Friday, August 10, 2012

Memories Of Old Ford Factory

Straits Times: Fri, Aug 10

Where: 351 Upper Bukit Timah Road

Open: 9am to 5.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays), noon to 5.30pm (Sundays)

Info: Go to

Look out for: This old Ford vehicle assembly plant is best known as the venue where the British surrendered Malaya to the Japanese. Shortly after it was built in 1941, the modern building was occupied by the invading Japanese and used as their military headquarters.

On Feb 15, 1942, British General Officer Commanding Malaya Lieutenant-General Arthur Ernest Percival and Japanese Commander of the 25th Army General Yamashita Tomoyuki met to discuss the terms of surrender.

During the Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945, the plant was taken over by Japanese vehicle manufacturer Nissan to assemble military trucks and other vehicles for the Japanese forces. After the war in 1947, Ford Motor Factory resumed operations, assembling cars for markets in the region such as Singapore, Malaysia and North Borneo (now Sabah). It shut down in 1980. Remains of the factory were gazetted as a national monument on Feb 15, 2006.

Visitors can see a replica of the boardroom table at which Lieutenant-General Percival signed the surrender document, and the original chairs used during the surrender negotiations.

Also, look out for other artefacts from the Occupation period donated by Singaporeans, such as a wedding gown belonging to Mrs Ivy Wee nee Ivy de Rozario, who got married during the Occupation.

What else to do: Go exploring at the Rail Mall (400 Upper Bukit Timah Road) which is two bus stops away from the museum. Take bus services 67, 75, 170, 171, 184 or 961.

The railway truss bridge and tracks near the mall have been retained by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and is accessible to the public. It is part of the 26km Rail Corridor, a project by the authority to integrate greenery, railway structures and new developments along the railway land. For more information, go to railcorridor/

Where to eat: The Rail Mall houses an array of eateries, shops and a Cold Storage supermarket. SunnyChoice (open daily from 10am to 9pm, last order at 8.30pm) is an organic grocery store-cum-cafe that sells fruit and vegetables as well as vegetarian meals such as thunder tea rice ($7.50), vegetable sushi ($6) and salad noodles ($7.50).

Epicurious, also at the mall, is well known for its brunch offerings and serves green eggs and ham ($14) and fluffy pancakes with fresh strawberries ($8).

If you are in the mood to chill out for the afternoon, check out Spruce at the former Bukit Timah Fire Station (260 Upper Bukit Timah Road). It is three bus stops away from the Rail Mall if you take bus services 67, 75, 170, 171, 184 or 961, or a 10-minute walk from the museum.

The modern American bistro offers Bomb Alaska ($15) and tenderloin steak frites ($34) .

There is also a preschool, an education playcentre for kids aged three to seven, and a kids' party store on the premises.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)

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