Glimpses of the past

It is hard to look up architectural archives without stumbling upon stories about life in and around the buildings. The video below came with an interesting snippet of how children spent their free time before the Intenet was pervasive.

At 11 years of age I lived at RAF Seletar, from ’56 – ’58. I used to play in the old Sunderlands that had been scrapped. I also loved to watch them launching down the slip. They were awesome – still are are evocative memory for me 50 years on.

And another note from a former resident:

I lived at 6 Hyde Park Gate as a young boy when my father was serving in the RAF at Seletar in 1953-1955. I went to the Seletar primary school which was located close to the junction of Hampstead Garden and Oxford Street. My sister was born at the Alexandra Hospital in Singapore and was Christened in the C of E church along Picadilly. All a long long time ago but a very memorable time in a wonderful location.

More recently, I was lucky enough to be among a group of ex RAF Seletar people who came to visit the camp earlier this year (end of March and early April). Of course a lot has changed over the years and much of it for the better. Singapore is a vibrant and successful community of hard working people so nothing stands still for long. What I saw of Seletar camp, including my old house and a delightful evening barbacue with Sue Amy and Oliver, was fascinating and quite emotional for me. The housing area has developed and matured beautifully over the years and is now a credit to the residents.

And a fascinating historical timeline of developments in Singapore, South East Asia, Asia and the World. The context is interesting.


3 thoughts on “Glimpses of the past

  1. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading some of the write ups about RAF Seletar and the clip about the Sunderland Flying Boats. I too was in Seletar when my father was stationed there from about 53 to 56. I also had a sister born in Singapore. Prior to moving onto the base we lived in the city for a time and I played with two brothers, who’s dad was in the RAF, but I do not remember their names. One of my great memories was watching the Sunderlands, exploring on my bike and swimming. I went to school on the base and if I remember correctly Mr. Scott was the headmaster. I have some old pictures, a Seletar swimming certificate and an autograph book I should dig up.
    How did I end up in Canada? Both my parents are gone now but my mother was what we called a “reverse war bride”, a Canadian who married a British serviceman. They met during the war when my dad was in Canada under the Commonwealth/Empire Air Training Program – and the rest is history including my arrival in this world. Anyway I basically grew up on RAF bases from Leuchars, Scotland to Singapore. All in all I think I was in about 14 different schools by the time I was 15 and came to Canada, then I finished high school in Canada, attended University in the U.S. and married an American. Cannot tell you how I yearn for roots sometimes so finding this stuff was very nice. Thank you!!
    Anyway this all brings me to a request. My wife and I are planning our first trip to Singapore since I left more than 50 years ago. I know that nothing remains the same but if anyone has any suggestions or contacts to make this return as meaningful and memorable as possible I would appreciate receiving them. Ken Taylor, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

  2. Ken
    I also was there from Nov 1952 to Jan 1956 and attended both primary schools – the junior school and, after the Murray House exam transferred to the “Basher” as we called the senior school. Mr Scott (initials RT) was the headmaster and in the 1954/55 academic year I was in the VI form (still have a couple of book prizes which gave these details). Our father was with GCHQ and we lived in Poulden Court – the compound just outside the camp fence.

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