November 1, 2012

Dover Road to HortPark - Black and White Houses

Black and White Houses
This walk was meant to visit the black and white houses in Dover Road, Rochester Park, Portsdown Road and Alexandra Heights. We failed to visit Alexandra Heights due to time constraints and ended our walk at HortPark. Dover Road was where Warren Club used to have a 9-hole golf course but now shifted to Choa Chu Kang Way. The site is now taken over by NUS. Black and white houses were built by the British forces during the colonial days to house their staff. They were situated near their bases such as Kent Ridge (now occupied by NUS), Seletar and Changi airfields, etc. They are now managed by SLA and leased out to the public mainly expatriates who prefer to live in huge bungalows with lots of greenery. They are also in hilly areas and are spacious and generally away from crowded places.

Sandwich Road
Dover Road
From Clementi MRT Station we walked along Clementi Ave 3 towards Clementi Road to Dover Road. During our previous visits the NUS extension was in various stages of construction. At Dover Road we explored Folkestone Road, Maidstone Road and Sandwich Road. These were named after places in England.

Rochester Road
After Dover Road, we turned into Dover Rise where we accessed Rochester Park. All the black and white bungalows here were turned into F&B outlets similar to Dempsey Road in the Tanglin area.

Woking Road
Woking Road
Then we turned south along North Buona Vista Road to Portsdown Road. Along Portsdown Road we walked and turned left into Woking to see the colonial houses in Wessex Estate. All these were rented out. The backdrop to Woking Road is the 'green corridor' the land formerly occupied by the KTM railway track. At Whitchurch Road we dropped in at Colbar for a drink and rest. This was the 'colonial bar' frequented by the nearby British residents after work. It was orginally at Jalan Hang Jebat but had to be relocated to make way for an expressway. The former building was taken down and rebuilt in the present location. So us nostalgic guys visited this place rather than a similar place nearer to Portsdown Road junction with a more accessible location.

Open field at Woking Road
After our rest we passed the Temasek Club a club for SAF Officers and then proceeded along Portsdown Road and Portsdown Ave to cross the Ayer Rajah Expressway to Normanton Park. This condominium was originally built for SAF officers. Next to this condominium is the Science Park where where we walked through to access the Kent Ridge Park near the junction of Science Park Drive and Technology Crescent.

Overlooking Canterbury Road
Kent Ridge Park
We climbed up to Kent Ridge Park and walked along Forest Walk to the switch back road leading to HortPark. We took a break here before dispersing for home


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