Singapore

This page includes my grandfather's postcards from Singapore. I am not sure whether or not he visited Singapore as it was not on main UK to Australia/New Zealand route and he may have acquired the postcards from elsewhere.

Singapore as we know it was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles as a trading post for the British Empire. An earlier Kingdom of Singapura had been founded in 1299, but burned by Portuguese raiders in 1613 and the area left in obscurity until the British arrived. Nominally ruled by the Sultan of Johor, a deal was struck to build the trading post with a formal treaty being signed in 1819. In 1824 a further deal resulted in Singapore becoming a British possession.

Raffles

The unused monochrome postcard by an unknown publisher below shows the Raffles Institution that was built in the 1830s as a privately owned beach house. It became Emerson's Hotel in 1878 and the Raffles Institution took it over in 1883 for use as a boarding house. In 1887 it opened as the Raffles Hotel, was expanded in 1890 and again in 1894, and in 1899 it was refitted with the latest features including electric ceiling fans and lights.

Raffles
Raffles Hotel - date unknown.

Botanic Gardens

The unused monochrome postcard published by Max H. Hilckes of Singapore below, shows the entrance to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The gardens were founded in 1859 and research work carried out into rubber plant propagation, cultivation and rubber extraction led to the Malayan peninsula becoming the world leader in the production of latex.

Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens - date unknown.

Bank Blanda

The unused monochrome postcard below from an unknown publisher, has the caption 'Bank Blanda, Singapore'. I can see from the image that there is a British flag over the main entrance but strangely I can find no references online to a company of this name.

Bank Blanda
Bank Blanda - date unknown.

It seems most likely that the building shown started life as Whiteaway Laidlaw's store. In 1910 the company purchased land on Battery Road from William Flint, the brother-in-law of Stamford Ruffles, had a new store built there, and moved from their previous location around 1915. The building was constructed with vaulted concrete slabs spanning steel girders with corrugated iron permanent shuttering. It is possible that Blanda Bank - whoever they were - occupied part of the large building as tenants. If I am correct, the building was taken over by the Japanese during the occupation of Singapore in WW2. The building was purchased by Maybank in 1962 and renamed 'Malaysian Bank Chambers'. It was demolished in 1998 and the site is now occupied by the 32-storey Maybank Tower [36].

Malay Boat

The unused postcard below from an unknown publisher, has the caption 'Singapore - Malay Boat'. The image is not very clear but the boat in the foreground looks to be about 30 foot long and has a rig more European that oriental, though apparently it is being steered by an oar. Most sailing vessels from that part of the world had several battens attached to the sails as stiffeners. I have it on good authority that this is in fact a Perak canoe under sail of a type traditionally used for fishing.

Malay Boat
Malay Boat - date unknown.

This is the final page of postcards in the collection but you can click on the link below to view information about the various publishers of the postcards.