Monday, January 21, 2008

Where was the location of Changi Grammar School?

I am a bit confused by the discussion between Peter and Tony in the earlier post about the Changi Grammar School. Was it at Loyang Avenue or was it at Upper Changi Road? As it is quite difficult to follow the discussion without photos and maps, I have added these below. Now please continue the discussion so that readers will not be confused.

1) The Location mentioned by Brian Mitchell which is along Loyang Avenue near to Changi Village, near to the Maranatha BP Church.

Below is a map of the location.

Map of Changi Village vicinity 2007

This is the (new) Changi Air Base. On the right is Loyang Avenue. High security area and no photos are allowed. The buildings look like old British Buildings.

2) The Location mentioned by Peter. This is along Upper Changi Road near to the Changi Chapel and Museum

Below is a map of the Upper Changi Road in the vicinity of Cosford Road and Abingdon Road where the CPG Airport Development Division is presently located.

Map of Upper Changi Road

Below are some photos that I took last year of the CPG Airport Development Division complex, also site of the former Changi Grammar School (or so I thought)

Now occupied by CPG Consultants - Airport Development Project

Now occupied by CPG Consultants - Airport Development Project

Now occupied by CPG Consultants - Airport Developm


Anonymous said...

Hello again! I think with the help of Peter's comment in the previous post we can clarify this.

I initially queried Brian's description because his recollections didn't match mine at all, but it appears that Changi Grammar had two locations (although not at the same time).

The first location was as described by Brian - this was when he attended in 1960.

However, in the mid 1960s some new buildings were built just off Upper Changi Road which became the new base for the school and the first base was discontinued.

It is this second location which I attended in 1967. Therefore your photos of the CPG development are indeed correct - this was the site of Changi Grammar from the mid 60s onwards and was definitely the school I attended.

Re-reading Brian's article I'm pretty sure that the site of his early version of the Grammar School was adjacent to the Junior School which I attended between 1965-1967, but I'll have to check. The junior school buildings were only fairly recently demolished I believe.

Anonymous said...

The confusion arose because Loyang Avenue never existed in those days plus it is a continuation of Upper Changi Road. This landscape can play tricks on the eye.

Loyang Avenue was carved out of some roads from the former Temple Hill. Then it took some piece of space from the former football pitch/9 hole golf course to form a dual carriageway. Towards the cross road where Changi Village is, it becoms a part of the old Farnborough Road (you can refer to old Singapore street directories).

Tom said...

Peter I think you are wright about Loyang Avenue it was never there in year 1961, I remember at the back of the officers mess in Selarang Camp, there use to be adirt track it went down in to a valley if I remember there was a Banana Plantation there, but at the other side of the valley were alot of trees

JollyGreenP said...

you are correct the original Grammar was next to the Primary School which has now been demolished although the former Grammar School still looks out over what was the Primary School playground where the gharries used to drop us off and pick us up. This can be seen in my photograph used by Brian in his article.

Anonymous said...

Thanks jollygreenp, it's all becoming clear!

Now that I think of it I remember those buildings of the former grammar school - when I was in my final year at the junior school (1966/7) we used to have some of our lessons in them, in particular science as there was a science lab there.

Also, sometimes we had film shows in that block too and I distinctly recall watching both 'King Rat' and 'The Dambusters' there.

Interesting idea to watch a film about Japanese POWs in Changi Prison, whilst at the same time being less than a mile from that very prison which we'd see every day en route to school!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to have returned late to this discussion. You are correct that in my time up until mid 1962 the Grammar School was within the then RAF Changi camp and next to the other schools. During 1962 it became known that the school would move to the new site on the Upper Changi Road. In actual fact the building half existed and I well recall when we heard the news of the move going with a few friends to see the new site. We understood that the building was originally intended to be a hospital but plans changed and it had stood half built for a while. I think it was then completed as the new school and no doubt others can confirm when the new school was occupied - not too long after I left I think. This move clearly reflected the rather sub standard accommodation offered by the attap huts and barrack blocks which I enjoyed - but we also understood that once the move was made into the new building that school would last the normal full day Monday to Friday - not something we would have been keen on. We enjoyed our afternoons off!

Anonymous said...

Of course the other interesting point raised in comments above is that the original site of the Grammar School is now near Loyang Avenue - which when I visit you all next year will be my main route into Changi but as pointed out was not there in 1960. The main route was directly up the Upper Changi Road, across the dispersal area (lights controlled traffic when aircraft taxied) and on into the village on what is now Village Road. So a trip into Changi Village was a good opportunity to see the then airfield up very close. Now of course there are two runways, both longer than in those days and there has been a lot of land reclamation so that the very shape of the island has changed since my day. Indeed the house that my friend once lived in and the beach where we used to torment crabs with fire crackers must be under than new second runway somewhere!

Anonymous said...

Next time u come to Singapore make sure you come through Terminal 3.

The aerobridges will be the exact spot for Nicoll Drive which was the coastal road from Tanah Merah Besar to Changi Village and Teluk Paku Road.

If u stand on level 4 of the waving gallery, there is a restaurant on the extreme left. Look ahead (through the glass panel) u will find what ever has remained of Tanah Merah Besar Road.

The intesection of the Tanah Merah Road towards you and the aerobridges will be the former sand quarry and the Tanah Merah Park.

Anonymous said...

The original Loyang Avenue was some parts of the old Cranewell Road up to the Changi Grammar School.

Cranwell Road was not the route through the air base.

The old route through the air base separated the Western Detachment area from the air-strip (now home to RSAF KC refueling aircrafts).

Anonymous said...

The Memories of Singapore site does have an old map of RAF Changi (under the photo pages for Changi if I recall) and that will show people which roads were which back in the 1960s.

And Peter's advice on arriving at Terminal 3 I will try to take but it depends on the airline I think where I arrive. I had an email from a former resident of Tanah Merah Basah Road who lived virtually opposite Changi Prison in the early 1960s on that road and recalled in ending in a kampong and the beach.

Sandz said...


When I left Changi the second time in Jan 1962 , the Infants/ Primary / Secondary / Grammer schools were all at the same place.
We used to ditch walk right below the Grammer school , which was our playground..

Now if only I could work out where we lived , any

Spanish style houses with concrete balconies one my side , bungalows opposite..all down hill & came out at the villiage & market on changi rd , I walked to school along path ajacient to a jungle on my left , across the playing field , to the junior school....helpppp

The Bakerwoman said...

Hi Mr Lam, I enjoyed reading yr blog. I grew up in Changi and would like to know what was Changi Village before Blk 1 was constructed.

I am keen to know more about Changi Village in its 60's, especially on the location of the present Blk 1 shop unit.

Did a fire break out in the 60's within the block 1 vacinity?

Thanks much!

peter said...

The Bakerwoman:

1. Block 1 (next to Teluk Paku Road) was a row of zinc roof shops. There was a George Photo Studio (given up business last year and now a hot spot as a Pinay pub)

2. Lorong Berkukong area - Changi Police Station, SHELL petrol station and a row of one-storey buildings; including a kopi tiam

3. Block 5 nearer to hotel was Changi Bus Company terminus

The Bakerwoman said...

Hi Peter,
thanks for the reply....

I know George you know what was the present George father's name? Was it also called George Photo in the 60's?

Do you know if there was a Candy shop in that area? in the 60's.

By any chance, u saw an old man (petite), with moustached, with one side glasses in that area?

I really need your help in this....

Thanks very much again!

The Bakerwoman said...


do you know when this present Blk 1 flats were constructed? 60's or 70's?

Thanks again!

peter said...


I know there were many bars, a bakery, tailor shops and handicraft shops. Candy shop - I did not see or hear. Block 1-5 were built in the late 1970s. Maybe u drop me an email on that man you were looking for. George was the founder and the old man; shop took after his name. The son took over the business until he told me he retired last year.

peter said...

Was your house close to tee box #2 of the Cahngi Golf Club? If Yes then you were probably living in Biggin Hill Road and/or Upavon Road. You had to cross Farnborough Road to get to the grammer school which was next to a chapel.

Anonymous said...


I think George referred to the Changi War Photographer George Aspinall. This caucasian was a good friend? of the founder of George Photo who is Chinese?

I may have remembered wrongly. But I'm quite sure George Photo is related to the Changi War Photographer. The owners of George Photo today .. are they Chinese, Caucasian or Eurasian?

The Bakerwoman said...

Hi Peter,
I need to find out more about this site especially the present Blk 1 area, George Photo......

pls let me know how to reach you via email? my email is

I really need to know the incidents of the 60's in this site.....

Thanks much!

Anonymous said...

By George, there are just too many georges in the story!

Take a look -,4139,123301,00.html

The last owner was George Chang. His father's name is not mentioned. But George Aspinall's relationship with his father is highlighted.

So was the shop named after the father (George Senior?), the son (George Junior) or George Aspinall?

The Bakerwoman said...

Hi 2ndshot, I know George Chang personally....but he had left the premises...

I would like to know his father's actual name.....was it also George Chang Snr? Who named the shop George Photo? Was it George Snr or the present George Jnr?

Somthing happened to me whilst I was there....

I am keen to know if previously George Photo owns 2 units (the unit next to his shop). Can anyone tell me also the unit next to George Photo....can u guys remember who was the occupant of the next unit whilst George Photo was there.....the first batch.

Thanks very much!

The Bakerwoman said...

Anybody find this description of this man familiar in Blk 1 Changi Village : funny little man.. last earth body was bushy eye brows, mustache, funny head of in the movies with the seeing eye glass over one eye. loved his stamps.

Plse let me know if you had seen this description of this man.....also if a fire had broke out in the 60's....most important was the unit next to George Photo as well....the first occupant in that area.....

Thanks much!

Anonymous said...

Here's my short research on Bakerwoman's many questions. Take a look if interested -

The Bakerwoman said...

Thank you very much to 2ndshot & Peter for all your kind glad to know that a fire did actually break out in this area...there were too many trapped spirits in this location....

Greatly appreciated!

peter said...

Fire took place on March 2, 1970 from a contact.

The Bakerwoman said...

Hi, I went to the National Library today for my research.....confirmed there was a fire in Changi Village in 1970.

No lives were lost!

The Bakerwoman said...

Peter - we must meet one day for teh halia, goreng pisang in Changi Village....or ayam penyet!

ceri west said...

I was born in K.l and also lived in changi in 1968. My father was serving in the British Army and I went to school and lived in Selerang park. I remember so much about my times there. I used to always go to the offecers club on Changi beach, the amaising night market in Changi village, hang out watching the planes landing and crossing the road which only had like a level crossing barrier to stop the traffic. & who could forget the fabulous food. Now nearly 35 years later I am returning to learn how to cook authentic hawker food which I will introduce to Mallorca (Spain) through my new satay & roti bar which I will open shortly. Cannot wait to come back and visit the old stomping ground.

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