While I was looking for information on Margaret Close and Queenstown, I came across this book, 10 Stories through the Year by Loh Kah Seng and Calvin Loh. Unfortunately, there was nothing on Margaret Close, a forgotten area in Queenstown off Margaret Drive. But there were lot of gems like this place.
Old residents of Queenstown will know this place very well as it was probably the tallest building in Queenstown during its time. In fact, it was infamous for the number of jumpers. Apparently, in the early days, a lot of the folks who were resettled in the flats from their farms and couldn’t settle down, choose this block to end their lives. Anyway, this was the famous Forfar House or the block that gives the place the local name “14 stories”.
Not so familiar is this next picture.
True be told, I am, at 50 still too young to remember exactly where is this market. According to the book, this was Queens’s Crescent. The hill and forest behind was known as Boh Beh Kang, loosely translated as river with no end. How I wish the hill was still around but I guess all that is there now are rows and rows of HDB flats.
There are more gems in the books, like this one which I posted earlier. There are lot of photos of places in Queenstown which are no longer around like the Blue Glass flats; the Setron and Van Houten factories. Unfortunately, there appears to be a gap in the book which mainly covers the areas that were there before the Seventies but did not have anything on the areas that were demolished in the late eighties and early nineties. Area like Margaret Drive, Block 6A & 6B, the estate in front of the Remand Prison and the shophouses across the road from the library and between the market and Margaret Drive. Also no mention of my school, the Birkhall Primary School or even Hua Yi Secondary School.
So while there are indeed many glimmers and gems in the book, somehow it left me wanting more. Perhaps the renewed interest in Queenstown recently will be able to provide more.