Chinese Theatre Hall, Singapore


The Chinese Theatre Hall, Singapore,
c.1910

The Chinese Theatre Hall at Eu Tong Sen Street was known as the Heng Wai Sun Theatre Hall. After 1922, it was known as Sing Phing Theatre Hall.
National Archives of Singapore

Some web site put the theatre Near or next to the old Thong Chai Medical Institution, which is located here (Google Maps). National Library Board of Singapore has a photo captioned “This is a photograph of shoppers walking past the square bounded by People’s Park Complex (right) and the 10-storey OG Building (left) in Chinatown. OG Building housed the OG Department Store and was built on the site of Heng Wai Sun Theatre (1930s),” which seems to be about here. While both locations are in the same general area of Eu Tong See Street, they’re about 400 metres apart. Maybe one day someone who actually knows will came by and fix it.

From Wikipedia:
Eu Tong Sen Street is named after the tycoon, Eu Tong Sen who was a miner, rubber estate and a property owner. He was one of the richest men in Malaya and Singapore, and was born in Penang, Malaya in 1877. He set up a bank known as Lee Wah Bank which catered to the Cantonese, but was merged with the United Overseas Bank due to financial issues. The road was formerly part of the expunged Wayang Street, and it received its present name in 1919 as he rebuilt the street and acquired two Chinese opera theatres, known as Heng Seng Peng and Heng Wai Sun.

If that’s the road construction shown on the postcard, then it might c.1920, but that seems a bit late.

Heath Common, Heath, West Yorkshire, England


Heath Common, near Wakefield
Published: Valentine
Postmarked: 1908

Street View

Located 1.5 miles east of Wakefield the village of Heath lies within the registered Common, a large grassland with areas of scrub, and is a conservation area of historic and architectural importance.

The Common has been open land for hundreds of years, with enclosure fought against by people including the local naturalist Charles Waterton. It gained registered common status in the late 19th century. Five major houses now stand within the village including the Grade 1 listed Heath Hall. Some of the houses date from the 17th century.

Wakefield Council

St Stephen’s Park, Dublin, Ireland


St Stephen’s Green Park. Dublin.

Published: Lawrence, Dublin
c.1910

Google Maps.

The name St Stephen’s Green originates from a church called St Stephen’s in that area in the thirteenth century. Attached to the church was a leper hospital. Around this time the area was a marshy piece of common ground, which extended as far as the River Dodder and was used by the citizens of the city for grazing livestock. In 1663 the City Assembly decided that the plot of ground could be used to generate income for the city and a central area of twenty-seven acres was marked out which would define the park boundary, with the remaining ground being let out into ninety building lots. Rent generated was to be used to build walls and paving around the Green. Each tenant also had to plant six sycamore trees near the wall, in order to establish some privacy within the park. In 1670 the first paid gardeners were employed to tend to the park.

By the nineteenth century the condition of the park had deteriorated to such an extent that the perimeter wall was broken, and many trees were to be found in bad condition around the park. In 1814 commissioners representing the local householders were handed control of the park. They replaced the broken wall with ornate Victorian railings and set about planting more trees and shrubs in the park. New walks were also constructed to replace the formal paths previously found in the park. However with these improvements, the Green then became a private park accessible only to those who rented keys to the park from the Commission, despite the 1635 law which decreed that the park was available for use by all citizens. This move was widely resented by the public.

Sir Arthur Guinness, later known as Lord Ardilaun, grew up in Iveagh House located on St Stephen’s Green, and came from a family well noted for its generosity to the Dublin public. In 1877 Sir Arthur offered to buy the Green from the commission and return it to the public. He paid off the park’s debts and secured an Act which ensured that the park would be managed by the Commissioners of Public Works, now the OPW. Sir Arthur’s next objective was to landscape the park, and provide an oasis of peace and tranquility in the city. He took an active part in the design of the redeveloped park, and many of the features in the park are said to have been his suggestions. The main features of the redeveloped park included a three-acre lake with a waterfall, picturesquely-arranged Pulham rockwork, and a bridge, as well as formal flower beds, and fountains. The superintendent’s lodge was designed with Swiss shelters. It is estimated the redevelopment of the park cost £20,000.
St Stephen’s Park

Access to the Green was restricted to local residents, until 1877, when Parliament passed an Act to reopen St Stephen’s Green to the public, at the initiative of Sir A.E. Guinness, a member of the Guinness brewing family who lived at St Anne’s Park, Raheny and at Ashford Castle. He later paid for the laying out of the Green in approximately its current form, which took place in 1880, and gave it to the Corporation, as representatives of the people. By way of thanks the city commissioned a statue of him, which faces the College of Surgeons. His brother Edward lived at Iveagh House, which his descendants gave in 1939 to the Department of External Affairs (now the Department of Foreign Affairs).

During the Easter Rising of 1916, a group of insurgents made up mainly of members of the Irish Citizen Army, under the command of Commandant Michael Mallin, his second-in-command Kit Poole, and Constance Markievicz, established a position in St Stephen’s Green. They numbered between 200 and 250.[ They confiscated motor vehicles to establish road blocks on the streets that surround the park, and dug defensive positions in the park itself. This approach differed from that of taking up positions in buildings, adopted elsewhere in the city. It proved to have been unwise when elements of the British Army took up positions in the Shelbourne Hotel, at the northeastern corner of St Stephen’s Green, overlooking the park, from which they could shoot down into the entrenchments. Finding themselves in a weak position, the Volunteers withdrew to the Royal College of Surgeons on the west side of the Green. During the Rising, fire was temporarily halted to allow the park’s groundsman to feed the local ducks.
Wikipedia

Fort Cornwallis, Penang


The Fort, Penang

Street View–approximate location

Fort Cornwallis is a bastion fort in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, built by the British East India Company in the late 18th century. Fort Cornwallis is the largest standing fort in Malaysia. The fort never engaged in combat during its operational history.
..
Captain Francis Light took possession of Penang Island from the Sultan of Kedah in 1786 and built the original fort. It was a nibong (Malay: palm trunk) stockade with no permanent structures, covering an area of 417.6 square feet (38.80 m2). The fort’s purpose was to protect Penang from pirates and Kedah. Light died in 1794. In 1804, after the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars, and during Colonel R.T. Farquhar’s term as Governor of Penang, Indian convict labourers rebuilt the fort using brick and stone. Fort Cornwallis was completed in 1810, at the cost of $80,000, during Norman Macalister’s term as Governor of Penang. A moat 9 metres wide by 2 metres deep once surrounded the fort but it was filled in the 1920s due to a malaria outbreak in the area.

Even though the fort was originally built for the British military, its function, historically, was more administrative than defensive. For example, the judge of the Supreme Court of Penang, Sir Edmond Stanley, was first housed at Fort Cornwallis when the court opened on 31 May 1808. During the 1920s Sikh police of the Straits Settlements occupied the fort.
Wikipedia.

Fort Cornwallis was regularly criticised by naval and military experts who deemed it far too small, too weak and too low to be of any real defence to the island. Built on a sandy ground, cracks regularly appeared in its walls. The ditch or moat was constructed in 1805 and added a degree of extra defence but a glacis on the two land-facing sides of the fort was deemed ineffective. With barely enough room on one side for a suitable Esplanade (parade ground: today’s green space) and the town close by on the other there was no room for expansion.

Inside the fort were barracks to house artillery regiments and officers, storerooms for armaments, gunpowder, gun carriages, clothing and foodstuffs, as well as kitchens, toilets and even a cell to house military prisoners. Access was via bridges leading to the two gateways seen today. Over each gateway was a building which served as officers’ quarters. The majority of cannons mounted on the fort’s ramparts were 9 and 18-pounders. Even when firing blanks they shook the walls and threatened the structure.
Fort Cornwallis, Penang (official website)

Zotokuin Temple, Motomachi, Yokohama, Japan


YOKOHAMA Obsèques Japonaises (montant au Temple).
(Japanese funeral rites (climbing to the Temple))

Zôtoku-in is a Kôya-san Shingon Buddhist temple in the Heiraku neighborhood of Yokohama; originally located in the Motomachi neighborhood and directly associated with the Yokohama Foreign Cemetery, it was moved to Heiraku, up on the Bluff, after the 1923 Great Kantô Earthquake. The chief objects of worship are Kôbô Daishi and Fudô Myôô. The temple’s Yakushi Hall, most recently rebuilt in 1972, remains in Motomachi. It is said to date, originally, to the 9th century, though there is no surviving documentation of this. The temple’s 20th century stone and metal main gate was replaced in 2008 with a new wooden gate in the traditional style.
The Samurai Archives (has links to Google Maps).

Motomachi, located at the foot of the Yamate area, was established when the residents of Yokohama Village moved here at the time of the opening of the port. Zotokuin Temple was located at the end of the main street (present day Motomachi-Dori). The building in this photograph is the Yakushi-do next to the main hall. The Yakushi-do was later moved to the Horikawa Waterway from its original location and still stands there today.
Naosite

In 1859, soon after the opening of the port of Yokohama, extreme nationalists killed Russian marines Roman Mophet and Ivan Sokoloff. The bakufu bought farmland-adjoining Zotokuin for their tomb. This grave is the oldest known in the Foreign Cemetery. … The former Zotokuin Cemetery area defined at that time is now the area near the Meyer M.Lury Memorial Gate (Motomachi Gate), where the oldest tombs can be found. [Approximately here.] After the Great Kanto Earthquake, the Zotokuin Temple was relocated to Heiraku (Yokohama).
Brief History of the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery

Arena of Nimes, France


NIMES. — Vie intérieure des Arenes. — ND
Published by  Levy & Neurdein, 1920s

Street View

The Amphitheatre of Nîmes is a perfect illustration of the degree of perfection attained by Roman engineers in designing and constructing this type of extremely complex building. It demonstrates perfect symmetry: oval-shaped, it measures 133 metres long and 101 metres wide, with an arena of 68 by 38 metres. 21 metres high, its exterior façade comprises two floors of 60 superimposed arches and an attic, separated by a cornice. At the top, pre-drilled stones were positioned to overhang so that long poles could be hung over the arena. A huge canvas canopy was then attached to these poles, thereby providing protection for the spectators against the sun and bad weather. Originally, all the arcades on the ground floor were open to act as entrances or exits. There are certainly bigger Roman amphitheatres, but this one is the best preserved of all of them.

In Roman times, the monument could hold 24,000 spectators spread over 34 rows of terraces divided into four separate areas or maeniana. Each was accessed via a gallery and hundred of stairwells and passages called vomitories. This clever arrangement meant that there was no risk of bottlenecks when the spectators flooded in. The amphitheatre was designed so that everyone had an unrestricted view of the whole arena. Several galleries were located beneath the arena, and were accessed by trap doors and a hoist-lift system. As a result, the decorative effects, animals and gladiators could access the arena during the games.
Amphitheatre Of Nîmes, Maison Carrée, Tour Magne (official website)

In the sixth century, under the Visigoths, Nimes Arena began to play a military role. Transformed from a sports arena to a castle fortress or “castrum arena” complete with a moat, Nimes Arena was a sort of emergency shelter of the people of the town in the event of attack.

Nimes Arena would go on to play an even more elaborate role in the twelfth century when it became the seat of the viscounty of Nimes and home to a chateau. In the eighteenth century, this went even further with the establishment of a whole 700-strong village within its walls. It was only in 1786 that Nimes Arena began to be restored to its original grandeur.
Trip Historic

Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the arena was transformed into a fortress by the Visigoths. Many invasions ensued and threatened the security of the people of Nîmes who decided to take refuge in the amphitheatre, which was easy to defend. In the Middle Ages, the edifice became a veritable fortified village with wells, houses, two churches and even a castle, all of which Existed up to the 18th century. The place became insalubrious and in 1786, as part of a city rehabilitation project, the destruction of the houses and restoration of the amphitheatre was decreed. The first phase of the works was interrupted during the revolutionary period to be resumed during the Second Empire. In 1813, the Prefect of the Gard authorized the first bull races and the arena was soon able to return to its original function. The first Spanish running of the bulls took place in 1863.
Avignon & Provence.com