Thursday, July 23, 2009

Nostalgic photo - Beauty World

I was doing a search for some information for a piece I intended to write about the Upper Bukit Timah area when I came across this picture that really hit me hard in the face!

Originally, my first thought was 'Hey, this picture would be nice for my previous blog on old bus stops' when it suddenly hit me that this was the bus stop at the old 7-1/2ms Upper Bukit Timah Road which I had used long ago when I was just a young boy during my school days!

This was the bus stop opposite the original Beauty World. The picture must have been taken in the 1960s. The buildings on the left are still in existence at the junction of Chun Tin Road and Cheong Chin Nam Road. On the right where a gully separates the road from the vegetation used to be an old kampong where now stands the Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and Beauty World Centre. In the far background is Bukit Timah Hill.

The bus approaching the bus stop is service no.1 from the Green Bus Company. This service ran from Queen Street to Johore Bahru. This service is still in operation today under SBS Transit no 170.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Showing the Flag

With National Day coming just round the corner, I thought it might be a good time for some patriotism. After all, I do love my country.

In 2007, I had the good fortune to get 2 tickets to the National Day Parade. That was the first time the parade was to be held on the floating platform on Marina Bay. It was also the first time that I attended a live National Day Parade as a spectator. I had actually taken part in a marching contingent way way way back in 1969 at the Padang!
Here is my video of the NDP 2007. Hope you like it.

Singapore Pledge

We, the citizens of Singapore
Pledge ourselves as one united people
Regardless of race, language or religion
To build a democratic society
Based on justice and equality
So as to achieve happiness, prosperity & progress for our nation

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Old bus stops in Singapore

I used to live at a small housing estate called Princess Elizabeth Estate, located at Hillview Avenue in Upper Bukit Timah. Was reminiscing about it with my sisters when I decided to look for old photos of our childhood.

While looking for those, I came across an album consisting of photos of bus stops taken around 1989. These, being 20 years ago, I thought it might be interesting (boring?) for some to see these relics. In fact, some of these bus stop designs are still in used, although most today are being replaced by the new standard design.

This is the current standard bus stop design (c.2009). I believe that the bus stops now are designed, constructed and maintained, not by the government or bus companies, but by a media company (JC Decaux? correct me here). This is in exchange for all advertising rights at the bus stops.

Here are the photos from the past. Click on it for a larger image.

Finally, the coup de grace.....
This was the bus terminus at Princess Elizabeth Estate. First used by the Green Bus Co with service No 5. Later taken over by United Bus Co No 173 and finally by the SBS bus 173 and 193. The estate was demolished sometime in the 1990s and the terminus no longer exists, though SBS service 173 still runs through the area.

The following pictures were sent to me by reader Sue who found them after reading my blog. Thanks Sue.
If any of you have more pictures of old bus stops to contribute, I'll be happy to upload them here.

Comments by contributors.

Old car at old bus stop along old road in Changi

Bus stop that looks more like a bucket system toilet without the door in old Sembawang.

Old concrete bus stop at Ang Mo Kio 1980s
Bus stop in rural district c.1960s.

Orchard Road 2011. Lucky Plaza

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fossils at Woodlands

I have only a fleeting interest in paleontology. That started long long ago, long before the movie Jurassic Park. Somewhere in my boxes, there's a collection of real fossils. Ammonites, trilobites, amber insects and fossilized shark's teeth. Souvenirs of those growing up years which we somehow like to cling to.

Many years ago, while waiting for a friend at the Woodlands MRT station, I noticed that the station was covered with tiles made of rough sandstone. And the facade appeared to be badly stained with mouldy patches.

Anyone passing by probably wouldn't give a hoot about those dirty mouldy stains, but as I had nothing to do while waiting, I looked at it and lo, and behold! they were not stains. They looked like impressions of ferns and leaves. Fossils!

The facade of Woodlands MRT station is covered with sandstone tiles that were formed millions of years ago.

Since then, every time when I am at that station, I will just wonder along the walls and look at the fossilized impressions. Really, the patterns are wonderful to look at and they are all over the walls. You just have to look. Here are some pictures I took of the walls and the fossilised impressions.

Click on the photographs to view a larger image

Then today, while doing some reading, I came to know that the impressions found in the slate tiles were not fossils of ferns.
, what a let-down! I was really dejected to learn of this.

They are what are known as pseudofossils. And they have fooled a lot of people in the past, just like finding iron pyrite which is also known as 'fools gold'. They do look exactly like fossilised ferns and are found in slate or sandstone rocks which are truly from the age of the dinosaurs.

However, the impressions are known as dendrites. These are actually manganese oxide or iron oxide that had seeped into the rock formation millions of years ago and left their fern-like impressions in the rock. These rocks are commonly found in India, Germany and Australia and are used for wall and floor tiles. However, these patterns are also collectibles. Kinokuniya Books sells these around $60 for a 3cm x 3cm piece.

Well, if ever they tear down the walls of the station, they can always re-cycle the tiles as fossil collectibles. Go have a look while it's still there. They are really pretty.