Monday, September 10, 2012

A Moonlight Swim At Changi Point In 1965 Part X

*Heather and Thunderbirds 'Because I Love You'/'I'll Be Yours' (Flipside)
Singapore Memories One:

Since Allan Thompson was stationed at RAF Changi in the mid 60s, it was convenient for him to go to the Village for some recreation.  Usually it was for a beer or two with a friend but there were occasions when he needed private space and that was when he decided to meet Mr. Moon (image) instead of Mr. Sun. His anecdote is in two parts. Below is Part 1:

"Sometimes, on still evenings, I would wander down to Changi beach on my own for a moonlight swim. (Only one young lady ever accepted an invitation to join me in such activity back in early 1964, otherwise my nocturnal dips were solo affairs).
Changi Creek Bridge 1965 (Copyright)
I would cross the bridge over the creek and turn right towards the group of trees where the canoe- hire man used to operate by day. I would bury my wallet in the sand and remove my clothes which I put in a pile on top of the place where the wallet was hidden. I was wearing swimming trunks under my slacks and I would slip into the sea and have a refreshing dip. Then I would sit on the sand and have a cigarette while I dried because I never took a towel with me.

Moon Crabs at Changi Beach (Copyright)
I recall one evening sitting there and watching some phosphorescence on the surface of the sea when suddenly there was a rustling sound behind me. When I looked round, I could see a mass of something-or-other coming towards me. Thinking it might be rats, I jumped to my feet in alarm, only to dicover that it was a large group of land-crabs heading for the sea. Fascinating. 

Allan Thompson and friend at a bar in Changi (Copyright)
On another occasion, I sat for ages after my swim, listening to an instrumental group, similar to The Quests (could it even have been them?), playing in the nearby kampong, possibly for a wedding or similar occasion. Very pleasant, and one of a host of fond memories from that time. When I was reasonably dry, I would dress and go up to the village for a few Tiger beers in the Europe Bar with my friends who used to think I was crazy for swimming alone at night. Perhaps I was. If so, I didn't care, because it was a very satisfying kind of craziness."

You can read Part II in future postings.

Original article/Images: Allan Thompson Collection.
Image: Record Cover - Andy Lim Collection.
Image: Crabs -

Singapore Memories Two:

[*Vinyl record description:  At only fourteen years - in Singapore she would have needed a special licence to perform at night clubs - Heather Batchen  was signed to Philips Records with The Diamond Four a band of British servicemen from an HMS naval ship that was docked in Singapore in the mid-60s. 

After a second record was released with the same group they returned to England and she was later backed by The Thunderbirds singing 'Because I Love You'/'I'll Be Yours'   On this EP (ME-0173-HE) called Mr. Moon she had recorded Do You Care? and Hey, Mr. Moon! both Frank Thompson compositions.]


ISABEL ONG said...


I am from the Ministry of the Environment & Water Resources, Singapore. I came across your blog and this interesting post on street hawkers in Singapore of the past and would like to share it on our Facebook page ( as we are featuring posts on street hawkers on our page this week. Would you be ok with us sharing information from this post? Let me know :) Please email me at Thanks.


Allan Thompson
11-Aug-2008 09:27

Dear Peter,
I am very impressed with your atmospheric and evocative photographs. I never visited Pulau Ubin but I spent many hours at Changi Beach, particularly the Point, and took many photographs (not at all up to your high standard) between 1963 and 1966 when I was based at RAF Changi.

The beach looks just the same in your photos and the kampong life depicted in the Ubin series was the normal way of life for Malay families all around the coast of Singapore in the 1960s.

Thanks for sharing them.

Best wishes,
Allan Thompson.

PETER CHOU said...



ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Isabel,

You are free to use the posting for Facebook but please acknowledge it with my name 'Andy Lim' and internet connection @

Thank you for the visit and do keep in touch.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I used to teach at Pulau Tekong Primary in the early 60s and went by boat from Changi Point jetty to Tekong daily.

When it rained I suffered and got drenched sometimes. I remember songs in my mind that kept me going then and a friend who was always cheerful and positive - Yusnor Ef.

Those were the days my friend...


The grim history of Changi Beach dates back during the World War II and Japanese Occupation.

It was the site for the massacre of 66 Chinese men by the Japanese soldiers. The specific location of the massacre is at the water's edge along the stretch of Changi, off Nicoll Drive.

Today however, the beach is the playground of many beach lovers.

Changi Beach will certainly bring back the sweet memories for locals who frequented it during the sixties...




On the 15th February 1942 an eerie silence descended over Singapore. The fighting had stopped, the British commander in Singapore had surrendered.

For 50,000 allied soldiers the war was over, and they became prisoners of the Japanese. About 13,000 were Australians...

To read more, click 'Beginnings of Changi' above.


Dear Andy,

Many thanks. I saw the blog this morning. Very well laid out and I feel honoured to have a place in your site. Not much music, but I hope it is u

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Allan,

The truth is I feel honoured to have YOU writing on the blog. With your ease of language and ability to pen personal anecdotes so openly I am most grateful. And they are useful indeed. The music is secondary.


Above link to Yusnor Ef Posting.