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Singapore's Vanishing Trades Part 2: Meet Our Master Craftsmen in Their Nostalgic Shops

A walk through Singapore’s oldest enclaves will invariably yield delightful finds. Follow us on  a fascinating stroll through one of them where you'll uncover an assortment of shops packed with history and character — vestiages of a past era.

We'll check out a provision-cum-liquor shop, more than 100 years old, that once stood at the now-expunged portion of Albert Street (Selegie Road area) and is now on Rangoon Road. Poke around a bit at the dusty traditional wooden clogs, odds-and-ends, yesteryear stationery, and porcelain bowls amidst shelves of liquor and modern daily essentials.

A bak-kut-teh (pork rib soup) outlet started in the 1950s by the owner’s father, serves the same old family-recipe soup, to be eaten with a small pot of kung-fu tea and skinny fried Chinese dough-sticks (youtiao) just like the old days.

Explore a Chinese medical hall dating back to 1952 that's tucked at the corner of a row of shophouses. It exudes an unmistakable mid-20th century ambience through the original wooden medicinal cabinets, display of exotic herbs, and glass mugs of tea topped with metal covers.

We'll have a "look" at an opticican's shop where physically very little has changed, including the original equipment, vintage floor tiles, stools, and ceiling fans.

And there’s more — a metal smith, an old-school coffee retailer, a traditional bakery, and others. All have witnessed neighbours moving out one by one. Yet they remain, holding on to tradition while trying to keep pace with the changes encircling them.

This fascinating tour involves a fair amount of walking, with a short drinks/snack-break at the local food centre. Dress comfortably and bring out those shades.

Please note confirmation of this tour including the exact meeting place etc will be sent via email to all those registered about 24-hours in advance; this will be preceded by a Peatix or Verlocal message to all registered.

PLEASE NOTE THIS TOUR IS FOR A SMALL NUMBER DUE TO SPACE CONSTRAINTS IN SOME OF THESE WORKSHOPS.