The engineer Clifford loves his engines and I love me anything labelled ‘vintage’. So, when we heard about Motoring Heritage Day, which practically marries both our interests, we knew we’d be spending that Sunday afternoon at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. Heritage upon heritage. How apt.
It rained a fair bit that afternoon but the weather thankfully cleared up by 3pm, when we arrived at the old dysfunctional station. I’d always seen photographs of this wonderful place, but never gotten myself here.
In the station, the ceilings were high, the stained glass windows huge, allowing enough light into the main hall. Old ticketing booths still had their signs up though the shutters were painfully shut. There seemed to be a second level to this joint, but from the ground floor, the corridors looked dark and rather eerie. As did certain entrance pathways in the building, with ‘Do Not Enter’ signs and red tapes. Believe me, I wouldn’t venture in even if the signs didn’t exist.
Through the station and out to the tracks, I was hit by a nostalgic wave of some sort, even though I hadn’t actually been here before. That’s what history and heritage does to you I guess. There was free ice cream, the evidence of the distribution of free balloons earlier on and of course, the magnificent buffet line of vintage cars.
Rare in the region and possibly the only ones remaining ones left in the country, it was quite the experience seeing them all in one location. And at the iconic railway station too. These gorgeous cars on display looked as if they were at a high school reunion and suffice to say, anyone who went down had a rather splendid time.
If you were expecting to reach a paragraph of alluring vehicle talk, I apologise for not speaking motor. We did join the free vintage car guided tour led by a vintage car enthusiast and owner Mr Alvin Perera, who brought us down the long line of more than 50 classic drives with some of their owners by their side positively gleaming with pride. One phrase he had on constant repetition: To own cars like these, you need passion. Passion is very important. I would expect these babies to be tucked in to sleep every night and what not, I honestly do.
While the tracks seem like a forgotten stretch, I sincerely hope they don’t tear this place down. Besides the picturesque factor, it has that whole rustic atmosphere I wouldn’t want banished from existence in Singapore. So please, let it stay?