I just stumbled upon your blog about Singapore in the 60's and 70's and felt a wonderful sense of relief - Singaporeans still remember the 'Kampong Days'!!
I was a member of the ANZUK Force serving with them for about two-and-a-half years - in retrospect, perhaps, the most educational and significant years of my life! I spent a bit of time at Changi and used to catch the bus along Tanah Merah Road - not sure if it was actually, Tanah Merah Besar …. also lived in the barracks at HMS Terror, a house in Sembawang and lastly at Woodlands.
I just visited Singapore in 2008 and was dismayed to [and shocked and impressed by the vastness of the changes - culturally as well as economical - though Lee Kwan Yew was always going to make a big statement after getting booted out of Malaysia] find the village just out of Sembawang where I used to go and learn TKD was nowhere to be found - I think maybe the railway station was built on that site!! And the Sembawang Strip [probably you never went there, but just about every western serviceman would have had a beer there] looked so sad and lifeless.
It came as a shock - because even though I have spent many months in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos .. and saw the changes in those places - they did not have the same level of emotional impact as I experienced in retracing my early soldier years in Singapore. I doubt now you even have the Indian piercing festivals etc..
Anyway .. please excuse my rambling .. congratulations on your initiative - it is very worthwhile.
PS – I think the village that Terry mentioned must have been Chong Pang Village and the ‘Sembawang Strip’ must be referring to the row of bars that I blogged about in my previous post.
This 1967 photo of the same row of shops by A. J. Allen is from Memories of Singapore. Doesn't seem to have changed much over the past 43 years.
OK, here’s a quiz to test your knowledge of Singapore. Below are two photos of houses which I was quite surprised to see. Where is this place? It is quite difficult to see houses like these nowadays. I think Victor has blogged about such buildings in the Alexandra Road vicinity.