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.

14 thoughts on “Kampung Baru Coldstream”

  1. 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. 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.

  3. It certainly was built by the 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards. My father was a Sergeant there during the Emergency.
    I also served in the same Regiment and visited the Kampong when I was stationed there.
    The Coldstream Guards ARE THE OLDEST REGIMENT IN THE BRITISH ARMY, DATING BACK TO 1650.

  4. My father was stationed in Penang during 1964-66 ish and was in 2nd Batallion Coldstream Guards. Both parents have passed away but I was always told that the family quarters were on the island of Penang. I’m trying to find where we might have lived. Would anyone know ??

      1. Thank you for that information I will download it.

        I’ve been trying to find where we may have lived in Penang as my parents couldn’t remember and all info points to Minden Barracks being where the armed forces lived but no info on Coldstream Guards being there.

        A town on the mainland has been re-named Coldstream after the Coldstream Guards because they were there helping the local people but it’s 2 and a half hours from Penang island.

        Question is did the families live on Penang Island but the men work on the mainland (which is 2 and a half hours away by car)?

        If that’s the case then maybe Minden was the area the families lived. We know the old bungalows have been demolished and new property built

        Any help would be appreciated.

        Karen

      2. My dad was also with the 2nd battalion in Malaya. Sgt. William (Taffy) Evans. I have been to Kampong Coldstream and was made very welcome by the villagers.

      3. My dad was there in 1948 to 50.
        I knew your Dad!!
        The 2nd were not in Malaya in your Dad’s period so he must have been on secondment. From October 1964 to 65 we were in Aden.
        But a composite company from the 2nd and Scots Guards were sent to help with the Indonesian insurgency. I was part of that (anything to get away from Public Duties at the Palace😅. We were there in 66 so that is probably where I met him. What rank was he?

    1. I am away at the mo in Penang island but will try and post some when I’m home next week. We saw that too about the village being renamed so think that’s possibly where the men were based. The village Coldstream is a 7 hour round trip from here so thinking will come back and go from Kuala Lumpur.
      Will dig out some pics 🙂

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