Thursday, June 18, 2015

Something old from Sungai Lembing

This is what that remains of its only petrol kiosk. It is a grim reminder of
the town's glorious past. Today, petrol is sold in bottles of 1,5L in sundry shops.

Did you know that Sungai Lembing did not have its town petrol station? It used to, more than 15 years ago, I was told. Not anymore. If you are visiting it, you had better make sure you have enough petrol or fill up your tank at the nearest petrol station 28km away, just after the East Coast Highway exit. Otherwise, you may have to flag down a passing motorcyclist and get him to buy you petrol should you run out of fuel.

According to a local there used to be a petrol station operator here until his business was killed by the lack of demand and the annual floods that inundate the former tin mining town. This is my painting of the petrol pump which pumped its last more than 15 years ago. I painted the relic seated along the corridor of one of the old shop houses lining the main street. Townsfolk who mostly rode motorcycles buy their petrol from sundry shops at RM4 per 1.5-litre bottle.

Someone tried to steal this pillar post box but was prevented by the villagers. Today, this relic takes
its rightful place by the Sungai Lembing market (at right).

Another relic of Sungai Lembing is the Victorian pillar post box, which townsfolk said is still in use. This post box is just a stone’s throw away from the wet market. According to locals, it was put in place ago during the town’s glory days when the tin industry flourished. However, the locals continue to care for this relic till this day. According to a local who approached me while I was painting, someone had tried to remove the pillar box some years ago because of its heritage value. Fortunately, the townsfolk intervened and prevented the relic from ending up in an antique lover's collection. 

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