Kampung Baru Coldstream

Road sign for Kampung Baru Coldstream

There is a place near Bidor in Perak state with an unusual name, Kampung Baru Coldstream (meaning Coldstream New Village).

I drove there the other day to take a look.

 

Gateway to Kampong Baru Coldstream

Passing under this Chinese gateway the road passes vegetable fields before arriving at the village.

Kg. Coldstream New Village Community Hall

Kg. Coldstream is one of those ‘new villages’ built during the Malayan Emergency. Scattered communities were forcibly relocated to guarded and fenced villages to protect them from the Communist Terrorists and to prevent the villagers from supplying food, medicines and information to the bandits. I understand the 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards were stationed in Perak during the Emergency and may have assisted with the village’s construction.

Main street in Kampung Baru Coldstream

The Coldstream Guards are one of the oldest and most distinguished regiments in the British Army with roots in the Scottish Borders town of Coldstream, a place which, I imagine, bears little resemblance to its Malaysian namesake.

Chinese Temple, Kg. Coldstream

Today Kg. Coldstream looks a fairly typical Malaysian village with a few shops and food stalls, a school and temple. The inhabitants are mostly Chinese of Hokkien origin. The place looks happy and prosperous. Of course there are no fences or guards anymore.

Bedford RL lorries at Kampung Baru Coldstream

I noticed a transport yard with a couple of ancient 1950’s vintage vehicles in fine working condition. They look like Bedford RL lorries, once the workhorse of the British Army. Could they have been sold off as Army Surplus? Did they fall off the back of a lorry? Or were they just left behind by the Coldstream Guards? It’s the least they could have done in exchange for having the village named in their honour.

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4 Responses to Kampung Baru Coldstream

  1. Z says:

    Those lorries should be retired and in museums, not made to work to this day! Perhaps the village committee could set up a mini museum featuring those vehicles and some old barb wire fencing and some Coldstream momentos to illustrate the origins of the village

  2. Am says:

    We detoured and went into this village as my daughter needed to use the bathroom. Such a charming place but unfortunately we didn’t have more time to explore it. I was still curious about this place when we got home and after some research, I came across your website. Thank you for all the historical information! I’m learning more about Malaysia everyday through blogs like yours. Hopefully one day each of these little villages will have its own information centre to educate visitors about its history.

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