Saturday, November 12, 2005

a sketch at annsiang

Sunday morning, a quite and pleasant stroll along Ann Siang and Club streets looking for a good spot to sketch. It was probably the unfufilled dream of being an artist that once again stirred me to bring out the dusty sketch book. The old shophouses, how nostalgic. Beneath the new coat of paints of the gaudy farcade and chic signboards one could catch glimpes of its hidden past.

A century and half years or more ago it was called Scott Hill, named after Charles Scott who grew cloves and nutmeg there. He later sold it to Chia Ann Siang who was born in Malacca in 1832 and worked with the Bousteaud Company for 42 years. The hillock is now named after this towkay. With its proximity to Chinatown, ornated shops and terrace houses sprang up and many of the Chineses clan associations and club houses were located here.

Ann Siang Hill has been redeveloped into another venture for chic resturants and pubs. The hustle and bustle of the night and wee hours are gone. In the tranquil morning air the colourfully decorated Baroque shophouses are as appealing as ever.