RAF Seletar residents reunion

This weekend, a group of some 40 former residents from the 1950s and 60s are visiting Singapore, and will head to Johor for a reunion gathering. These dinners used to happen at Hyde Park Gate, but with no residents left along the street, the venue had to be moved.

Sad that the customary walk around the Camp is no longer possible. This may in fact be the last major trip by former RAF residents.

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84 thoughts on “RAF Seletar residents reunion”

  1. does anyone know if 1 Lancaster gate and 4 The oval are still standing? If 1 Lancaster Gate is still occupied,can anyone name the occpant as I would like to make contact before November 2009

  2. Hi. I’m staying at 8 Mornington Crescent now. I supposed if you’ve not had any replies yet, that me and the husband could go and have a look for you this week.

    1. Hi Lisa.
      I was in Singapore with my Dad ( ch/tech Frank Tobin) and we lived in Mornington Cresent. we then moved to the Other end of the Married quarters I do believe it was number 10 (not too sure though) that was in 1962.
      Cheers Dave Tobin.
      email tobin-david@sky.com

      1. Just before we moved onto Seletar we were in a hiring in Jalan Kayu just outside the gates passed the market….it was on the way to the fishing lakes if you can remember them…..

  3. Nisa M
    The initial re-union was during March 09 so I am a bit confused that you are at No.8 on 15/10

    I shall be in Singapore from 14/22 November so will attempt to look around Seletar camp.Not very optimistic as my friends there say that the camp as we knew it is no more

  4. Hi Ken. Well some of the houses are still here .. the ones that are earmarked for residential purposes are being slowly renovated and rented out through a bidding system. We’ve just moved into No. 8 in August 09, our neighbour at No. 9 is renovating and in the midst of shifting in and No. 6 has just been rented out too. I understand from our neighbour at No. 7 that the family at No. 5 has been here for 5 years.

    I took a walk around the camp today and it would seem that Lancaster Gate and The Oval no longer exists. A lot of the area is sealed off and the homes there either demolished or left to ruins.

    1. Hi Nisa M
      We were on the camp last week and did take a photo of number 8 which looks in remarkably good condition. Alas, not much of the camp as we knew it remains – how sad.
      Had a meal at one of the eating places on East Camp near to the hangars but that is about all.
      From where we could get,it appears that the old SHQ building still exists and maybe the SAF will retain it for some reason.
      Am planning a return 2010 when no doubt the camp will have changed beyond any recognition

      Regards

      Ken Benge

  5. I was 15 when Mum and Dad moved into No. 5 Hyde Park Gate in 1950. I will be in Singapore in May 2010. Any point in trying to walk down memory lane ?
    Can anybody help ?

    1. John
      Sadly Hyde park gate houses are no more.
      We sstayed in Singapore last few weeks and did manage to drive around what can be seen of Seletar. Most of the colonial style buildings have gone although there are some still in Mornington Crescent.
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news

      Ken

      1. Ken

        Thanks for your comments of last year. Being an older chap might explain my tardiness in responding sooner !

        My wife and I were in Singapore last month and I was shattered to see how run down everything appeared. We could not gain access to HPG and the road into the man gate from Jalan Kayu is now a bridge over a 4 lane dual carriageway !

        To drive between West Camp and East Camp now means negotiating temporary roads across a large civil engineering site !

        Thanks again for your interest, and it was still worth the visit.
        John

    2. Hello John Madelly, I lived in No.6 Hyde Park Gate with my parents 1953-55 , aged 7 – 9. Great memories of those days. Am now a member of the RAF Seletar Association and have been back twice with them 2007 and 2009. In 2007 we could drive along HPG, visited my old house and had a party with the residents at No.10 (Oliver and Sue Amy). Lush vegitation but no more rubber trees! In 2009 access to HPG was closed as part of the new aerospace park development.
      Regards, Chris

      1. Hello Chris

        Thanks also for your kind input. As you will probably read my comments to Ken, we did at least manage a couple of visits to the Singapore Cricket Club which has a special place in my heart.

        Wouldn’t have missed it for quids !

        John

    3. John
      I also lived at No5 Hyde Park Gate from 1960-62 (aged 6-8) with my family. My father was a teacher at the RAF Junior school just up Oxford St by the golf course.
      I visited HPG in late December 2007 and although all the houses were still there – No 5 was not. It had apparently succumed to termites a few years earlier! There was however a new No 5A , a 2 story house, built nextdoor but not where our N0 5 used to stand I believe. I have some pictures if you are interested.

      Regards, Andy

      1. Hi Andy
        we must have been in the same place at the same time My family was there in 1961/62 living at number 10….isnt it sad that all the all places are disapearing…….so called progress.

  6. For Nisa M
    Thanks for the invite to call at No,8 but I didn’t pick it up until after I had left Singapore.
    Unaware that you were still at Mornington crescent, I did take a photo of it,which you are welcome to have in needs be.
    My visit to the camp was quite emotional. Seeing the state is was in with so many happy memories being buried under the building work
    was sad.
    I did get taken for a meal at the West camp restaurant behind the hangars and that was the only pleasure I got at the camp.
    If I am able to visit Singapore later this year,I will attempt to get on to the camp and see how it is developing.

  7. I used to live at No 6 The Oval RAF Seletar from 1964 – 1967. My late Father Sqn/Ldr C.J.’Bush’ Barrey was attached to 224 Group. I last visited seletar and No 6 The Oval in June 2006 on my way back from Adelaide, where I had just attended my fathers funeral. It was really strange going back there, as the then current occupants stated that they had been having strange appearances and presences of a male wearing a bush hat and a dog at his side. I thought hat this could not have been my Father but probably our gardener, his name was ‘Kaboon’ and our dog. we used to have an ‘Armor’ called ‘Gek’. Does anyone remember our family. We were , my father Clement John Barrey, my Mother, Maureen Barrey, my brother Simon and my sisters Jayne & Barbara. I have great memories of Seletar and especially the market at Jalanku, Tigerbalm Gardens, and the lovely chilli crab at Changi Pool. Regards, John Barrey.

    1. Dear John Barry, My name is Carol Lewis and I used to live at No 6 The Oval from around 1950 -1953. My late father Leslie Joseph Lewis, my late mother Ruby Lewis, myself and sisters Jacqueline and Patricia all lived and loved it there. My father, Flight Lieutenant L.J. Lewis a navigator on the lovely old Sunderlands was in the Korean War. My son at the moment in Singapore on a world tour sent me to-day photos of 6 The Oval. It has not changed. My bedroom was the first on the left as you go down the passage. My dad played cricket at the club and I used to walk to school. That was my first visit to Seleter, the next one in 1956 where we stayed this time in Brighton Crescent off the Serangoon Road. I went to Changi Grammar on the old gharries. Those were really wonderful and memorable times. Regards Carol Lewis

      1. Well thankyou for that. I too had fond memories of living there. Sadly those times are gone but never forgotten. Sorry for the very late reply to your message. I am recovering from Lip cancer treatment and still suffering the side effects of extensive radiotherapy. My email is barrey55@gmail.com. Yours Sincerely, John Barrey.

      2. Hi Carol,
        I think we lived in Brighton Crescent around 1956/57 Dad and Mum and my sister Val. Only just caught up with this site and been trying to remember the street’s name – your post has reminded me, thanks.
        Wonderful times,
        Andrew Bailey

      1. hI, sORRY FOR THE LATE RESPONSE. AS PREVIOUSLY INFORMED SADLY DAD PASSED AWAY IN AUS JUNE 2006. MUM( MAUREEN) IS STILL WITH US AND LIVING ABOUT 1/2 MILE FROM ME. PLSE EMAIL ME OR CALL 07791803886 TO CATCH UP. THNX JOHN BARREY

  8. I am really sorry to hear that The Oval has been obliterated — although I am also surprised to learn that it survived that long! We lived at No. 1 The Oval between March 1968 and June 1970: my (late) father was the CSFC chaplain at St Andrews church. I still have many fond and vivid memories of my time at Seletar. What a fantastic experience it was!

  9. Hi

    my name is Cheryl Norton , daughter of the late Sqn leader Dennis Norton (Chippy) . I arrived in Singapore . December 1967 . lived at Serangoon Garden until we got a quarter at Seletar . We lived at 11 Hyde Park Gate they later moved to The Oval . My mothers name Irene (Renee) . I got married at St Mary’s Church in November 1968 to Terry Creed who was a pilot on 66 squadron . We then moved to 17 Toh Avenue . Terry moved to 103 squandron search and rescue . We had our daughter Samantha at Changi Hospital and left Singapore in March 1971 . I too have the happiest memories of Singapore and Still dream of it .

    1. Hi,

      My name is Julia Brown nee Hutton. I do remember you, I lived at Seletar from 1966 until 1969. My father was Tom Hutton, Group Captain, he was Station Commander and we lived at No. 1 Park Lane. I worked as a typist in the Marine Craft Unit and got married in 1969 to Chris Feek a flying officer in the RAF Regiment. Did enjoy Singapore.

  10. We lived at 13 Oxford Street, F/Sgt. C.J.Bryan, Irene Bryan, and children (Beverley, Karen & Shona) from 1961-1963. We have never been back until this week, when my Dad, sister Beverley and I went to Seletar camp to see if the house was still there. Amazingly enough it was, although the Golf Club and school have been demolished. The house has been renovated, with the upstairs verandah enclosed, and an extension out the back from the original kitchen building.
    We also lived on Seletar Hills estate for a short time, so still have that trip to make. Didn’t manage it all in one day!

  11. Went today to Seletar Hills Estate, and found our old house at 22 Jalan Keruing. It is being renovated, big lorry outside, and builders on site, with an upstairs extension, so unfortunately unable to see the ‘original’ house. However, it was lovely to go back and see it, especially for my father who is 81 years old! I think it brought back many memories.

  12. Hello John Barrey,
    For the last few years I have been researching 66 Squadron RAF, and had the privildge and pleasure of meeting with your father on a couple of occasions in Adelaide shortly before he died. I took a couple of photos, and have a couple of letters concerning your father. I hope you get this message and contact me.
    regards Pete

    1. Hi Peter

      Please can I have your current email address, I have been trying to contact you regarding my father, Tim Hamer, ex 66 squadron.

  13. Dear Pete, Thankyou for those kind words about Dad. It would be nice to see the letters and there are lots of entries and photos of Dad when stationed at RAF Yever.
    My home address is 35, Llwyn Y Groes, Bridgend, Mid Glam, CF31 5AJ.

    Best Wishes, John Barrey.

    1. Hallo Pete, Hoping that you get this message and that you are able to send me the letters. Thanks john Barrey.

  14. Dear Pete, Thankyou for those kind words about Dad. It would be nice to see the letters and there are lots of entries and photos of Dad when stationed at RAF Yever.
    My home address is 35, Llwyn Y Groes, Bridgend, Mid Glam, CF31 5AJ.

    Best Wishes, John Barrey.

    1. Hello John

      I have just found this site again by accident! I will dig out the letters and send you copies. This may have to wait untill after Christmas now. My email is; peteremu@optusnet.com.au, If I find them soon I will email them to you, in the mean time best seasons greeting to you and your family.

      best wishes Pete

  15. Well, well, well a trip down memory lane!!

    I lived in Poulden Court in Jalan Kayu Village just outside of the Seletar gate.

    I went to the Primary School on the base and in 1999ish took a trip to Singapore and managed to be allowed in to the base and drive up to the school and look around. The window was open and I found my old desk from Grade 2 or 3.

    Does anyone remember Poulden Court (its gone now)? The Amahs market in Jalan Kayu? Mah Jong?

    Please drop me a line at cliff@tooserious.com

    my best to you all,

    Clifford Saunders

    1. I lived in Poulden Court 67 to 71 my father was a Civvy with the signals. I was 3-7 whilst there remember living right at the bottom in the right hand bottom flat. Few memories but good ones

      1. Hello little brother! Remember our neighbours and still see Sue quinn, we moved to Poulden Court in 69, before that we lived in Braddell Heights and Woodsville Court. we moved to Poulden court just before Dad accepted an extension to his oversee tour in Singapore, This was due to the run down of the services in singapore. Remember Dad was not a forces signaller as you say but GCHQ spook i think his station was referred to as CK2!

      2. Dave, it was known as CK2, I was an operator there 1961-63 with Australian army. We lived on RAF Seletar then moved to Amoy Quee. catch me up if you wish

      3. Hi we lived at 27 Poulden Court from 1965 and my dad was a civvy with the signals too.His name was John Busby and I am jasmine.I went to the primary school for one year and Mr Edwards was the teacher before moving on to the grammar school at Changi.

      4. Hi Jasmine Philip is my little brother! Our flat number was 19 in the bottom block! You must have been in the block next on the way up? Don’t remember you so can assume you were before our time! The employing unit for civvies was GCHQ. I also recall Herbie Edwards with a degree of affection with his Tuesday afternoon stamp club!

  16. FROM PETE BLANCHARD(AT SELETAR 1968-1971)I REMEMBER KEN BENGE,WORKED FOR HIM IN ESF.I OFTEN THINK OF THE WONDERFUL TIME WE HAD AT SELETER,DOED ANYONE REMEMBER DORIS’S FISH & CHIP SHOP OUTSIDE THE MAIN GATE IN JALAN KAYU.WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM ANYONE WHO REMEMBERS ME (TEL;01449 676526)

    1. Hi Pete, i remember Dori’s fish & chips too…loved going there. Lived in the airbase 1978-87’…7yrs old till 16yrs.

    2. Hi my name’s Katrina Edwards and have just been to Seletar for the first time since we left in 1971. Went to Jalan Kaiyu to see if Doris’s Chip Shop was still there but unfortunately no. The camp is undergoing major transformation and work. It’s a sectioned off in parts redy for demolishing and is a bit derelict but I was glad I went back. My dad taught at the junior school his name is Herbie Edwards. We lived next to the golf course,near the officers mess at Hyde Park Gate on the corner. Other distinct memories are, ice cream sodas at the yacht club,swimming races at the pool, jumping in the monsoon drains in the middle of the golf course,James Bond and Sound of Music at some cinema? Eating Muktabak at cold storage, didn’t like the cane juice except the colour, days at Pulau Ubin jumping off the rock, fancy dress parties for the birthdays,Brazil nuts that used to fall from our tree in the garden I think in September, the kind Amahs who took care of us Sahura, Rouka and Shareef the gardener who used to cut us sugarcane sticks for us to chew on after school. I’m sure there’s loads more I can think of with my brothers and sister( Ifan,Ioan,Anna) and my mum Jean. I also remember Tiger Balm gardens and the horrible torture scenes which I remember vividly and is still there as we visited it with my family last week along with the rest that we could find. I know my dad took lots of photos in the late 60’s. Will talk to my siblings and forward more souvenirs of a great time in a lovely place flull of fond childhoods memories.Katrina

      1. Hi Katrina I remember your Dad at the junior school! He held the once weekly stamp club! BTW i remember Doris’s! 20 cents worth of chips in a little paper box LOL. Message for my little brother Phil Smith I have some old arial photographs showing Poulden Court which quite clearly show our flat! If you can stop being an ass i’ll send you copies!

      2. Hey Dave,

        I’ll trade you “old arial photographs showing Poulden Court”, (we lived in #21), for pictures of Sunderlands taking off at Seletar Yacht Club.

        Hey Katrina,

        I have pictures of the Pula Ubin rock. Want to see?

        Tiger Balm should have come with a warning, I had nightmares for weeks.

        Send me an email I’m cliff@cliffordsaunders.com and I’ll send you pics.

        Cliff

      3. Hi, I remember your dad too.He must have had a big impact on mee because I ended up as the headteacher of a primary school.

  17. Well fancy seing your name after all these years ! Those were the good old days and have left an indelible mark in our memories. Last vtime I saw you ewas at RAF Hereford when you lived in a MQ near to the NAAFI shop.Have been back to Singapore twice,2007 and 2009 . In 2007 I met up with a local business man who had a motorcycle shop (New Union) in Jalan Kayu and hade been an invited guest at his wedding in 1969. Almost 40 years and was quite a nostalgic meeting..In 2009 we stopped at his daughters house -next door to his – at Lorong Tanggam at the back of JK .
    Will try to phone you.
    Ken Benge

  18. Clifford
    We lived in Poulden Court from November 1952 to January 1956. Initially we lived on the ground floor (No2 ) in the block just past the amah’s block and then moved to No5 in the same block. At that time the gardiner’s name was DAS and the duty driver was Chico. Like you my brother Brian and I attended Primary school in RAF Seletar and after the 11+ (Murray House exam) we transferred to the secondary school on the camp nicknamed the Basher – my father said that this was a corruption of Basha.
    Reg Clarke

    1. Nice to meet you Reg.

      We lived in 21 Poulden Court, 1956-59.

      I am going to put a bunch of pictures from those days on DropBox. Send me an email at cliff@cliffordsaunders.com and I’ll send you a link.

      Do you remember playing on the decommissioned Sunderlands on the way to the swimming pool and dropping stones on the sea snakes at the bottom of the bridge?

      Is it really the Third Millennium already? “Time goes fast when you’re in a coma.”

      Cliff

      1. Hello Cliff I have just found this web site and now trying to catch up.
        I remeber the bridge on the way to the swimming pool that is acually where I learned to swim….. we had great days there a really unforgettable time and lifestyle……oooohh bring back the old days..

  19. Thanks to all who remember Seleta. my father served there in the sixties. always remember the monkies we use feed when crossing the mangrove swamp on the way to the officers swimming pool. water sking across to Jah haw baru. Fishing off the jetty at the Yaught Club with my brother john.caught my first Sea snake, thought it was a stick until hit hissed.saved pocket money for the beaut beef satay sticks at changi pool.swimming out to the pontoon at the Yaught club. need i gone , such fantastic days as a young lad.

  20. My dad was in Squadron 66 in the Suez Crisis. He remembers all the great times he had when working from Singapore Lines. If anyone has served during this time, I’d love to get in touch and send messages onto my dad. He is from Scotland.

    1. Hi Gloria

      Would I would very much like to hear about your dads time with 66sqn, I have put together quite a comprehensive history over the last few years.

      regards Pete

    2. Hi Gloria
      My dad was with 224 Sqn at Seletar and worked on most of the other Sqn aircraft he worked on S55 helecopters, Sunderland flying boats Sycamor Helecopters and many others We were there for Two tours of duty from 1961 to 1967….. I am now trying to locate a girl I met there whenI was only 11 Her name was Wendy Key………. any knowledge ??

  21. Hi Pete, I’ll talk to my dad at the weekend and post you some memories he has. I am unsure where he was stationed as he was in a mobile unit and worked around the airports.

  22. I lived in a bungalow in Jalan Kayu as a schoolgirl in 1956 before moving to Birdcage walk with my parents and brothers. Left Singapore 1958 after marrying an airforce corporal and returned there in 1977 for a 3 year tour with him and our children. We rented a bungalow fro Chee Kow grocer in Jalan Jitong, Seletar Hills. LOVE Singapore and would love to visit again —-is it possible to hire a wheelchair when there does anyone know? r

    roberta.kerslake@hotmail.co.uk

  23. Hi my Name is Mike Rowlands, was in Singapore from 1959/62.First at the pasaris hotel then serangoon, Jalan kayu then onto seletar camp at
    Hampstead Gardens.Went Seletar Secondary mod,some really good times, anybody remembers me perhaps reply.

    1. Hello Mike.
      We were at Seletar at the same time I was wondering if you ever came across a girl named Wedny Key or any of her family. would just like to catch up.
      Cheers Dave T

      Tobin-david @sky.com

  24. Hi -Lived at Poulden Court twice. Remember 63-64 the most. Went to the secondary school in Seletar. Lover to see picture. Bill

  25. Hi there , I lived in Seletar from mid 1973 – December 1974 , on Regent St , father was NZ Army. Went to school at Changi then Woodlands , I have a picture from Doris’s fish and chip shop .
    Colin

  26. Hello, This is my name is Jacqueline Eaglestone. I still good memories that I was a little girl to live in Selangoon, Singapore since 60’s for 2 years and 4 months, My Father Is name called Thomas David Castle Eaglestone was working at RAF engineering at Seletar for few years. I really love live in Singapore and beautiful, I been went at Zion Kindergarten for while, also I am deaf. Then back to England that I don’t want back to UK because too cold terrible weather, make me depressed too. I still miss my dad very much because he died since 1969 by accident. I still good memory of my dad was lovely smile man in my heart. I am interesting to looking this website of RAF Seletar. Now I live in Brisbane and went to stopover in Singapore for 3 nights last January. When I want go to back looking around to RAF Seletar in the future.

    Kinds Regard jacqui

  27. I was in Singapore 1963-1966 first in Crowhurst Drive Serangoon and then 29 Poulden Court Jalan Kayu. Went to RAF Seletar Junior School. My dad took loads of photos which I have put on Picasa web. Happy memories of my 3 years there. Remember getting the Gharry to school or else cycling. Remember the fish and chip shops in Jalan Kayu, the amah’s market on a Friday night, the Chinese theatre. Going to the pool on camp and the Saturday cinema. Went back in 2004 and so sad to see most things gone. Maybe going back this year 2014. Rosemary Allen

    1. Nice to see your shots from Seletar and Jalan Kayu , brings back great memories. I was at Seletar from mid 1973 – Decemeber 1974 , my father was NZ Army based at Nee Soon. I went to school first at Changi , then at Woodlands. The best years of my life.

    2. Lovely to see your pictures Rosemary. Brought back a lot of memories. I have posted them on my facebook page for information of my family. I was there 1960 1963. Went to school at Seletar and lived at 9 Hyde Park Gate. Sad to look on Google earth and see that it has all gone, apart from the memories.

  28. Hi, I have just stumbled across this site. My sister, brother and I lived at 1 Hyde Park Gate, Seletar between 1963-66. Our late father was Squadron Leader ‘Freddie’ Cramp (224 squadron). We have such wonderful memories of our time out there, armahs market, fishing, riding our bikes round the camp, going to the cinema which meant having to ride across the runway first checking to see if any Beverley aircraft were approaching! Lovely happy memories…. We would be interested to hear from anyone who may remember us- Richard, Angela and Susan Cramp.

    1. Hi Angela, I lived at No 9 Hyde Park Gate 1963/66 but sorry to say your name doesn’t ring any bells. Might work the other way around though?. Michael and George Hugill. George went to Changi Grammar and I went to Seletar Secondary. My father was Flt Lt John Hugill and mother Fernanda. Did you find that moving around so much you you can’t point to someone and say ‘I went to school with them’. The blight of forces children?

  29. Hi Michael, following on from my sister Angela’s comments it’s ironic that your brother went to the same school as my brother and I, you went to the same school as my sister, we lived a few doors away from each other for a couple of years and yet we cannot remember each other!! Do you think that’s old age?! I agree with your last comment about moving schools a lot. Susan Eckert (nee Cramp)

  30. My name is Julia brown nee Hutton my father was co 1966 1969, and we lived in no 1 Park lane, I have any happy memories

  31. Hi i was there from 1965 and went to Changi Grammar school in 66.my name is Jasmine (Busby). Does any one remember me?

    1. Hi Jasmine,
      I don’t remember you but you must have lived in the flat below us! We lived at 29 Poulden Court and left in July 1966. I remember the activities and club there. Also going to Doris fish and chips and amah’s market. I went to Seletar Primary School and my teachers were Mr Dunnage and Mr Lodge.

      1. Hi Rosie and Jasmine, My dad was a club member and we were regulars at the parties etc! We moved to 19 Poulden Court in 1969!

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