Thursday, January 5, 2012

Places around P.E.E. (3) - Dairy Farm

The area now called Dairy Farm is best known for the new Nature Park developed and launched by NParks in 2009. Dairy Farm is also the location of several upscale condominiums located just beyond Hillview Avenue.

The Wallace Education Centre at the Dairy Farm Nature Park

The locale is called Dairy Farm simply due to the fact that the entire area was formerly a real dairy farm (duh?).  In 1929, Singapore Cold Storage Ltd bought 28 hectares (about 70 acres) of land That were former gambir farms and converted it into a dairy. The purpose was to provide milk for the local market. They imported Friesian cows from the Netherlands and Australia for this venture. Up till then, local milk was of an inferior and unsterile quality. Dairy Farm brought in new technology and modern methods of milking.

The dairy farm was vast and I could remember that it spread all the way over to the back of the Chestnut Drive area. You had a panoramic view of rolling pastures and you could see herds of cows all over the pasture on most of the days. This was back in the 1960s and 70s as I can recall,  this was where many PEES schoolboys used to play at times. This was part of our kampong area.

I had a teacher called Miss Ng who lived within the Dairy Farm premises at Dairy Farm Crescent. She was our Cubs troop leader and we used to visit her home together with another teacher, Mr Peter Sundra. Mr Sundra seemed to us at that time to be very close to Miss Ng!  Hmm, I wonder if anything developed beyond that?  Miss Ng would take us on walks around the dairy farm as she was very familiar with the place.

This was how it looked like during my childhood days.

The milking shed is today refurbished as the Wallace Education Centre.

At that time, Dairy Farm Road was just a track that led from Upper Bukit Timah Road. The only portion that was paved headed not to Dairy Farm but to the Dairy Farm Quarry located nearby.  In fact, I can remember that the track was gated by the PWD (Public Works Dept) who ran the quarry operations, I believe. Entry was restricted to the quarry and you could only use the track to walk towards Dairy Farm.

Older residents will also recall the Malayan Gammon Company located at the junction. They produced concrete pipes and you couldn't actually see the Dairy Farm from Bukit Timah Road as it was blocked from view by the Gammon factory.

Here is a video I made in 2009 just after the opening of the Wallace Education Centre at Dairy Farm Nature Trail.

Related links:
Alfred Russel Wallace


  1. I used to see cows from Chestnut Close side. There were also farm lands at the foot of the hill slope.

  2. I had a classmate Song Hwa staying in the estate on the farm and often i'd walk from her place back home to Fuyong Estate. This was in early 70s and the picture of the prairie brings back memories of the times i took those tracks and sometimes over the fields where the cows were grazing, not to mention a few times coming home with dung on my shoe! Susan

  3. Alisdair MartinJanuary 17, 2014

    My grandfather Phil Fielding was the farm manager in the 50s and 60s. I went with my mum Phyl in 2011.

    1. Hi Allsdair Martin.

      That's very interesting!
      Would you have stories anor even pictures of your grandfather during his time at Dairy Farm to share?

    2. Hello some of the pictures my mother donated of the farm are actually in the class room of the wallace centre. I am going back to the UK as live in New Zealand in December 2014 for a holiday to get some more pictures as my mother has lots of them that my grandfather took. She also has cine camera films that my grandfather took of the farm and houses, which I am gong to get converted into a DVD.

    3. my email is so I can give you lots of information and stories as my mum is currently holiday with myself and my family here in New Zealand before she flys back to the UK at the end of this month.

  4. I have lived at Dairy Farm for 13 years and am always asked about the curious name of our Estate. Thank you for giving me such a wonderful account of the history of this beautiful part of the island. How it has changed though - those early photos are so peaceful and serene!

  5. please do share pictures of dairy farm, if you have any, other than the ones from National Archives above. I would love to see them.