Plea to restore colonial structure in Taiping

The remaining 34 pillars of Captain Speedy’s former house are a majestic landmark.

THE Taiping Heritage Society wants the 34 pillars of a former British assistant resident’s house, that are still standing in the town, to be restored as an attraction site.

Its president Yeap Thean Eng said the area located near the Taiping Lake Gardens should be revived as it held heritage value.He added that it was also a good tourist spot.

Yeap said the pillars used to support the former house of Captain Tristram Speedy, the then assistant resident of Larut in the late 19th century.

“The pillars look majestic and are a landmark in Taiping. It is a place of many good memories for the older generation there.

“Some folk even nicknamed them the Taiping Stonehenge,” he said.

The site is strategically located on a small hill overlooking the lake gardens with beautiful scenery.“We hope the authorities can do something to restore the pillars,” he added.

Yeap said the house was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the construction of a state rest house behind it, leaving the pillars untouched.

“The house was one of the many firsts in Taiping, built for a governing British resident in the country.

“The large and spacious house, which was mainly wooden, was built on these pillars but it was demolished when termites and the elements made it difficult to restore,” he said.

The rest house later became the Casuarina Inn in the 1970s but it was closed down 10 years ago. The area had been left idle since, he added.

Yeap said the society, with the Taiping Municipal Council, 9th Regiment Royal Rangers, non-governmental organisations, students and the local community, held a gotong-royong at the site.

“The place was filled with undergrowth and shrubs.

“It is a waste to leave it as it is, so about 110 people joined in to clean up the area.

“The place should be preserved and beautified so visitors can learn about its rich history and heritage.

“We should safeguard all heritage sites in Taiping,” he added.

A municipal council spokesperson said there were no set plans for the site.

“The land was just recently handed over to us by the state government, so nothing has been planned for the time being,” she said, adding that it was formerly under the management of Perak Development Corporation.

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