Saturday, May 04, 2013

GMY Book Contest #8

First to identify this place gets a free copy of my book Good Morning Yesterday.

Photo credit: James Tann
But no prize for identifying the street in this 1960s photo from Tim Light.


chew said...

Jurong Road.

Anonymous said...

Old Hong Kah CC.

Teo Ban Teck Alvin said...

Choa Chu Kang Avenue 3

Teo Ban Teck Alvin said...

second photo should be at kallang.

Lam Chun See said...

Thanks for the participation; incl those in FB. I'll reveal answer tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

The Second Photo Is Not At Kallang, But A High Probability Is At Queenstown. The Queenstown Gaswork {Alexandra Road/ Delta Road Near To Fraser N Neave Factory} Had Only One Tank Tower While The Kallang Gaswork At The Junction Of Lavender St/ Crawford St / Kallang Road Had Two Tank Tower.


Lam Chun See said...

Are you sure, Ghost? I thot the Queenstown Gaswork was at Commonwealth Drive/Tanglin Halt. My friend Icemoon blogged about it here.

Anonymous said...

The Tanglin Halt Gaswork Exists Till The 2000s, But I Recall That Whenever The Bus Journey That Loop By The City To Bukit Merah/Tiong Bahru Did Pass Next By The Single Tank Where Else The Tanglin Halt Previously If I Recalled, Was Two Tank Till The 90s Before Making Way To The Single Tank As Shown In Icemoon Article . The One{Alexandra} That I Mention Was Demolished In The 80s. Besides Previously Our Journey Did Not Go Beyond Old Thye Hong Biscuit Factory From City Direction.

If You Look At Tim Light's Photo;
1)There Seems To Be A Building Perpendicular Blocking Across Before The Gasworks' Tank. If The Photo Was Taken From The Direction Of Kallang Road Towards Crawford Street, Being A Straight Stretch From The Photographer Position To The Gaswork Tank, Then There Is This Building/Structure Anomaly.
2)In The 1960s, I Don't Think There Is Any Overhead-bridge Or Sign Board Overhead Across the Road.
3) Is There Anyone Who Can Determine If There Is Any Representation Of The Service Number Plate On The Bus, I.E. If The 'Rafles Quay' Below Number '20' Refers 'To' The Destination Or 'From' That Destination.
4) The Bus Post Indicate "Request Stop", "2", And If "Fare" & "Stage". What Does The "2" Represent, The Second Busfare Station, Or If Another Bus-number Service.

5)It Could Be Taken At The Current Boon Tat Rd Lau Pat Sat's Side Before The Pre-war Houses, On Both Sides And Around The Background Area Made Way For Development.

6)The One{Now Temporary Refer To As Alexandra/Havelock Gasworks) That I Mentioned, Could Be Servicing/Providing The City & Havelock Area. To Solve This Conundrum, Prehaps If We Could Find Anyone Living Near The Delta-Havelock Area, Those Oldies Above 35's, And Usually Those Elderlies That Remember/Recognise Location By Landmarks Instead Of Names.

Ghost ('Ghostly Mystery')

Anonymous said...

Getting More Interesting.

I Recalled That There Was Another Gaswork Behind Concord Hotel Singapore (Formerly If Known As Glass Hotel), Between Zion Road And Outram Road That Was Dismantled In The Early 90s.

If You Look At Tim Light's Photo, There Is Some Rows Of Tree/Bushes Behind The Bus-stop.
So We Need To Determine If Along Kallang Road, In The 60s, If The Rows Of Shop-houses Were Continuous.
Perhaps We Can Search For Those Photos From Reports About The Riots At /Near The Location To Determine The Manner Of Placement Of Those Shop-houses.

Since You Have Some Old Street Directory,
Depending On Which Year It Was Printed, Try To Determine If There Is Any Indication Of Those Gaswork Location, Unless Because Of Security Reason Those Locations Were Not Indicated.


Joseph Wong said...

Could the bus be on Lavender Street? The row of shop houses in the background (in front of the gasworks) could be along Crawford Street/Kallang Road/Victoria Street junction.

Edwin said...

I am very positive the road is Kallang Road. STC service no 20 is travelling from Raffles Quay towards its terminus in Siglap. Immediately after Kallang Rd, the bus will turn into Mountbatten Road and pass by the Katong area on its way to Siglap.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Wong & Edwin, Thanks for joining in the discussion.

To Lam SC and others reading it, my apologies first for a lenghty view/opinion.

To Edwin ,
Yes, I'm aware that STC Svc 20 did ply from Raffles Quay to Siglap, there is no denying of it.
a) It is even written on the photo bus service plate.
b) Assuming that there was no route diversion & that it was on operation service & accurate based on this
link of the actual svc route, if there is no changes before or after:-
c) Unless we know of the actual year or location that it was taken, we are only assuming, while trying to analyse the facts.
To those staying in the east if you mention Gasworks('Huay Sia') most likely if they aware, will instinctly say
Kallang Gasworks.
But to those who are aware there was more than one, it will not be the same syntax/reference.
To those staying in the Queenstown, they will have the impression of another one. What about those staying in the north?
There might even be some that are lower in height and less prominent or well known or demolished between 1970 to 2000s.

As for Lam CS's reference to Icemoon's blog, (
if I'm not wrong, initially Icemoon was not aware of the exact location/existence of the Tanglin Halt Gasworks. This one
might even be known as Ayer Rajah Gasworks and previously could be seen from Holland/Ghim Moh Estate at the junction of current Bouna Vista MRT Station by following the KTM's railway track looking towards Portsdown Camp.

Maybe some of those staying around Lower Delta Road and Henderson area might recalled another one that made way during the MRT line constructon.
I recalled in the mid 80's, after an event at Queenstown Stadium, our group took a bus service to Hill Street
previous Firestation there to transfer another bus back to the north-east, there was road diversion prior to the MRT unnel
works and the Gaswork Tank was so close to road safety hoarding & next to the make-shift metal plates road, and on
our right side, about two metre or more.

I even recalled, the dismantling of another one in th e 90s, behind the current Concorde Hotel (formerly if known as Glass Hotel) between Outram Road & Zion Road.
Before I'm being labelled as hallucinating on the numbers of Gasworks Station, I would not further reference other possible sites .

d) You might be surprised that there were more than one Gasworks, some of it had been dismantled from the 70s onwards.
The basis that there is only one Gasworks('Huay Sia') as reflected in Laukokok's blog does not hold, as shown by Icemoon' s blog.
Even without Icemoon's blog reference, the assumption that there is only one Gaswork Station will not hold.
The Kallang Gasworks served the Rochor/Victoria/Kallang/ Serangoon areas. What about the area after the Singapore
River & Havelock /Tiong Bahru areas, which were the peak, concentrated activities area.
Another interesting thing to consider, what about the ITD(Terror camp)/Sembawang Naval Base and the military and service staff staying around the area.
They don't need electricity? Or Some might joke that they used the naval ship power or kerosene lamp or charcoal/
wood for power.

(Cont'd on next post)

Anonymous said...

(Cont'd from previous post)
Let's refer to Tim Light's photo & a few very interesting photo's on Laukokok's(Times of my life) Blog.

Let's reference it as
PhotoA - aerial photo view
PhotoB - from inside the car
PhotoC - riot police (Note :Dated 1964)
PhotoD - Tim Light's photo

To Joseph,
Unlikely on Lavender Street, even if you consider the following plausible reasons,that the Bus was
a) On its way for servicing,
b) There was a road diversion,
c) The poor driver lost it's way,
d) The bus was on chartered service,
e) The driver use another bus as replacement service & forgotten to change the service number plate,
f) etc
-The distant background would most likely be showing
part of Crawford Bridge.
- If you refer to some aerial photo blog by Laukokok(Times of my life)
then the black vertical chimney should not be seen on the left
side of the tank but more towards the centre.

Now For general discussion.
1) If you look at Tim Light's Photo, you will noticed that the black vertical chimney can be seen even on the side of
the tank. If you look at the other 3 photos, using angle projection and line of perspective. It is unlikely to see it
protruding out from the side.

2) If you use the aerial photo and project it based on the base-rim of the tank and the outer base-corner of the
chimney, it has to be from a very, very far distance.
How far is this?. If you "click-on" Tim Light's Photo, if this is the actual size ratio without any picture skewing, it don't seem to be very , very far away.
The background don't look very distant.

3) If you check on the photo, view from inside the car, which if base on angle/line of sight, i.e. it is nearer to the roadside of the tank, you still don't see the protrusion on the side of the tank ,the angle is nearer to the tangent line of the rim of the tank & the outer corner of the chimney, but take note it was taken at a nearer distance to the Tank.

4) If assuming that the background row of houses is that on Lavender Street towards Victoria Street, then shouldn't there be a tapering down in height ratio of the building from the angle of the man's head towards the tank structure, base on line of perspective. This can be seen on the photo's view from inside the car.

(Cont'd on third post)

Anonymous said...

(Cont'd from second post)

5) If we assumed that, that is a billboard on the roof seen on the photo of the riot police, and not smudge or part of the photo digital signature(But why the very bright/white wavy streak on the billboard base), then in Tim Light's photo, base on line of sight & proportion ratio, it should not be so tall and so wide. The height is unlikely to be so high until the second level gangway, & if you remembered, it was supposed to be taken from very far away.

6) If you look at Tim Light's photo and count the number of roof ridge, there is more than eight.
-In the view from inside the car photo, it is hard to determine, bearing in mind that on the photo there was a lot of overhead trolley-bus cables parallex towards the background rooftop.
- In the riot police photo, a few things to take note:
a)it is nearer to Lavender Street,
b)the photographer is not near to the side of the road/footway,
c)the view width of the angle with respect of the distance from the right row of shop-house to the Tank, i.e. the
road opening width of view.
Interestingly, how many houses, counting from the right side at the road-end shop-house till the billboard? Compare this
with Tim Light's photo.
- Even if we assumed that between 1964 until 1973, there was reconstruction on the rows of houses on Lavender Street, base on this photo and the nearer 'wider angle' view of perspective, it is unlikely to be more then three, base on the one average shop width.
- Even if you assume that prior to 1964 there was reconstruction, it is unlikely that previously before 1964 there was more than three within that angle width and not forgetting that it was assumed to be taken very far from Lavender Street based on discussion 'point 2'.

These are some of my views based on these few photos.
Unless we can know the exact number of Gasworks that was built or demolished, when and where, then we might have a better understanding and learn/improve on our analysis.
I don't think I would like to go search articles/notices/photos/pictures on road diversion, tender for construction/demolition of Gasworks plant, news photo that might show Gasworks Tank close by or in the distant background, of any article be it story photos or any
incident /event reporting photos, news-report route-map, etc.
Just joking, unless those thinking of a career in intelligence gathering, perhaps they can go practise spotting photos details and any obscure revelations.

(PS: Anyone with a good memory of Ophir Road from Jln Besar Rd/Sim Lim Square (Not Tower) to Victoria Street, on the left side of the road before 1990).

Edwin said...

You had asked the question "Is There Anyone Who Can Determine If There Is Any Representation Of The Service Number Plate On The Bus, I.E. If The 'Rafles Quay' Below Number '20' Refers 'To' The Destination Or 'From' That Destination" and I was giving the response.
I had travelled on Service no 20 for many years since the 60's from my home in Katong to my school on Bras Basah Rd and was not aware that this bus service had used other routes.
My recognition of the Kallang Rd is from the row of old shop houses and I don't recall seeing these shop houses in the viccinity of the Tanglin Halt gaswork, which I am familiar too.
Perhaps Chun See would like to share the answer from his source of the photo.

peter tan said...

1. There never was a gasworks @the site of the Concorde Hotel (it was the Havelock Road Police Station).

2. There was a gasworks @Maxwell Road next to the present hawker center which was pre-war built. I got the aerial photo.