Saturday, June 30, 2012

Aerial View of Hillview 1950s

This is an aerial view of the Hillview Avenue area taken in the late 1950s.
Click on the photo to get a larger detailed view.
I have labelled a few prominent landmarks as follows:

A -   Princess Elizabeth Estate
B -   Hong Kong Rope Manufacturing Co
C -   National Carbon Co (renamed Union Carbide Co in 1957)
D -   Malayan Guttas Co
E -   Central Oil Refinery Co.
F -   Kiwi Polish Co Pty Ltd
G -  Malayan Spinning Mills
H-   Hume Industries
H1- Hume Industries Manager's Quarters (Hume Heights)
J -   Ford Motor Co.
K -  Gammon Malaya Ltd
L -  Dairy Farm
M - Dairy Farm Granite Quarry (PWD)
N - Salvation Army / Lee Kuo Chuan Home
O - The Chartered Bank
P - Fuyong Estate
Q - Singapore Granite Quarry
X - Bukit Batok Hill
Z - F. E. Zuellig (M) Ltd (see TG Chua's comments below)

Related link: Development of Hillview Avenue


  1. AnonymousJuly 01, 2012

    Could the building between D and G be Wrigley's?

  2. No, the building marked D itself is actually the 'Wrigley chewing gum' factory. Malayan Guttas manufactured the Wrigley gum. I wrote about this in an earlier article at this link:

  3. Hi James, Thank you for marking out the other sites, especillay the Kiwi factory. I remember there used to be a 3 storey quarters inhabited by "angmoh" near it - remembered because one Job Week, I was chased by a dog when I went into the fenced compound! Also, Malayan Guttas and Gammon. I was in Gammon House during school days.

    btw Q - Granite Quarry - is that correct? I remember the quarry was directly in front of PEE and that would put it somewhere behind Fuyong Estate. When I was in Pri 4, we went up above the quarry and then climbed to Bt Timah Hill with our form teacher, Mr Tirlok Singh. I had also climbed Bt Timah through Dairy Farm side and one route that took us on the eastern side of Fuyong Estate - past the restaurant at the railway bridge. (That would have taken me through Q and I don't remember a quarry)

  4. Hi Tarraleah,
    Q is the Singapore Quarry at Chia Eng Say Road. This quarry is visible from Bukit Batok Hill and is currently conserved as the Singapore Quarry Park which was 'reopened' as a Nature Park last year.
    Here is a video I did on the Singapore Quarry, marked Q above.

    The quarry 'in front' of PEE which is on the left side of Fuyong Estate is the Dairy Farm Quarry which was operated by the PWD for road building gravel.
    Since you have the book 'Over Singapore', pls look at Page 22 and you can see both quarries near each other which I cut off in the above picture to focus on Hillview Ave. You can aso the the entire Dairy Farm in the book of which only a tiny part is shown above.

    Of all the man made structures in the photo above, only 4 remains - The Chartered Bank, Fuyong Estate, Ford Motors and of course, our primary school building, PEES. The rest of everything including every kampong seen above is no longer there.

    There were many tracks that led up to the summit of Bukit Timah in that area. Like you mentioned, the tracks at Dairy Farm as well as the tracks at the Singapore Quarry side. There was also another track directly behind Fuyong Estate going through the Malay kampong at Lorong Chamar.

    Watch my video, there is a tip to get to Q by a shortcut through Fuyong estate. It may remind you of your trip with Mr Tirlok Singh and maybe you might remember passing that quarry.

  5. There is another quarry which I didn't mark on the above photo. This is the Poh Kim Quarry located on the western side of Bukit Batok Hill. (marked X above, the photo above is facing East, so the western side is on the bottom). Of course, this is now the Bukit Batok Nature Park.

    Bukit Gombak itself was mined for granite and has a number of quarries as well. Today the most well known is the Little Guilin park.

    But there were also another 2 larger quarries at the northern end of Bukit Gombak near the then 11th mile Choa Chu Kang Road. Access to these 2 quarries was then by a road called Jalan Perang, which no longer exist. Jalan Perang circumscribed the western side of Bukit Gombak ridge from Choa Chu Kang Road and actually connected up with Jurong Road near Bukit Batok. Hillview Ave was extended to join Jalan Perang in the 1970s and that was how Hillview Ave became connected to Jurong Road. (See my article Hillview Ave to Jurong Road)

    These 2 very large quarries are located directly behind where the Bukit Batok Fire Station (opposite ITE College West) is sited today. Just before reaching the Fire Station from CCK road, you might see a little side road leading up the hill, this was the original Jalan Perang, now just a service track.

    These 2 quarries were never converted into Nature Parks. I presumed being adjacent to MINDEF just over the hilltop, it would be a security risk? From looking at Google Earth, you can see some building inside the old quarries. I wonder if this is Singapore's Area 51? Wanna go exploring, and risk getting erase from the earth?

  6. To anon:
    I've been looking and trying to recall the factory that you mentioned between D & G.
    I can't think of the name but I remember this factory had large black double swing gates in front.
    If push comes to shove, I think it is the ZUELLIG FEEDMILL which produced animal feed.
    I recall there was one factory that always gave off a very strong smell. Could it be this one? I dunno.
    Any 'old' residents of the estate can recall this factory that was next to the Spinning Mill?

  7. AnonymousJuly 03, 2012

    Now i know how the names of the PEES houses came about. Kiwi, Hume, Gammon & Guttus.

  8. When PEES moved into Hillview, these 4 companies were its benefactors who contributed towards buying sports equipment for the school and the prizes for the annual Sports Day.
    In appreciation, the school named the Sports Houses after them.

    Did you know that there was a fifth Sports House?
    I wrote a blog about this forgotten Sports House previously.
    Please look for the article "The House that vanished at Hillview" (January 2012)

  9. AnonymousJuly 09, 2012

    Hello Mr James Tann,
    I come across your blog while search for some history of Hillview where I used to work in the 1960s.
    You have a very informed blog and congratulations for the excellent articles.

    Looking the above airial photo, your guess right when you say that the factory between areas D and G is the Zuellig Feedmill. The real name was F.E. Zuellig (M) Ltd, which later changed to Zuellig Feedmill (M) Ltd and then to Zuellig Feedmill (S) Ltd. The picture is only 1 building which means that it must be around 1958 when it started. There are more buildings behind build later. The factory moved to Jurong Port in 1965.

    Chua T.G, ex-staff of FE Zuellig in 1961.

  10. Hi Mr TG Chua.
    Thank you very much for verifying the unmarked factory as the F.E.Zuellig Feedmill. I will update the above photo shortly. I wasn't sure because I was still very young when the factory moved out. If by any chance you have an old photo of the factory, I hope you can email it to me. Thanks & best regards.

  11. Very good photo of the area. The area X is indeed Bt Batok Hilltop on Lorong Sesuai.

  12. Hi Mr Tann

    Thank you very much for showing Fuyong Estate. Currently im staying in 18 Jalan Siap. When i knew that my house was build in 1947, i was so surprise that i decided to conserve it, rather than tear down and rebuild. it has so much history in it.
    Can you briefly tell me the history of Fuyong Esate.


  13. Hi Kenneth

    I stayed at 71 Jalan Asas in the 1970s and moved out in 1984 when I got married.
    My blog is focused mainly on my previous domicile Princess Elizabeth Elizabeth Estate of which I have ever fond memories but I have previously written about Fuyong Estate in my other blogs. You can visit some of my Fuyong articles at these links:

    I have not done much ‘research’ about Fuyong Estate at all, but as far as I can recall the estate was built by the wealthy and successful businessman Mr Chia Eng Say.
    Chia Eng Say was an entrepreneur from Penang who made his fortune in Singapore.
    He lived in Katong with an extended family and was the owner (?) of the Singapore Granite Quarry.
    Or at least he is very connected to it. The road that led to the quarry was named after him.
    This road ran from Upper Bukit Timah Road beside the KTM truss bridge and ended at the quarry.
    Today the original road has been expunged though if you walk through the area you can still see parts of it and a bridge that connected this road to Upper Bukit Timah Road across the old KTM railway track.

    Luckily, the authorities had seen fit to name the new road that now runs in front of Rail Mall as Chia Eng Say Road. Previously this road had no name before Rail Mall was created from the old shop houses.

    In the past, there was a Chinese kampong at the southern end of Fuyong Estate which was called Kampong Chia Eng Say. Today it has been demolished and a playground built over the site. It is at the end of Jalan Uji near today’s Rail Mall.
    See this link about Chia Eng Say –

    Being a successful businessman, Chia Eng Say named the streets in Fuyong Estate after the principles of doing business. That’s why they are called Jalan Siap (Preparedness), Jalan Asas (Fundamentals), Jalan Tekad (Strength/Willpower), Jalan Uji (Challenge/Test) and Jalan Tumpu (Focus)

    There was a Malay kampong behind the estate (I not sure of the Kampong’s name).
    The kampong could be accessed via Lorong Chamar which was at the top end of Jalan Asas (where the Methodist Church now stands) as well as via Jalan Uji and Jalan Tumpu.

    In my article on another aerial photo of Hillview (Photos from ex residents-8), you can see a well worn path that was made by residents walking down the hill side from Jalan Asas to the bus stop in front of the Salvation Army.
    This area is occupied today by the Trinity College (St Francis school).

    I am very glad to hear that you are conserving your old house. I was there a few times recently and was actually quite sad to see the old estate becoming so ‘cramped’ due to the disorganized re-building. It has become so rojak now.