Today, this place is occupied by a new shopping complex called Sunshine Plaza. The photo below shows the Sunshine Plaza viewed from of Middle Road.
But next to it along Prinsep Street, another old building has survived the bull dozers. Can you recognize it? It’s the Elections Department.
Just across Middle Road, nearer to the David Elias Building that Ordinary Guy mentioned was a building which used to be a hospital. This was one of two hospitals that carried an unpleasant stigma with it in the old days; so much so that the other hospital, the Woodbridge Hospital in Yio Chu Kang was recently renamed the Institute of Mental Health. The Middle Road Hospital was famous for treating VD or venereal disease.
Today, the building which housed the Middle Road Hospital is still standing. Below are two photos I took of it. The top one was taken around middle of last year and the bottom one just 3 months ago.
OK. Enough of digression. Have you figured out the name of that government department I mentioned earlier? The answer is: ROV or Registry of Vehicles.
I remember visiting the ROV in December 1980 when I bought my first car, a second-hand Mazda323. Usually buyer and seller would meet at the ROV, do the paper work to transfer the car ownership and hand over the log book and money. My car was only a few months old and had an EM number plate. I think the number was 8641 or 8461. I paid about $17,000 for it.
I believe it was one of the first ‘hatch-back’ cars on the roads. It had only a small engine of about 990 cc capacity although the car body was quite big. I remember one occasion when we had a visitor from a (Philips) sister plant in Argentina. This chap was huge .. weighing easily more than 200 lbs. About 5 or 6 of us cramped into my Mazda323 and the car almost could not make it up the Benjamin Sheares Bridge.
Talking about Mazda cars, do you recall the Mazda Capella with rotary engine? I am sure Peter would know about this car. My colleague at Philips, Bobby Yee used to own one. It was a very powerful and fast car. Once we drove to Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan in his car. When we stopped at a motor car workshop in Kuatan, some people came around to admire his car and somebody remarked that it was even faster than the Alfa Romeo.
This old photo from the collection of the National Archives of Singapore shows a section of Middle Road with many old shops. It looks very familiar but I can't quite identify the exact location. Hope somebody can enlighten me. Thanks.