph of the second FMS Hotel and Bar around 1958, click here.
To see a set of happy memories in photograph, click here.
To read about the Sarkies Brothers aborted project for an Ipoh hotel, click here.