Monday, December 6, 2010

Bintulu town - early 1970's

Date taken : circa early 1970's ( B&W photo)
The picture above shows Keppel Road when bicycles were king of the road. In the early 1970's cars were very rarely seen around town. The Keppel Road then was a two - way street with ample green space in between. The row of concrete buildings at the far right background was one of the few permanent- type buildings seen in the 1970's. Two institutions important at that time that were housed in the block were the Standard Chartered bank and the Capitol Hotel. The Capitol Hotel occupies the corner lot of the block and still exists today but re-named as Capitol Inn. Note the wooden shophouses on both sides of the road built primarily of 'belian' posts and roofing of 'belian' shingles. The first floor of the shophouses were normally made into residences by the shop owners. The ground floor of the shophouses however were of concrete flooring. The electrical posts in the center of the road were also of 'belian' timber - the hardest wood in Sarawak.

Date taken : 2 Dec'10 ( Digital - Sony Cyber-shot)
Today, Keppel Road is a one-way 3-lane road with ample parking spaces infront of the shophouses but charges are imposed by the local authority at the rate of 20 'sen' ( cents) per first 30 minutes and gradually increases thereafter. The two-storey wooden shophouses when re-built were increased to four storeys high. The tallest building at the far right was built over a previously empty open space and now houses the 'Kintown Inn'.