In 1980, Queenstown's oldest flats constructed by SIT were already 30 years old. Sparse and offering scant niceties that were incomparable to gigantic malls sprouted in other parts of the island, they "were mirroring the greying of their original occupants." The younger generation of residents who were born in Queenstown had moved to newer estates that offer bigger housing facilities, leaving behind their parents who preferred the comforts of familiarity.
Queens' Crescent is one of them. Then, it was bustling with activity with the food centres, the shopping mall (still there) and the markets. Today, we got a wonderful opportunity to speak to Mr Ali who lives in Blk 21, Queens' Close for almost 20 years and 20 years in Stirling Road prior to that.
Mr Ali at Blk 21
"It has been almost 20 years since the 4 storey SIT flats and the markets at Queens' Crescent were demolished. I would alternate between the Mei Ling and Queens' Crescent market to shop for my groceries. Some of the houses were still there when I moved here! Then, I would walk to the wet market to buy my provisions and get some fresh food, passing by those 4 storey flats. Because the flats are located close to each other, everybody seems to know each other and the entire Queens' Crescent seems to be another kampong. It feels so cozy getting together with friends. Some of the residents living in the SIT flats would even rear chickens and ducks. It is just like the past!"
"Now, everything has changed. After the demolishment of the Queens' Close market, we will visit the Mei Chin, Tanglin or ABC Market to shop for our groceries. The 7-11 near our flat was indeed convenient but they have limited items."
Like many Queenstown residents who chose to remain in this familiar environment, he felt that the estate was convenient, serene and beautiful! Kudos Queenstown! Kudos, our beautiful estate!
The opening of Queens' Crescent Market in 1964
Swings outside his apartment flat
Modern lift lobby and garbage collection point