Thursday, December 31, 2009

yesteryears' playgrounds

picture from national archive of singapore

sometimes when you want to know or remember how things were like in singapore in the 50s, 60s or even the 70s, it can be done by visiting one of our own off-shore islands like pulau ubin or by visiting one of our neighbouring countries. when i visit places like sungei rengit in johor or seniawan outside kuching, i will describe to my buddies that 'it is just like s'pore in the 60s'.

i was in kuching recently when i saw these pieces of equipment at a playground, then memories of playgrounds where i had played and where i used to take my children to came flooding back. even up to the 80s, the old type of swings and see-saws were still around. i remember the see-saws and swings at farrer park and at dhoby ghaut, just across from the rendevous restaurant.

at some playgounds, the chains attached to the swings were quite long which meant you could swing frighteningly high. these days, you find modified swings at some parks and playgrounds and they do not go as high as the height has been much reduced. are today's children less adventurous or are we more safety conscious these days?

to get the initial momentum on the swing, some of us stood on the seating board of the swing, bent our knees and straightened them and did this repeatedly to get it going. others needed help from some 'pusher'. yet others could get into the swing of things by just flexing their legs while seated on the board.

in both the primary schools where i studied, we had a monkey-bars in the school-field. it was a popular spot with the boys during recess. girls were rarely seen playing at or on the monkey-bars. we would swing from one end to the other. those who were new to it usually ended up with blisters on their palms to show to their parents and friends.

the present day's playground is so much more colourful and attractive and safety is a paramount consideration in the design and built of these facilities. slides, see-saws and swings are still around but they are not as accident prone as those in the early days. they have even incorporated exercise stations, meant for adults, and very popular with the elderly, at some playgrounds.


Lam Chun See said...

When I saw that 1st B&W photo I immediately think of the playground at MacRitchie Reservoir where I used to bring my kids to.

doris said...

thanks for the memories yg. i used to swing high up at the swings behind my old house at guillemard b4 dinner time.

yg said...

doris, knowing you, the swinging type, i am sure you would have tried to outswing everyone at dakota crescent!

yang^2 said...

Yes, the old playgrounds are so much more interesting than the current ones!

yg said...

yang^2, more exciting; provided more thrills and spills.