Monday, 26 July 2004

Biking the Heritage Trail

During the Pasir Panjang Heritage Walk yesterday, we provided a bus pick up point at Buona Vista MRT Station. The bus would bring participants to Kent Ridge Park Car Park B (the one with the tank) where guides from St. Andrew's Junior College's Green Club and museum volunteers (Toddycats) waited to begin guiding.

With the SAJC students competent enough to run the guiding session (it was our second weekend), I decided to meet the participants at the MRT station and get them up the buses myself.

So I found and packed everyone on the my registration list up the bus, waved them off, then raced the bus to Kent Ridge Park - this meant struggling up the steep hill three times - I really felt the weight of my iBook in my pack and the emptiness of my stomach from missing breakfast (but I have reserves!) The bus driver grinned at me as I laboured up Vigilante Drive, stuck his hand out the window to wave to me in my agony as he breezed by, unknowingly the victor! Needless to say, I lost this race every time.

Later, I'd try to beat the bus from Bukit Chandu back to the MRT by taking a short cut through the edge of Normaton Pond and Science Park 2. Happily, I managed to beat the bus once!

I tried to spin on low gears as much as possible and may have succeeded - thankfully the knees aren't aching today.

And I threw in some guiding for good measure.

First posted at Otterman speaks, 26 Jul 2004.

Sunday, 25 July 2004

Pasir Panjang Heritage Walk

Love the poster!

The third and last day of the Pasir Panjang Heritage Walk will be conducted tomorrow by students from SAJC and Todddycats!/Raffles Museum volunteers keeping an eye on things.

The St. Andrew's Junior College students from their Green Club have done pretty well. And even with me having to cancel training for them in June when I fell ill. In fact the groups were pretty much left alone by Todddycats after the few training sessions. They have clearly demonstrated that with adequate training, they can do an excellent job.

That's really encouraging!

During the walk, guides introduce the flora, fauna, life in the 1960's, 1900's and the Battle of Pasir Panjang. The route is a shorter version of what I usually conduct with the help of the Todddycats!, annually, in February.

I just hope it doesn't rain. There are window-rattling winds in the west right now, and I hope it blows over before dawn.

Well, we'll see.

First posted on Otterman speaks, 25 Jul 2004.

Sunday, 18 July 2004

The 6 inch gun at Labrador Park serves as a tribute

A 6-inch rifled barrel was discovered at the old Beach Road camp in March 2001. Similar to the 6-inch guns deployed at Labrador Battery, it was brought over in 2002 or 2003. The gun has since been mounted with attendant fixtures to simulate the 6-inch guns deployed at Labrador during the war. You can now view it at the Labrador Nature Reserve.

In the 1940's Labrador battery was part of a series of coastal gun batteries that was to defend Singapore from attack during WWII. Built in 1878, the Fort Pasir Panjang on Labrador ridge was to protect the western approach to Keppel harbour; and one of 11 coastal artilley forts built in the 19th century to defend Singapore's waters.

The fort will be open to visitors in the months ahead, and promises a better understanding of the development of such arsenals in coastal defenses, its role during the war and the men who blew up the guns and its ammunition, to prevent its acquisition by the enemy.

The display is now marked as a tribute to gunners of Labrador Battery.

First posted at Otterman speaks, 18 Jul 2004.

Monday, 5 July 2004

Pasir Panjang heritage revealed

Last Saturday afternoon was spent discussing aspects of the flora, fauna, early and late history and the battle of Pasir Panjang with 27 others.

Three were veterans Toddycats from previous walks who are helping me train the others - 18 from SAJC's Green Club, 5 toddycats and one staff from National Archives who we are working together with on this Pasir Panjang Heritage Walk project for Heritage Fest 2004.

It's an experiment of sorts, but there is a safety net of veterans. One more training ahead and we will guide some 400 during the fest.

A sandwich beckons so I am abandoning this blog. But read what Patricea has to say.

First posted on Otterman speaks, 05 Jul 2004.

Kent Ridge or Pasir Panjang?

When I first began offering walks on the Ridge in July 2002, I called the series the Kent Ridge Heritage Walks. And offered the walks to the NUS community.

So why this gradual switch to Pasir Panjang?

Well, in order to establish an NUS interest in the walks, our address, Kent Ridge (which I use as "city" when filling in forms), was a useful place to begin with. Few realised the origin of the name, nor that it was only half a century old, and a relative newcomer to the history of the Ridge.

The original name for the area, Pasir Panjang actually means "Long Beach", and isn't unique to the region as many other beaches bear this name (e.g. on P. Bintan and P. Redang).

But it is the name of this ridge and shore behind NUS and its about time I reverted to using it.

And no better time than Heritage Fest.

First posted at Otterman speaks, 05 Jul 2004.