Monday, June 30, 2008

Please vote for Good Morning Yesterday

With all humility, I would like to announce that Good Morning Yesterday has been selected as one of the top ten finalists in the Individual Category of omy's Singapore Blog Awards 2008.

The top blogger in each category will walk away with a laptop and a trophy designed by Singapore's multi-disciplinary artist Tan Swie Hian. In addition, the top three most voted bloggers across all categories will also win a LG mobile phone each.

The winner in each category will be determined by 30% public votes and 70% scorings by a panel of professional judges - media industry veteran, Man Shu Sum; The Theatre Practice Co-Artistic Director, Kuo Jian Hong; and acclaimed movie director, Kelvin Tong.

To cast your vote, please go to this website. Voting is open from 30 June to 31 July 2008.

PS - Actually I would prefer to compete in the Education or Nostalgia category if there was one. But anyway, I am quite happy to have come this far, and even if I don't get into the top 3, it's fine for me.

A big thank you to all readers and contributers.
By the way, if you are new to this blog; perhaps you would want to check the following 3 posts that I submitted for the competition. And be sure to read the comments as well. Some of my readers contribute gems.
Besides the above my personal favourites are:
But I think the most widely read article judging from the statistics were:
Days of Black and White TV and Singapore’s First Fast Food Restaurant which was jointly written with Peter.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Charles Jordan remembers Singapore

Charles Jordan writes from England to share with us about his trip to Singapore, when his father, who was a RAF (Squadron Leader) officer, was posted to here. He also remembers his time here at the RAF Changi Secondary School as well his life after returning to the UK.

Thanks Charles, for your story and the photos.


When I was about 14.8 yrs, my dad was posted to RAF (Royal Air Force) Changi, Singapore and the family, excluding my elder brother Keith (Boarding School) went too.

RAF Changi Sec School Sep 1957 - Apr 1960

We sailed aboard the SS Nevasa 20,000 Ton Troop ship (P&O Line) from Southampton 23 Aug 57 via Suez. It was a very rough passage across the Bay of Biscay & I recall there were many sea sick persons, but not I.

After several days from passing Gibraltar, we finally stopped and temporarily anchored near to the entrance to Port Said, Egypt. I recall there were masts of sunken vessels sticking out of the sea at obscure angles. I noted several elongated concrete structures that that been built on rocky outcrops forming a type of man-made barrier. These had beacons on. We may have stopped for about 24 hours, well it seemed to me to be for ever. According to our Captain, we were the 2nd ship to navigate the Suez Canal since the end of the (fifties) Middle East conflict [as Pat Bramwell states, I now recall there were Tanks and other Army units along both sides of the canal and we were given strict instructions by the Captain, to stay below deck, in case we caused an International incident!! I recall just how very hot it was below deck. Everyone had their port-holes open to let in what little waft of cool air we could get. I also recall that we had to stop about half way along the canal to allow another vessel steaming north, to pass us before we were allowed to continue. It was very hot below deck. By that time, there were no more tanks and infantry along the canal banks and we took advantage of the warm breeze on deck. I also recall that during this period whilst we waited to continue, a number of Arabs in canoes called from below and held up wooden carvings and such like. Several seamen appeared and tied lengths of rope to the ships railings and dropped lengths of rope to these Arabs. Quickly items were tied to the ropes and the Arabs would call out for us to haul them up to see if any wanted to buy. I recall one adult lady shouting down to the boatmen and then drop coins into the water beside their boats. I saw a young boy dive into the water and retrieved the money. It was noticeably cooler when we continued south towards the Red Sea and finally the Indian Ocean. During our virtually uneventful passage across the Indian Ocean, I witnessed Flying Fish, Porpoises/Dolphins and a quantity of sea birds. On one occasion a few of the Army lads gathered on the aft deck and inflated large balloons from a gas canister, tied knots and released them. There were riflemen who would try to shoot them down. There was very little to do apart from play cards or table tennis. There was a ships NAAFI shop, where we purchased crisps and lemonade etc. My dad knew the Head Waiter, I forget his name, but he was a middle aged man with dark receding hair. He was okay I suppose & I started collecting the ships menus as an interest. Ship menus are collectables these days.

We arrived in Singapore on 14 Sep 1957

Having disembarked, leaving some of our friends on board (going on to Hong Kong), our family were driven to temporary accommodation in the name KATONG GRANGE near Geylang. A few days later, another family arrived with 2 sisters, Sonia & Elaine. [I have been in touch with Elaine (Beckham) who currently lives in California, USA]

During my time at Changi, I joined the Scout Group at Changi and attended the Scout Jamboree at Geylang during 1958 and met with Lady Baden-Powell and Prince Philip.

Later I joined the Malaysian Air Training Corps (MATC), based at Kallang (see photo below) Incidentally, the officer I believe became the Air Chief Marshall of the RMAF based at KL.

16 MATC ID, Aug 1959

During my time with the MATC, Singapore became Singapura and an independant state of Malaya during April 1959 and I along with the MATC was on that parade (see photo below)

Back in the UK

Having returned by a 'Whispering Giant' (Brittannia) to UK on 12 APR60 moved to RAF Rudloe Manor where I found great difficulty in finding a pupils place at any of the local BATH schools and colleges.

I found myself employment with the Bath Co-operative Society as Stockroom Boy, general dogsbody and tea maker. Whilst in the Despatch Dept one day, I found evidence of a rodent and lay a non maiming mouse trap. Having caught this LARGE mouse, I placed it in a vacuum tube bound for the Accounts Dept run mainly by female staff. The mouse was obviously petrified and as the tube was recovered and opened, it leapt out, crapping as it went, all over various accounts and other important paperwork. I could hear the screams from four floors down. Oh, how I laughed! I was sacked! Good though....

I sat an entrance exam for the RAF. I visited RAF Cardington, Bedford and went to RAF Cosford 23SEP60 as a Boy Entrant. Became a Telegraphist (Morse Cade, Teleprinters & general telecommunications in Signal Offices, etc) and was posted to:
- RAF West Raynham (JUL62-OCT63)
- Northolt(FEB63-AUG63)
- Bahrain (Muharraq & Juffair OCT63-OCT64)
- Upavon (NOV64-JUN65)
- Changi (JUN65 - DEC67)
- Rudloe Manor (FEB68-AUG69)
- Medmenham (MAY69-JUL69)
- GAN (Addu Atoll AUG69-AUG70)
- Annual Leave at Changi and later HQFEAF Sailing Champs at Seletar
- Kinloss
- Pitreavie Castle
- Mount Wise (Mount BattenHQ18 Maritime GP)
- Manston (OCT70-NOV73

I married Sep 1972 and was blessed with a beautiful baby girl (Josephine) 29 May 1975 During my time with the RAF, I completed an 18 jump Parachute course, Desert & Jungle Survival Courses - I was a member of the RAF Inter-Services Sailing Team

NOV73...Joined Kent Police & posted to Gillingham, Chatham, Margate, Maidstone & West Malling where I decided it was time for a change as the Police Force was not the Force I had joined...

During my time at Margate, I organised a class reunion inviting Mr Pine

I divorced May 1982.

I remarried Aug 1983. I have a Stepson, Andrew and a further 2 wonderful children. Louise & Robert.

Whilst with the Police I built my own Phantom sailing dinghy [Photo 799] from paper plans over the winter of 1979-80 and during 1983, I won the British PHANTOM National Championships at Grafham Water.

I was elected as Phantom Class Secretary 1986-89.

During 1988, I was invited aboard 'RADICAL' the Blue Arrow British Team for the America's Cup Challenge yacht, then based at Falmouth. [3 x Photo's]

I left the Kent Police to set up my own company : Nightsafe Investigations, Marine & Security Services (UK) Maidstone office in MAR94.

I now have my own 26 ft Snapdragon berthed at Oare Creek, Faversham.Plus a Moody 56 based in Falmouth. 'Jamboreee' is chartered out.

Back in JUL91 I flew to Belfast to board a 50ft Yawl 'Sally Endeavour' (sail training ship for the Duke of Edburghs Aware Scheme) to sail 10 children from families of [RUC Disabled Police Officers Association] to Cowes for Cowes week. [5 girls, 5 boys ages 12 - 19 years. 5 Roman Catholics and 5 Protestants] Thrown together - they got on!!

We sailed to Falmouth non stop and gave them a tasty meal in a local restaurant. Then on to Cowes. We moored to a pontoon in the river. We signed on for 3 races. All other yachts had been stripped out for light weight performance racing. Sally Endeavour had not been out of the water for 18 months and therefore had a certain amount of slime under the water line. She was carrying 14 persons. Skipper, 1st & 2nd Mate, and 11 landlubbers including an RUC WPC. Only one of which had had any racing experience. Me. Heavy metal masts and rigging, Heavy sails cut for cruising, fuel, water, rations, bedding and personal belongings, in other words, NOT a 'mean machine' 1st race we did not finish. 2nd race we hit the mark called 'Brambles' with a resounding clang and were disqualified. We caused mayhem at the start of the 3rd race. They still talk about us at Cowes, we finished 27th on handicap of 36 starters in our class.

I have an elder brother, Keith (67) (who later joined the RAF as an Air Traffic Controller & FltLt) who visited us at Changi and a Younger sister, Josephine (60) who was a pupil at Changi Junior now (a Solicitor) in Halesworth, Suffolk.

As I am nearing retirement age, we will be moving to a quieter UK location, but as yet not too sure where - downsizing.

I am delighted to report that I have after many years searching, I have found several class mates.


- Tony BUSH
- William FROST
- Colin FISH (located NORFOLK, UK)
- Terry CROSS & his brother David CROSS
- Denise WALKER (Believed living in M'sex UK with her 2 children)
- Jacqui WALKER (located STOCKPORT, UK)
- Marg MaKAY & her sister Liz MaKAY
- Teresa MALTBY
- John KIRBY (I believe that someone told me more than 20 yrs ago that John had been killed)
- Angela ERWIN
- Lesley STOCKOSusan GREY
- Jackie GODDARD (Deceased February 2008)
- Mo WESTWOOD (Located in Tuftley, Glous)
- Michael HURST
- Ann RAMSAY (Located BOURNEMOUTH, Mrs Pordum)
- Sandra SAUL
- Michael HOLMESMr. FOREMAN (Teacher) ... believed to reside in Sandwich, Kent

........ and anyone else who is ex Changi.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Holiday bungalow at Wing Loong Road

Peter’s stories about the famous Bedok Corner remind me of the time our family booked a holiday bungalow at Wing Loong Road in Changi. I am not surprised if some of our younger readers have never even heard of Wing Loong Road.

The year was around 1972 or 73. My sister who was a teacher booked this government holiday bungalow for a few days. (On another occasion, she was able to book a beautiful bungalow at Fraser’s Hill). I don’t remember much about what we did; maybe some parties and swimming. I did not spend as much time there as I wanted because my university exams were approaching, which meant that it was probably during the beginning of the year.

What I remember though, was the route. We did not use Tampines Road but rather took the Bedok Road approach. After passing the Bedok Corner, we came to a T-junction where there were a row of shops facing Bedok Road. This place used to be called Simpang Bedok Village. I remember these two places clearly because they were the prominent landmarks we were supposed to look out for to get to the bungalow. Over the next few days we traveled this way a few times. We turned right at this junction into Upper Changi Road which led all the way to Changi Village. At that time, there was no New Upper Changi Road. After some distance, we came to Wing Loong Road which was a narrow track on the right. It was a rather deserted road with much vegetation and led to the bungalow by the sea. I believe that area was known as Kampong Ayer Gemuruh.

This is what that T-junction at Simpang Bedok look like today. I took this photo 2 days ago before joining Peter and two other "Friends of", Victor and Wee Kiat, for dinner at Bedok Corner Food Centre. The food was really as good as Peter had promised.

This is what the same place looked like in 1969. This photo was taken from Upper Changi Road looking towards Anglican High School. Bedok Road is on the left. Photo courtesy of Peter Chan.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos to show you. But as you can see from the map below, our bungalow was probably located on what is today the perimeter fence of Changi Airport. The airport itself was built on what was once the sea. I would guess that Wing Loong Road was located somewhere opposite the Japanese School in Upper Changi Road.

The above map is scanned from Peter’s 1963 street directory.

Latest: Eureka! I managed to find one photo taken at the bungalow. It was dated 1st Jan 1973. By the way, this type of T-shirt was very popular in the early 70's ... you know why? Bruce Lee wore it in The Big Boss! Traditionally, it was worn by the Chinese 'Ah Pek' shop-keepers.

PS – According to this website, the Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home was originally housed at chalets in Wing Loong Road until it was acquired by the government for building the Changi Airport runway. I wonder if their chalets were the same as the one we stayed in.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Balek Kampung To Bedok Corner Part 3: Bedok Corner Hawker Center (Written by Peter Chan)

For the knowledge on how alfresco dining and rustic charm was like in my time, I would not mind stepping back into the past. Like many others, I prefer the modern amenities although I am aware that with modernization it comes with a price; a loss of the laid-back kampong ambience, unsociable people, warm evenings because of lower ceilings, and higher food prices.

The Bedok Corner Hawker Center did not begin at its present location next to Bagnall Court. In fact it began at the bus-stop in front of the former 3SIR. The present location of the hawker center in the early 1960s was a piece of empty ground filled with lallang. Shortly after the Bedok Camps were completed in 1969, all the hawkers were re-sited across the road to its present location. In my memories, I can “see” stalls selling “Jill Her Eng Chye”, Chicken Porridge, “Cher Char”, Hokkien Mee, ”Cheng Teng” and Satay. Only the Lim family operating the “Jill Her Eng Chye and “Cheng Teng” and the Hokkien Mee were the sole survivors from the 1950s, while many retired during the upgrading of the hawker center. Of course it might not be fair to compare yesterday’s food prices to today’s; inflation, wages, rental and utilities always rising more than decreasing. Satay was $1/- for 10 sticks, chicken porridge was 0.30 cents a bowl and Jill Her Eng Chye was $2/- by the time I was in National Service in 1972. Through the years, I always patronized Mak Chik who sold mutton soup; always conscious that her price went up from $1.50 to $3.30 today.

Photo 1: (Left Photo) Chicken Porridge stall. (Right Photo) Hokkien Mee stall on the side of the future 3SIR. In front of the stalls was Vienna Inn, the future Bagnall Court. Bedok Corner is on the right of the photo. The sea was behind the stalls. (circa 1958)

Photo 2: Bedok Corner Hawker Center: front facing Bedok Camp 1. The front row comprised the Drinks stall, Cher Char stall, one stall always closed, passage way, Hokkien Mee, Mee Goreng/Mutton Soup Stall, Seafood Bakar stall, Cheng Teng stall and Jill Her Eng Chye stall. The back of the hawker center faced Bedok Road (now the public car park)

Photo 3: Old familiar faces such as “Jill Her Eng Chye”, Hokkien Mee and Ah Pek who is seen “kooning” at the public toilet

After the upgrading works were completed in 2005, a new name was given to this place; to keep pace with its new Minangkabau architecture. Bedok Corner Food Court did not retain many of the Bedok Corner Hawker Center stalls. I missed the goreng pisang Malay women selling her kueh and tapioca & banana fritters, Rashid the Bandung drink specialist, and the chicken & duck rice stall – on some days the taste of his duck was better than his chicken and vice versa. Today a horde of new food stalls appeared with new menus; tandoori chicken, ice kachang in soya bean, O-luak, Tahu Goreng to name a few.

One question for readers: Look at Photo 3 again and guess which person is likely to be the CSM from 1st Commando Battalion

Photo 4: Bedok Corner Food Center (circa 2008)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Balek kampong to Bedok Corner Part 2: Changed Landscape from Sea to Land (Written by Peter Chan)

If I were to tell you that the sea was once in front of the Bedok Canal Connector, you might not believe me. When I tell you that Fairmount Condominium was where Long Beach Seafood made its name, you would doubt that too. I use these photos, courtesy of my friends, to describe the changed landscape; Dr. Michael Wang (a medical specialist who collects heritage postcards as a hobby), Douglas Chan – who does nothing but point & shoot from inside the airplane cabin, and retired x-RAF airman Peter Biggadike.

Photo1: Bedok Rest House (circa 1960) became Long Beach Seafood in the 1970s but today is the Fairmount Condominium. The WW2 pill-box is now the refuse bin under the lone tree on Bedok Junction. The concrete steps became the driveway into Bedok Camp 1. The “koleks” is the bus-stop.

Phase 1 of the East Coast Land reclamation Project stopped exactly at the canal between the Laguna National Golf & Country Club and Bedok Camp 1. By 1969, the seafront bungalows such as Bedok Rest House, the property of the Sultan of Pahang, the block of flats (now a part of the East Coast Medicare Center), and a zinc-roofed motor workshop stood facing the sea.

By 1972 when I was in Bedok Camp 1, there was no more sea in front of those seafront bungalows. Phase 4 of the land reclamation project from Bedok Corner had reached Tanah Merah Besar Road, leaving the sea off Nicoll Drive still intact.

Photo 2: Long Beach Seafood – Through the Years

On “Day 1” of my enlistment, I peeped out of the louvered window of Delta Company block and I saw a secondary jungle. What would they do with that piece of land I asked myself? Never did I know some 20 years later, I would be standing at the same spot on the tee-box. Fast-forward to 1992, it could well have been the site of the first F1 race track and not Marina Bay. I am not sure for the reasons the Singapore Government turned down the proposal.

Bedok Corner - Camp 1 to Bedok Canal

Photo 3: Beyond Bedok Camp 1 to Sungei. Bedok. At the bottom of the lower photo is the ECP towards Changi Aiport (left to right direction).

Before land reclamation, the Sungei Ketapang and Sungei Bedok separately drained into the sea. After land reclamation both rivers (and canals as they are now called) connect to each other first to become the Bedok Canal that drains into the sea at the East Coast Parkway; a distance of 2km further from the original shoreline. The Sungei Ketapang is now the canal between the golf course and the Changi MRT Depot and its mouth became the golf driving range. The Bedok Canal is now the flight-path of numerous golf balls that fly from the tee-box to the pin.

A small section of Koh Sek Lim Road remains but is now inside the Bedok NeWater Plant. When you enter the Bedok NeWater Plant, that road is the truncated Koh Sek Lim Road having lost a part of it to the business park at Changi South Lane. The Laguna National Golf and Country Club’s clubhouse was the site of the original tofu factory and the land around it was cultivated by Chinese farmers. My Malay classmate told me that during the racial riots of 1964, the Chinese farmers and Malay fishermen banded together as one united community and armed themselves with changkols and parangs against “foreign incursions”.

I have indicated with a blue arrow in the last photo the path of the 2.5 km Run that I took during my National Service days. Depending on “how siow” the OC of Delta Company was, we ran beyond Somapah Village to Teluk Mata Ikan, a Malay Village (somewhere near the PIE and Runway 02L of Changi Airport) and back to Bedok Camp 1. Today with the Bedok Connector, one could go further than that to Changi Point from Bedok Corner.

What a transformation since the 1960s!

Photo 4: The sea which is now the Laguna National Golf and Country Club

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Balek Kampong to Bedok Corner by Peter Chan

I am familiar with this area for three reasons.

I took this route to Changi Beach after exiting Frankel Avenue in the early 1960s. Next time was 1967 it became my school holiday “resort” when I went to live with my Malay classmate in a kampong. In those days school holidays did not mean an overseas holiday trip to exotic Bali or to snowy Europe. We went to catch fish in the Sungei Bedok; now called Bedok Canal and explored the old kampungs at Padang Terbakar (now a golf course) and Ayer Gemuroh. Word spread and soon other friends joined us. It was because of his young, fair-skinned and sweet-looking sister, “Rosmawati” or “Rose” in short. Rose “Ada class tetapi atas sikit”.

The next time came in the early 1970s when I did my National Service at the “BU-LOK camp (the Hokkien expression for Bedok). My training area was Harvey Avenue, the reclaimed land and Kew Drive. Imagine carrying the white-board from Bedok Camp through Hwa San Road and doing camouflage in the Chinese cemetery area in Kew Drive. Of course there is a fourth reason but you have to admit, “It’s home coming one full cycle” again.

Photo 1: Bedok Corner where Katong-Bedok Bus Company had a watch-keeper hut. It is now the Fairmont Condominium

Bedok Corner is where Bedok Road meets Upper East Coast Road. It has some bits of history besides the well-known Bedok Hawker center, going back to as early as the 1970s. It was home to the first National Service battalions – 3SIR and 4SIR. 3SIR and 4SIR were raised in Taman Jurong Camp but moved to the Bedok location in 1969. During the Vietnam War, US war surplus were stored in Nissen Huts on the reclaimed land which is now the Upper East Coast Road Bus Terminus. There was strict security and triple concertina wire fence surrounded the buildings.

There was also the Long Beach Restaurant which closed in the early 1990s because the land was acquired by the government. This later became a condominium next to the Eastwood Center. The Sultan of Pahang once owned a seafront bungalow at Bedok Corner. Fortunately this 3 storey property still stands at #38 Eastwood Road.

Photo 2: Upper East Coast Road and Bedok Camps 1 & 2

The Bedok Camps were once on water before land was reclaimed from the sea. Did you know the first land reclamation project in Singapore began here in the Bedok area in 1961? It was managed by the HDB. The exact spot is the row of landed properties next to the Temasek Secondary School. I actually witnessed the land reclamation taking place but had no idea then what was going on. All I saw were many lorries ferrying earth from the hills off present-day Bedok South Road and Parbury Avenue. The sea in front of my maternal grandmother’s bungalow house became murkier each time I came until soon I found the sea breeze had weakened considerably. The lorries were heading in the direction of the beach. In the 1970s, I saw a Bailey Bridge across Upper East Coast Road. This bridge was used to carry earth on a conveyor belt to be dumped further out into the sea.

Photo 3: The former Sultan of Pahang’s bungalow facing Bedok Junction; once the sandy beach. It was completed in 1932

My inclination towards this area was because my maternal grandmother once operated a restaurant called Wyman Haven in one of the seafront bungalow houses. Her signature dish was roasted pigeon. There was one other competitor to Wyman Haven on the same road about 4 houses away at that time – it was the Palm Beach Seafood.

The hills, the cemeteries, the sea, the temples and the pondoks have changed over time. One wish I have is for the government now not to sell the reclaimed land next to the SAF camps and in the process destroy the natural fauna. I believe my wish can be realized because there is a “height restriction” on any construction due to the close proximity of Changi Airport.

If time permits, I will write on various landmarks and things to do in Bedok Corner area.
PS - LCS is taking a 1-week break.

Friday, June 06, 2008

A question for the Clementians

The series of articles that Peter and I wrote last month about the Ulu Pandan and Clementi area has caught the attention of some Clementi residents and they posted a link to this blog from their website.

So to those visitors for Clementi, and to all other readers who care to try, I have a question for you. According to my 1981 street directory, the area south of Ulu Pandan Road and Sungei Ulu Pandan was known as Pasir Panjang. How to you explain that?

Please note; this is not a quiz question because I am just as puzzled as you?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Old Buildings Quiz No. 8

The building in the photos below are of the Econ Nursing Home. It is located between Bukit Timah Plaza and Jalan Jurong Kechil.

Map of the vicinity from 2007 street directory

This is Bukit Timah Avenue leading to the Econ Nursing Home

I have two questions for you.

1) What was the name of this place before it was converted to the Econ Nursing Home?

2) There used to be a white building between Bukit Timah Avenue and Jalan Jurong Kechil, facing the Bukit Timah Food Centre cum Market (see blue question mark in map). What was it?

Answers (Posted on 6 June 2008)

1) Yes, it's the Bukit Timah Community Centre. I went there to play badminton in their indoor court once during the early 70's. At that time, my younger brother James and his team mates from one of the infantry battalions (I think it was 7 SIR) used to train there. Below is a photo from the National Archives of Singapore collection showing the official opening in 1959.

2) The answer to the second queston, as most of you know, is the Bukit Timah Post Office. It was there until not long ago. I remember it had a very small car park. The design was one of the very standard ones built in that era. You can still a few post offices in Singapore which are of this type of design; such as the ones at Serangoon Gardens and MacPherson Road. There's another one at Alexandra Road near Prince Philip Avenue. I passed by it just a couple of weeks ago and it looked like they are going to demolish it soon. So if you want to take one last look, better not wait.

Monday, June 02, 2008

My new old street directories

Ever since I started Good Morning Yesterday, I and my guest bloggers have blogged frequently about old places of Singapore that no longer exist. Often we found it difficult to describe the locations of these places because we did not have an old street directory to refer to; and sometimes our memories play tricks on us. The oldest street directory I had was a 1998/99 copy which wasn’t very helpful because by 1998, many of the present expressways have been completed, replacing many old roads. Also many of the roundabouts and kampongs that we blogged about had been cleared.

But recently I was able to acquire two street directories from the last century. One was a 1993 copy given to me by my elderly neighbour. Another was purchased from a second-hand bookshop at Bras Basah Centre. This was a huge shop on the 3rd level. After a long search, I managed to find 2 copies. One was a Chinese edition dated 1985. Another was an English edition dated 1981. I bought the second at a hefty price of $16 (the original price was only $6). I think the shop owner sensed my excitement in finding this directory and jacked up the price to $18 initially. Anyway, as far as I am concerned, it was $16 well spent. Now I can check up all those places that I have been blogging about from memory.

Unfortunately, I am now faced with a dilemma. Should I go back and update those old posts? I think I shan’t because that would be too much work. Might as well spend the time writing new stories. Where the opportunity arises, I will simply refer back to the earlier posts. For example, in one of my stories about the stretch of Bukit Timah Road from Sixth Avenue to Beauty World, I mentioned that there were several factories and commercial buildings here. I was wondering what was this building called the Tricity House. Now I know. It’s the old name for the Tan Cheong Motors complex. You can now refer to the following map from my new 1981 street directory. Unfortunately, it does not show the Rothmans cigarette factory that I described or the Tien Wah Press printing company.

And I still can’t figure out what was the William Jacks???

Looking for members of the Satellites Netball Team from Serangoon Gardens

Some months ago I received this email from an overseas reader. I think it is self-explanatory.

Hello Mr Lam Chun See,

Please forgive my intrusion but I saw your website which brought back some lovely memories of my time in your wonderful country from 1966 to 1969. As you may have guessed my husband was a serviceman and whilst in Singapore I joined a netball team that played in Serangoon gardens called the Satellites. My plea to you is; can you please put me in touch with a website that might be able to help me contact some old team members? I met some lovely people that I would like to contact again and I have been trying for some years now without success and you are my last hope. Once again I am sorry for the intrusion and if you can't help I will understand.

Kind regards

Rachael Oremek.

I have actually referred Rachael's request to my friends at Redsports. But apparently they have not been successful. Maybe their readers tend to be of a younger set. So I hope some of the older readers of this blog maybe able to help out.