Why is this 1956 picture of old Sarikei significant? Firstly, note that the posts that held the overhead electricity cables were different from the 1958 picture below. There were cement bases to hold the posts implying that the posts were either not plunged into the earth or if they were, they were not deep enough.
There were no lines on the Repok Road. Find the few bicycles and antique cars. Guess the function of those long poles on the 3rd floors of the blocks. Those were for holding up radio antennae. Radio was king then before black and white TV penetrated Sarikei in early 1970s.
Finally, spot the pile of sand and what looked like construction equipment on the bottom left of the picture (the current Jalan Masjid Lama). Maybe that's when construction began to replace the wooden shops of Block 5 onwards up to the old wooden Rex cinema.
Now compare the 1956 picture with the 1958 picture. Reader STLau emailed that these antique cars in the 1958 picture were government official cars who were in town for some conference.