Message from John

In 1957 as a boy of 9, I lived at 13 Lancaster Gate, Seletar. My Father was Fl/Sgt R.L. Terry. For years I have searched Google Map in an attempt to find Lancaster gate but it was only when finding your web site I found out what had happened to it.

I cannot begin to describe the pleasure this web site has given me. It has allowed me to take a trip back into the past to the days when Britain was great and represented in virtually every country of the world.

Before moving into quarters we were in a hiring at 33 Porchester Avenue, Serangoon garden estate. I have located that property on google but it has been substantially altered. For the worse I feel. Its now very untidy.

It was if it was only yesterday that I went to school where for the first time we not only had milk in one third pint bottles but we had chocolate and strawbery milk as well. Clearly Singapore had great things to offer. And who could ever forget the teacher Miss Tiby – daughter of Wing Commander Tiby, a lady who did little for my education but nonetheless has remained locked in my memory for over 60 years.

I´ve searched on Google for the pool at seletar but it seems to have gone. I remember splashing around in it when the monsoon was throwing it down.

Another thing I remember was a lime drink produced by Fraser and Neave. I have promised to go back one day and get another but despite my promise I suspect I have now reached the stage of fooling myself.

I myself joined the airforce and was stationed at Butterworth and did manage to visit Singapore once during a three year tour but did not manager to get back to Seletar.

My father travelled out to Singapore in a Hermes 4a registration G-ALDA. By coincidence, my mother and self travelled out three months later on the same aircraft and three months after that so did my sister. I have a photograph of that airplane, the journey on which not above 10,000 feet, I remember very well.

I have been all over the world, 56 countries in fact but I can say, hand on heart that nowhere has remained as vivid in my memory as has Seletar.

Seletar was, I suppose, the start of my life and whilst I am not volunteering for anything, I now feel I am approaching a departure point.

John T. Terry

3 thoughts on “Message from John

  1. Dear John
    I lived at 11 Hampstead Gardens RAF Seletar, 1964-1967 , between the ages of 8 and 10. I did my ASA swimming medals in the camp pool. There are a lot of pictures of it on google now. I remember the three choices of milk at school. The whole experience shaped my life and I wrote an unpublished book called Sun Dream and have never stopped traveling. I live in Taipei now, and it is so much like Old Singapore. I’m 61 now and feel very lucky to have one last look at such a place. What beautiful childhood experiences we had!

  2. I stumbled on this site when browsing Google on Seletar. I too lived on the camp ifrom 1964 – 1967 aged 9 to 12. We first lived at Birdcage Walk then moved to Brompton Road ( don’t remember the numbers), My father was F/Sgt ‘Tommy” Thompson
    I agree with the belief that it was a rare and precious experience and one I will treasure forever. My main memory apart from the milk is the primary school building (half corrugated sheeting walls, no windows and thatch roofing) also the market on Friday evenings in Jalan Kayu
    I am 64 now and would love to return with my family so my husband, daughters and grandchildren can see where granny was a little girl.

    1. Susan, I am loving hearing all the ‘letters’ from people who lived in Seletar. I was born there but was brought home when I was only 6 weeks old. We lived in Mornington Crescent from 51-54. My brothers were 4 and 7 years older than me so will have memories of living there. I went back a few years ago whilst passing through back to UK from Australia. I went to the house I was brought to when only a little baby. I stood and looked and tried to imagine my Mum (now departed) walking up that driveway with the little bundle. The house was probably full of packing cases ready to leave. I would be very proud to live in that house now ! Nobody was home or I think I would have been tempted to knock on the door.
      I think you have fond memories,
      I know Singapore has changed beyond belief, but what a fantastic place.
      This is being written during this terrible time of Covid 19 so I am maybe getting a bit nostalgic for better times. You stay safe and enjoy your memories.
      Susan Whittaker nee Jeffery

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