Saturday, April 08, 2006

Saying bye to the ferry services at Clifford Pier

Slightly more than a week ago, I read from one of the Chinese newspapers that the ferry services at Clifford Pier would be relocated to Marina South Pier as of 1 April 2006.

For your convenience, this link gives a concise summary of fate of the ferry services at Clifford Pier as well as inform us of the exact location of the Marina South Pier:

I remember myself enjoying the sights of the ferries parking themselves at the Clifford Pier. I might have a fascination with the shapes of ferries and vessles that look similar. As such, after reading that piece of news, I decided to find time on an afternoon to take photographs of the Clifford Pier, while the ferry and launch services were still in operations.

Weather was not quite on my side. The skies were looking dull on that day when I was at Clifford Pier to capture the soon-to-be-gone sights. In fact, it was drizzling slightly when I reached Clifford Pier that day. I took the photographs anyway. I thought to myself then: Perhaps the lack of bright natural lightings might lend some melancholy feel to the photos that I would take.

Clifford Pier. Waiting area?

Watching the ferries passing by.


Actually, I confessed that I can quite be an ignorant person. I am not quite familiar with the history of Clifford Pier. From one of the pages from Live.Life!@eCitizen, I got to find out that Clifford Pier was named after Governor Sir Hugh Charles Clifford of the Straits Settlements. I have often heard the locals referring to Clifford Pier as "Red Lantern Pier". I just don't quite understand why. Would anyone care to enlighten please?

Ferries at the Clifford Pier. A sight that is now gone.

People at work. Would they miss working at Clifford Pier?

Ferry approaching the pier.

Now an image from our memories.

These too will go?

Clifford Pier will not seem the same without the ferries. On 2 April 2006, I passed by the Clifford Pier, and it looked very bare without the ferries. Occasionally, I could see bumboats passing by the Merlion Park that is located nearby. Otherwise, the surface of the waters looked empty without the ferries.

Let's compare.

Before 1 April 2006:

After 1 April 2006:

Life will still goes on. Maybe it is just not the same as we used to know.


Also read:

- Clifford Pier without the ferries (A re-adaptation of this post. Posted on

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A place of historical significance

The boardroom. In this boardroom, the British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese on 15 Feb 1942.

While Singapore's modern history may be comparatively short, there are still many places of historical significance in Singapore that are worth a visit.

On a sunny Saturday in the month of March 2006, I travelled to the Memories at Old Ford Factory. Located at 351 Upper Bukit Timah Road, it took me about close to an hour to travel there by bus from home.

I regretted that I did not check up the visitor's information carefully before heading for Memories at Old Ford Factory. By the time I reached the place, it was already slightly past its opening hours. I could only count myself lucky that there was a tour group visiting the Old Ford Factory so the place remained opened after its opening hours.

As such, that visit to the Old Ford Factory was a rather rushed affair. By 2.30 p.m., the tour group had left, and the polite staff gave the remaining three visitors (which includes myself) a gentle reminder that the Old Ford Factory had extended its opening hours one hour beyond its normal closing time for Saturday.

Deciding not to inconvenience the staff, and also realising that it was my mistake for being too confident that the Old Ford Factory would be opened for longer hours on Saturday (apparently this was an assumption), I left the galleries. There are still quite a number of exhibits I did not have a chance to look in detail. I did not have a chance to visit the AV Theatre again. As such, I hope to make a visit to this place again sometime in the future.

If you were to wish to visit this place, please do check up the visitor's information beforehand:

Anyway, let me write about the visit proper.

Outdoors, there were plaque-like displays that depict the historical events that have taken place before and after the Japanese Occupation. Reading the words on these displays also helped one gain a better appreciation of the strategic location of the Ford Motor Factory and the Bukit Timah Hill.

In the photo above, you would see the building of the Memories at Old Ford Factory. At the bottom corner, you would see a granite stone with words 'Taking History as a Lesson' inscribed on it. The words were calligraphed by Mr Choo Thiam Siew. Please refer to this URL for more information:
. Somehow this stone lends a rather poetic feel to the place.

If you are able to read Chinese characters, you might be able to make out that the sculpture above represents the words "Peace". Titled "Peace", this is a work by Mr Chua Boon Kee. It reminded one of the value of Peace.

Memories at Old Ford Factory

Photos showing how the Ford Factory looked like in the past.

The Ford Motor Factory was built in 1941. I read that it was the first Ford vehicle assembly plant in Southeast Asia.

After reading the displays outdoors, I went into the gallery.

The boardroom.

The boardroom captured my attention. Afterall, it was in this room that the British surrendered Singapore to the Japan. There are two buttons in front of this room. If visitors were to press on it, black-and-white video clips of what had taken place on the historic day of the British surrender would present itself.

This URL offers an account of the British surrender: Check out the video clips found at the above URL.

Photos of what took place on the day of the British surrender

Nearby the boardroom, there were two sculptures put on display. One was the sculpture of Lt General A.E. Percival, Commander of the British Forces in Singapore and the other was Lt General Yamashita Tomoyuki, Commander of the Japanese 25th Army.

Make a guess whether this is the scuplture of
Lt General A.E. Percival or Lt General Yamashita Tomoyuki

There was a display about the lives of the Prisoner-Of-War. It reminded me of the exhibitions I had seen when I was at the Changi Chapel & Museum a few years ago.

I wished I could have more time then at the Memories at Old Ford Factory but as you would have read earlier, there was a price to pay for not checking the opening hours.

So I ended that visit by reflecting upon this display that you would see below:

Taking History as a Lesson

What are the lessons that we could draw from history?

If you would like to read more about the Memories at Old Ford Factory, there are some good posts by fellow bloggers that have been mentioned or have been posted on

- The Place of Surrender
- Lest we forget
- Moved by Memories
- Memories of Ford Factory

Do check them out.