I saw your request for childhood memories on Memories of Singapore and have posted one comment about kampongs on your blog.
I have helped to set up a website for ex Singapore school pupils of British Forces schools, and we have so far had four terrific reunions. (only in England, maybe one day we will make it to Singapore). There are lots of photos of old Singapore on Alexandra Grammar
My father was army, but in the water transport as a navigator on the landing crafts. I lived on the small island of Pulau Brani and went to the army primary school from 1958-1961 and then lived there again from 1963-1966, when I went to Alexandra Grammar School at Gillman Barracks and St Johns Comprehensive in Dover Road.
Pulau Brani Primary School
Any items on Pulau Brani on the internet do not mention the army school, , nor the fact that the British lived there for about 50 years - only the two local schools - as if we never existed.
Alexandra Grammar School and Alexandra Secondary Modern School were both at Gillman, and in 1964 the older pupils moved into the brand new buildings of St Johns Comprehensive School in Dover Road (now the United World College), with the first and second year secondary pupils staying behind in the old Alexandra Grammar building which was renamed Bourne School. At first only 1st and 2nd years stayed in the old buildings, but I believe that the following year it was changed to 1st, 2nd and 3rd years, but someone who went to Bourne would have to confirm that. All I remember is that my brother and I went into the 3rd and 4th years in the new school, by ferry and then bus from Jardine Steps.
School ferry leaving Pulau Brani
I have started collecting a lot of photographs of Pulau Brani, so if any of your readers have any, I would be most interested. It was a wonderful place to have a childhood, and I have many fond memories of it. By the way, some of my photos are on display in the Singapore Naval Museum.
1968 Photo of Pulau Brani
1968 Photo of Pulau Brani
My amah lived at Kampong Saga (I think it was called) in a house on stilts. I believe that they were relocated to Tanjong Belayer. Is there any way that I could perhaps find out where she moved to? We called her Taliap, but I have an old wedding photo of her, with a Chinese name on it. From memory, I think that it was Sim Geck Siam; but I would have to look for it and check.
I read your articles on kerosene lamps and elections. I remember that we had a visiting night market, (weekly/monthly ??) and the smell of a kerosene lamp takes me right back to those days. I can also remember the campaigning for the elections, with speakers and posters, but can't remember when that was.
So many memories, I have lots more.
By the way, (like Chun See), one of my favourite authors is Neville Shute, and A Town like Alice my favourite story, (and film - the original black and white version). Requiem for a Wren (one of Chun See’s favourites) mentions my home town of Ellon (about page 18 or thereabouts) !!!!
Lynne Wilson (now Mrs Copping)