One of the earliest construction from the development of the Hillview area, and in fact, the last surviving original feature today is the Hillview Circus.
The circus*, or more commonly called a roundabout today, was built in 1948 as part of the roadworks leading to the two pioneer post-war factories being built then at Hillview.
*(Circus, from the latin circ, meaning circle and was typically termed in the British colonial days as traffic circus or traffic circle)
The two post-war factories were the Malayan Guttas Co Ltd and the National Carbon Co Ltd. Malayan Guttas produced the famous Wrigley Chewing Gum, while National Carbon manufactured the Eveready dry cell batteries. Both factories began construction in 1947 on land that were generously doled out to foreign corporations to help with the post-war economic recovery of Singapore.
This aerial photo taken on 15 April 1948 shows the construction in progress of the two factories and the building of Hillview Road and Hillview Avenue. The Hillview Circus was located at the junction of these two roads. The KTM Railway girder bridge was also constructed at the same time over Hillview Road. During the construction of this girder bridge, the railway line had to be temporarily diverted to allow for the construction of the bridge.
The completed development of Hillview Avenue and Hillview Road in 1950.
The above picture show both the completed railway girder bridge and Hillview Circus.
|Hillview Circus in 1955.|
The bus attempting the incline at Hillview Road is Service No.5 of the Green Bus Co.
|Hillview Circus in the year 2000.|
The HDB flats in the background formed the Hillview HDB Estate built in 1975.
In 1999, HDB announced that Hillview Estate would be demolished under the SERS programme.
|Castrol Far East Ltd|
|Glendale Park Condominium|
How much longer Hillview Circus will remain as it is is anyone's guess. In Singapore, roundabouts or circuses are now an anachronism in today's fast paced and high speed traffic. Most likely, we will see the circus replaced with a signalised traffic crossroad. Who knows?
TRIVIA: Did you know that Hillview Avenue was once used as Singapore's Grand Prix race track circuit in 1956 and 1957? Long before the Thomson Circuit or the Marina Bay F1 Circuit!
Click on this link to read about the history of the Hillview Grand Prix circuit.
An anecdotal history of Hillview, Singapore
The Railway Bridge at Hillview