Monday, October 11, 2010

from beauty world town

to beauty world centre/plaza

photos from national archives of singapore

i remember reading about the old beauty world in this blog posting. in the 70s, when my wife was teaching at pei hwa presbyterian school nearby, i visited beauty world town a few times. it was like a maze, and therefore a fire-trap; however, in this place you could find stalls selling all kinds of stuff, much like chin choo pa sat (people's park market).

after the last fire in 1977, the old stallholders at the gutted site were offered shop units or food stalls at bukit world centre and the beauty world plaza and bukit timah food centre. those who moved out earlier had moved to clementi and west coast road. beauty world town had been plagued by at least five outbreaks of fire in the 60s. the attap shacks not only housed hawkers but also gambling stalls.

some of the stalls and shops that moved to beauty world centre and beauty world plaza are still in these two complexes. i rarely go to beauty world plaza but i visit the food centre at beauty world centre quite often.

i had heard about the char kway teow stall at the fourth level food court of the beauty world centre. i have always been eating from the stall that faces the stall that sells tarts, tau sar piah and kueh. a check with my friend, who has lived in that area for more than 30 years, made me realise that i should be eating from the other stall. however, it does not matter because i like the char kway teow from the 'wrong' stall.

the same friend who seems to keep a tab on some of the former hawkers at old beauty world tells me that some of the small-time businessmen and hawkers are quite well-off. some of them own more than one private property and some of their children have gone overseas for their higher education.

the site of the former beauty world town will, in a few years' time, become one of the stations for the downtown line 2.


Lam Chun See said...

Beauty World hold much memories for me; but I shan't repeat them here. Just last week I was at the BW Centre and took some photos with my mobile phone of the construction going on. If time permits, I would like to do that for some of the other stations; at least those near my house. In time to come this place will be changed beyond recognition.

yg said...

we, human beings are funny. when things change too fast, we lament. when things change too slowly or stay unchanged, we also lament. when i visit some places in malaysia, i cannot help passing remarks like 'no change at all' or 'still the same after all these years'.