Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hillview Avenue to Jurong Road

The development of Hillview Avenue

Hillview Avenue was a cul-de-sac built in 1951 as an access to the new Princess Elizabeth Estate. This access road, started as Hillview Road at the junction with Upper Bukit Timah Road. Initially Hillview Road and the short connecting Hillview Avenue was built to access the few factories set up there, namely Kiwi Polish, Hong Kong Rope and Union Carbide. 

The original Jurong Road started from Bukit Timah Village (7-1/2 ms Bukit Timah Road)

Hillview Ave was further extended in 1965 during the construction of Popular Estate and ended at the Cycle & Carriage new car assembly plant. Beyond this laid the kampongs and farms of Jurong. 

Jurong Road was shortened in 1960 to connect to Upper Bukit Timah at 8ms.near Lorong Sesuai
The old stretch was renamed Jalan Jurong Kechil

In post 1965 independence period, Jurong Industrial Estate was the major focus of economic development. As a result, critical access to Jurong Industrial Estate were necessary and Jurong Road was widened, re-aligned and improved.

In 1967, Jurong Road was widened and re-aligned and a section
became the 'Old Jurong Road' (colored orange above map)

By the early 1970s, Hillview Avenue was extended to join Jurong Road by connecting it to Jalan Perang. It became an alternative bypass between Jurong and Woodlands, provided you were able to get under the girder bridge at Hillview Road.

Hillview Ave connected to Jurong Road by joining it to Jalan Perang

In the early 1980s, HDB built the Hillview Estate to the north of P.E.Estate.
While to the southern end of Hillview, Bukit Batok New Town was beginning to be developed by the mid 1980s.

In the  late 1980s, with the construction of the Bukit Batok New Town, 
a section of Hillview Ave was renamed Bukit Batok East Ave 2, 
while the part of Jurong Road that ran through the new Bukit Batok Town was renamed 
Bukit Batok East Ave 6 and Bukit Batok West Ave 6.

The stretch between Upper Bukit Timah Rd and Jalan Jurong Kechil
was renamed 'Old Jurong Road' (in orange).
The original Old Jurong Road was expunged with the re-development of Bukit Batok Nature Park

By early 2000, factories along Hillview Ave were replaced by condominiums

Old Jurong Road was like this in the 1960s.

The only remnant of Jurong Road today now lies parallel  to the PIE from Bukit Batok Road to the PIE ramp at Jurong West Ave 2. The stretch that was previously known as Jurong Lama. It is still functioning as a minor roadway today.


  1. James. For your info, I had wanted to write a series of articles under the heading Jurong Heritage Trail just like the one I did for Bukit Timah. But too busy and never got around to it.

    I am looking forward to reading your posts about Jurong Rd to refresh my memory of this place that I traveled often during my NS days at Safti. Much of it all gone. Even what is left of Upp Jurong Rd has been realigned.

    And even the stretch parallel to PIE that you mention has changed a lot during the past 2 years. I am glad I took some photos before the construction of the foreign workers quarters.

  2. Hi Chun See. At the rate of changes happening, you should start on your Jurong Heritage Trail asap! The old Keat Hong Camp (GEB) that was nearby has now been completely dismantled and the land flattened! I fear the same will happen along the nearby Jurong Road old SAF training areas in Hong Kah soon.

  3. I knew it. About Keat Hong Camp that is. That's why I took several photos of the Nissen Huts there.

  4. When I think of the old Jurong Rd, I always think of the time I travelled along it on the way to Safti when we took Green Bus 175 or the pirate taxis at Beauty World. But looking at your video, I suddenly recall that that the first time I travelled along this road was in Nov 1969 when my friend and I cycled from Nantah back to my kampong in Lorong Chuan. Do check out my story here.This in fact is the very first article in my blog.

  5. I remember the pirate taxis were all stationed near the junction of Upp. Bukit Timah and Jln Jurong Kechil, just outside the market, where there were lots of food stalls.
    Bus 175 was actually run by the later United Bus Company. Before the bus amalgamation, the route was undertaken by Green Bus No.3 (same route). There was also the occasional Green Bus No.3A which terminated at Nantah instead of Jurong 18m.s.

  6. James. Do you remember a wayang stage near to the church opposite present Bt Batok Nature park? When I was doing my NS in 1971, I recall once we had to topo from Safti to this place (RV) and had our dinner near to this wayang stage. After that had to topo all the way back. :(

  7. I think there are bits of Jurong Rd near the traffic light junction of Corporation Rd and Jurong West Ave 2. Now sealed off and closed to vehicular traffic. I read a blog somewhere that people went to the woods that and discover remnants of grave stones of the former Bulim Cemetery. Must go there and take some photos before they build another condo.

  8. Hi Chun See. The church opp the Nature Park is the Catholic Church of St Mary of the Angels. I have been attending this church since the early 1970s long before they built Bt Batok around it. It was on the original 'Old Jurong Rd' and there used to be a chinese kampong just across Old Jurong Rd from it. There was a Chinese primary School just beside the church, now demolished. However, I can't remember any Chinese Wayang at this village but I must admit I seldom went into that village. The village is were now blks 270 to 280 lies. This was a very small village compared to the 'main' village further down Jurong Road.
    The main village was known as Jurong 10miles ('chap kor'). This main village was the hub of the Jurong rural area. It's in the current vicinity of Bulim/Hong Kah. Jurong 10ms had markets, community centres and shops. The PA's Citizen Consultative Committee (CCC) was also located there. Perhaps the wayang stage that you remember was in this village?
    The Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI) has a blog on the bulim cemetery here

    I was going to blog bt the old Chinese Primary school next to the chucrch but went I went to look, I could not find much trace except a short wall that was once their toilet! ha ha. It all covered by secondary forest now.

    Nearby was also a rubber factory which I am sure I have a picture somewhere. If I can find the picture, I write more about that rubber factory.The factory is where block 280 now lies on the former 'jungle' side of St Mary's church

  9. I get very irritated at myself. Having travelled this road so many times, how come I remember so little. Still I hope that reading your stories will stir up the memories. My experience in hosting Good Morning Yesterday this past 6 years tells me this will happen; as it did for other parts of Spore.

    I think I will embark on this Jurong Heritage Trail project in 2012. We can do a parallel effort and together paint a more complete picture of this place.

  10. Yes we can do that, as HSBC said, there's nothing better than local knowledge!
    Actually Jurong is not my kampong as it was 'behind' Princess Elizabeth area. Rather I am more familiar with Teck Whye/Bukit Panjang and Cheng Hwa 'cos that's where my grandparents lived and where my wife came from. My childhood playgrounds were the Chestnut/ Dairy Farm and Gombak areas. All the ulu places haha.

  11. James, I have been hunting high and low for some information on Jalan Udaya and found it finally on your blog. Recently I have been feeling very nostalgic thinking about childhood places and this was a village that I used to spend my school holidays visiting my uncle and his family.I lived in Kluang,Johor .It was basically a Malay village and I believe my uncle and his neighbour were the only Indian families around.I remember asking my cousin brother the name of the hill that could be seen from their kitchen and it was Bukit Batok .It had a power/cable station on it.It's a pity that I did not climb the hill .You give some very interesting details about that hill .But then again ,they were very short holidays for occasions like weddings,First communion ,Confirmation ( all at St.Joseph's) and finally funeral of Uncle (at St.Mary of the Angels).You have shown a clear progression of the development in Bukit Timah and how Jalan Udaya had "vanished".Thanks a lot for reconnecting me to my childhood .Sadly I have also lost touch with my cousins.

  12. Hello
    Sad to hear that you have lost touch with your cousins but perhaps if you leave your name and who knows, maybe they might read this blog and re-connect with you. I've had many ex-students of Princess Elizabeth school reconnected via this blog to date!
    Yes, Jalan Udaya had a rather large community built on the hillside of Bukit Batok. I recalled there was an Indian barber who had his shop fronting Upper Bukit Timah Road. In fact, this was my regular barber in my schooldays in the late 60s/early 70s. This Indian barber had his shop originally at Fuyong Estate further down the main road but moved to Jalan Udaya later. I remember I followed him to his new shop as I trusted my hair to his care all those years.
    You are not by any chance related to him, since there were so few Indian families at Jalan Udaya?
    Though I don't think so because he was not Catholic but Hindu.

  13. I served in the RAF at RAF Jurong in the mid sixties, I would love to see any maps of the Jurong Road around the 14 m.s. area, This was near our 'Main Gate' and the old wayang stage oposite. maps, photos, drawings and sketching's are today, very rare. It seems that from the nineteen fifties, right up to the eighties, everyone had lost their camera and their street index. I know that after the unexpected and complete withdrawal of the British military in 1971/2 Singapore experienced a tough economic climate (Thank Harold Wilson, Labour PM of UK at that time!). But details of Singapores recent history of this era, is very sketchy indeed. Even before all this, during my time there, precious little was recorded for posterity. So, if you have anything to show me of MY time there, I'll be extremely interested, why? Well, they were the BEST years of my life!

  14. Hello Martin.
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Though I don't have anything on RAF Jurong myself, I have seen some postings on various facebook groups about RAF Jurong, Gombak and Chia Keng, the lesser know installations.
    I suggest you'd like to join these groups on facebook which will take you back to the 70s and 80s. They are:-
    "On a little street in Singapore" and "Nostalgic Singapore".

  15. Just like to confirm on Mr Lam comments on 29 December 2011. Indeed there was wayang stage between the then chinese school (Wei Sin School) and the now lorry park beside Hillview Avenue. The wayang stage was setup only on certain time of the year during toaist fetival. It was there until early 80s when Bt Batok New Town started its early development. I used to go to watch the wayang show with my grandmother during my childhood days in the 70s.
    I used to stay in the rural village near the rubber factory that James mentioned. We moved out of the village in 1981 when the area was resettled for Bt Batok New Town development.

    1. Hi Kai Seng,
      Thanks for your wonderful information.
      It will help Lam's quest in his search for his old Wayang stage! I know he has been trying to locate this site for some time.
      So would I be right to assume that the Wayang stage would be near the present junction of that small road leading up to St Mary's Church? Or would it be higher up the hill slope itself nearer the old Wei Sin Sch?
      Woul dhave have any photos of your old village to share?

  16. Thanks Kai Seng for that confirmation.

  17. I cannot be very certain on the actual location of the Wayang stage. There are 2 possible locations. In my memory, the Wayang stage was at a junction of Hillview Avenue and another road. I am not certain if the other road was old Jurong Road or Jalan Perang. However, I'm certain that the Wayang stage was definitely on the HDB flats / Jalan Perang / old Jurong Road side and not the Nature Park side of Hillview Avenue. My feeling tells me that it should be the junction of Old Jurong Road and Hillview Avenue, facing the small road leading to the old Wei Sin School.
    As for the old photos of my old kampong, let me try to search through all our old photo albums and I'll share with you guys.
    James, do you know the name of the old rubber factory behind St Mary Church?

  18. Found this interesting 1985 road map from Singapore Archive site. If you zoom in, focusing on the Bukit Batok / Old Jurong Road / Hillview Avenue area, we can see the transitioning / co-existence stage of the disappearing old roads and the new roads which are what we are seeing now.

    See link below:

  19. Kai Seng,
    It's very very hazy but the factory was called something like Aik Theng Rubber Factory?
    Does that ring a bell or something similar?

  20. I stayed at Track 4 Old Jurong Road when I was born till 1977, after which my family moved to Clementi. My grandparents stayed behind before shifting to West Coast in 1981. Thanks for the maps, especially the 1985 one. They bring back many fond memories of that area.

  21. Hi kangaroo, which part of Track 4 did you stay? Track 4 has 2 sections. The proper bitumen track starts from Old Jurong Road to the end of the Rubber Factory where the dirt track section begins and leads all the way to the quarry which is now "Little Guilin". I stayed in the Zinc Roofed house beside the Chinese Temple.

  22. Hi James, I managed to find out the name of the rubber factory. Its Chua Guan Hong Rubber Factory. If you Googled it, there is a Straits Time 31 Aug 1949 article written about a fire broke out in this factory.
    I've also managed to find an old Topo map (probably dated 70s) on this area showing the hilly terrain, rubber plantations and the 10 mile market location. Check this link:

  23. Kai Seng, the map is great!~
    Can you identify where Jalan Petua is on the map?
    The reason is that I believe that's where my block is now.

    1. Hi James, the map's resolution is too low to read the road name. I found another map that I believe it shows the estate around Jalan Ramaja and Chu Lin Road. See link:
      Note that all the maps were taken from Singapore Archive website.

    2. Hi James, do you have an old street directory that shows where Jalan Petua is? From there, I could try to identify it the old topo map.

  24. Hi Kai Seng,

    I remember that there was this provision shop and barber near the entrance of track 4. I stayed just further down at this area where there were 2 houses facing each other, and there was this tall durian tree and a well near it. I remember that there was this factory just behind the area that my grandfather used to own, if I'm not wrong.

  25. Yes, I remember the provision shop where we would take shelter during a heavy downpour while waiting for the school bus to and from school.

    Yes, the barber. A haircut for 50 cents?

    Yes, the house with a tall durian tree. Is it the same house with a mangosteen tree at the gate? I remember once, together with my neighbour, on our way to school, we stole the mangosteen from that tree.

  26. Kai Seng,
    Here is a street directory map of Jalan Petua which was near 10ms Jurong Road.
    The interest in this was that there was a community Centre there once which was grouped together with the Princess Elizabeth Estate CC. This was before the PA took over the community centres.
    I believe the current Bukit Batok Community Club sits on the exact spot where the old Jalan Petua CC was.

  27. I came to know of Teck Whye through the camps there. In my sec school back in mid 70s, the NCC would always hold camping and campfires. There were forest and little hills, and Bukit Panjang Sec Sch too. It was there that I also encountered the 3rd kind too.
    Those days, there were single storey low houses along the camp and few HDB blocks opposite it. The point blocks, blk 11-13 were there.
    Fast forward to late 80s, I got married and actually stayed in blk 13!
    Now in 2015, I have not left this place...I am at Yew Tee now.
    After being in the "countryside" and seeing the transformation all these years, I still like the West, with the greenery and fond memories.

  28. I was born in 1965 at a hilltop house directly opposite Chuan Guan Hong rubber factory,where my father worked as a clerk till late 60s(?)Think its name had changed after the 1949 fire,which my father did talk many times about it.I studied in Wei Sin Public school and moved to JE end of 1981.My research showed that the approximate spot of my old house at Track 4 is Blk 215 BB now.Pleased to provide some information for your reference.

    1. Hi Benny,
      Thanks for the additional information, esp the name of the rubber factory Chuan Guan Hong.
      Was this the rubber factory at Track 3 near Wei Sin School. I recall seeing this red smoke house in the early 70s when visiting the church on the hilltop beside Wei Sin School.

    2. Hi James,

      1 That was another rubber factory at T3,a much smaller one.CGH was at T4,till the great fire in Aug 1949.News article:

      2 Apparently after the fire,there was a change of ownership.At the same premises,it became Hua Heng Rubber Factory.When I was born in 65,my father had been working there for many years.He used to bring me in the factory compound to play around till 70,when it ceased operation.News article:

      3 In 72,when I attended pri 1 in Wei Sin,I noticed the rubber factory at T3.It was still in operation.This must be the one you saw.

      4 A press release from the then PUB dated 12 Nov 82 mentioned a service reservoir at Jalan Petua.It was already partially completed end of 81 before I moved from T4 to JE.I Remember standing at the highest point of the hill behind my house,viewing it afar.This reservoir is still intact on the hilltop beside Blk 535 BB St 51.It is actually on the same plain as the BB Civil Service Club,the one with the Hilltop Garden Restaurant.See under 'water project' para 3 line 5.

      5 Jalan Petua was long and winding.It is possible that it ran pass today's BBCC,then to the highest point at the hilltop on which the reservoir stands.

      6.The exact location of the Jurong 10th mile market(Chup Kor) is BB Blk 185.A few years ago a short section of the Jurong Road,parallel to PIE,with the old trees by its side,could still be seen behind the BB swimming pool.It is under construction by HDB now.No trace of the old road left.

      7 Someone mentioned the Chinese Wayang stage near Wei Sin.I remember there was a Chinese temple which used to put up Chinese opera every year.It was opposite of Wei Sin,on the other side of Old Jurong Road.There was also a provision shop.Villagers called the place Chew Ka Eh(树脚下).If I'm not wrong,name of the temple was 裕廊凤山寺.Later merged with a few others to form the Combined Temple at BB St 23,diagonally opposite SBS Depot.

      8 Wish the above is of interest to you.

    3. Benny,
      Thanks for the wealth of information esp about the rubber factory and Jalan Petua.
      I am currently living beside what would have been Jalan Petua in the past - Bukit Batok Ave 1 !

  29. Dear James, it's a joy to have read your post. Indeed, the old keat hong camp area is now developed into 3, 4 HDB projects. Soon, Tengah area will also make way for residential development.

  30. I lived in Track 9 Jurong Road (near to 10th mile) until 1987 resettlement. So I have vivid memories of the old places like the 10th mile community centre where I attended Kindergarten. There was a Shell petrol station opposite Joo Hwa Public school. All my Chinese-educated siblings studied there. I used to have my basketball game at the community centre and watched BW TV program (such as COMBAT) at the community TV. I plan to write a book about my life in that area when I retire soon. BTW, I attended Jurong Primary School.

    1. Hi Cheng Kok, Track 9 would be where the current HDB Skyline II and the BB Swim Complex are located right?
      Will wait eagerly for your book!