Friday, October 12, 2012

Bedok Rest House and Bedok Corner in 1952

Recently I received this email from Joe Elliott of Manchester, England.
“I’ve just found your website – it’s great. I was in Singapore in 1952 with Royal Signals at the Transmitter Station at 9.5 miles stone Changi Road. I went to the Bedok MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) at Padang Terbaker* and made many friends there and have many photographs. I could send you some if you're interested.”

To say I am interested would be the understatement of the year don’t you think? And so, here are some photos of the Bedok Rest House and the nearby famous Bedok Corner with more to come. Enjoy!

But first, this is a scan from the 1963 street directory to give you a better idea of the places in these photos.

1) Bedok Corner in 1952 and Oct 2012 (photo courtesy of Peter Chan)

2) Bedok Rest House in 1952 – viewed from entrance and from the beach.

3) Bedok Road near Bedok Police Station in 1952 and Oct 2012 (photo courtesy of Peter Chan)

Finally, here’s Joe and his buddies at the Bedok Rest House.

* According to Peter Chan, Padang Terbakar was a Malay kampong near Hole #1 of Laguna National Golf Club or entrance from Xilin Avenue into Laguna Green beside the Sungei Ketapang bend.

Related post by Peter Chan: Balek Kampong to Bedok Corner


Brian and Tess said...

Funny how that corner stickes in the memory. When I first lived in a hotel near Kallang and then at the Opera Estate this was the road I travelled to up to Changi to school and that turn in the road was one I always remembered. Never stopped there so nice to see the beach and rest house

Lam Chun See said...

In the old days, there were 2 ways for us to get to Changi Beach. One was by the old Tampines Rd where we would pass by Changi Prison. The other way was via this route; this sharp bend in the road was an important landmark.

After this we would come to the T-junction of Bedok Rd and Changi Rd. From there on we would head straight towards Changi Village, passing another key landmark, the airfields of the RAF. Sadly this route is not longer available to Sporeans now.

Lam Chun See said...

I hope our authorities never remove this sharp bend in the road. They are so fond of straightening our roads.

Katherine said...

Chun See, you forgot another route to the Beach. That was by Geylang Road to Changi Road, Chai Chee. Then to where now the whole of Bedok North is all the way to Upper Changi where you would meet Simpang Bedok and furher to Upper Changi Road and turn right at the prison into Tanah Merah. You remember ? I really miss the old Singapore !

Tim said...

Wonderful pics, thank you. This is the Singapore that I remember. The 2012 photos show how the character of every corner of this island has changed.

Any more photos like these?

Ron Ho said...

Dear all, I lived directly behind Bedok Rest House from 1947 - 1965. Grew up and haunted the beach, high tide or low tide, almost daily. Terribly missed the place - even till today. There is one other way by walking or bicycle to get to Changi Beach. From the Bedok 90 degree corner, walk or bike into the village. You would soon pass a small black bridge over Sungei Bedok then walk past the police barracks and government bunglows and get to another bridge over another river. You would get to Koh Seck Lim area - walk and cross a cement bridge (now near the entrance of present Laguna Club)...then the walk would have you pass Padang Terbakar, Mata Ikan and the end of Wing Loong Road where the road (forget the name) takes you past David Marshall's home and a flowing spring. You will reach the junction of Tanah Merah Besar and the Coastal Road called Nichol Beach Road.

Lam Chun See said...

Thanks for sharing Ron. Stayed tuned. More photos coming up. Sure to bring back memories for you.

Alfred said...

Used to frequent the long beach at the corner. And Keng lok dwn the road.

Lam Chun See said...

I have a question for readers. Joe mentioned Bedok MYF at Padang Terbaker. Would anyone happen to know what MYF stands for? When I Googled, the name Methodist Youth Fellowship came up.

Interestingly, when I checked my 1981 street directory, the Bedok Rest House, Padang Terbakar Village and Bedok Village were still there; even though by that time the ECP and Changi Airport had already been built.

Lam Chun See said...

So does anyone know when the Bedok Rest House was taken down?

Lam Chun See said...

According to the website of the Long Beach Seafood Restaurant, they were originally housed at the Bedok Rest House in 1946. Interesting.

Ginny said...

Just found your website while surfing net:) Very interesting info for me since I stayed in Bedok South Road since 1978:)

A few years ago, I was staying at the condo along Upper East Coast Road where the Long Beach restaurant was:)

Do you have the history of now Country Park condominium and the Eastwood Center areas?

alex said...

My late father used to bring the family to the Bedok Rest House beach in the morning, and we normally enjoy the beach, visit the small wet market behind the BRH, At times, fishermen back with fresh catch were also selling their fishes at the beach in the morning too, and we like to buy these fresh catch.

There is also a coffee shop where we can take a break or grab a cup of coffee, I believe it is the first shop house of the row, as seen in the picture.

Lam Chun See said...

Alex. Joe Elliot has sent me some photos of the makan places nearby. I think the coffee shop you mentioned shd be there.

Later lah. Now very busy.

Lam Chun See said...

Ginny. This is what Peter Chan says;

"Country Park Condo was previously a condo which was sold enbloc to UOL about 10 years ago. Before it was a condo there was a row of shophouses just after the police station.

Eastwood Center and Eastwood Road were rows of coconut trees and some Malay huts behind them."

Ginny said...

Thanks Peter & Chun See :)

I really enjoyed reading all your articles about Bedok South Road & Upper East Coast Road.

Once you stay in the east zone, no other parts of Singapore is as good as here :)

Do continue to update your postings, I am keen to learn more about the history where I have been staying for the past few decades :)

Lam Chun See said...

It is an idyllic place rich with history of yester-years and also the place to be for tomorrow.

The National Heritage Board (NHB) has commissioned a heritage study of the Bedok-East Coast suburb and in the last couple of months, a very hard-working heritage curator by the name of Ms. TT Tan has dutifully researched and come up with many surprises that many of us are not aware of nor publications ever mentioned before.

Stay tune for more updates!

Peter Chan

Anonymous said...

I stayed at The Bedok Guest House with my then wife,when we arrived in Singapore at the start of my 3 year tour of duty with the RAF in 1964. We stayed there for several weeks and I have good memories of my time there.

Khee Tiong Ee said...

I grew up in the village behind BRH from 1977 - 1987, after which the govt bought back the land for redevelopment and we were resettled into HDB. My house (an attap hut) used to be at the exact location where Eastwood Centre is now, there was a Mama shop just behind the bus stop at Eastwood Centre. The first shop at the corner was indeed a coffeeshop called '海风', I grew up eating wanton mee there every morning with Grandpa. Country Park condo used to be a Malay village as well.

Khee Tiong Ee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.