Tanjong Rhu in the Past

A bird’s eye view of the Geylang River mouth. c 1980s
img0022-2Tanjong Rhu Jetty at the river mouth of Geylang River c 1980s.







Looking at Tanjong Rhu in the 1980s, it would have been hard for anyone to imagine that it could look at it today – an attractive and exclusive residential enclave of tastefully designed waterfront condominiums.

Following the previous related blogs, the “memory aids” of selected archived photos with courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) and various sources on the Internet to share on this blog.

Tanjong Rhu was a busy shipbuilding center in the past.

Towards the end of the Japanese occupation, one of the most interesting of shipbuilding experiments took place at Kallang River, mainly Tanjong Rhu.

Transforming a shipyard into a private condominium enclave is a giant step involving architectural planning of the modern buildings and infrastructures over many years.

This massive exercise for the east coast park land reclamation and the construction of the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and expressway.

tgrhu_masterTanjong Rhu boatyard in 1964


tgrhu2kallang river bank1 kallang river bank2

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Tanjong Rhu in the kampong days

The area was formerly known as “Sandy Point”.  Tanjong Rhu was the Malay name comes from the casuarina trees, referred to “pokok rhu” in Malay.



tgrhu6Postcard featuring cows roaming Tanjong Rhu beach, with the diving or observation stage of Singapore Swimming Club seen in the background.  c 1905

Singapore Swimming Club


Fort Road

fort road2fort road1

Land Reclamation & Construction of Benjamin Sheares Bridge

east coast reclamation 10

bsbridge construction2bsbridge construction3

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east coast reclamation 8

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The above photo of Ms  Tan Peck Eng, a generous contributor to NAS, posed with her brother in 1972 before the development of Tanjong Rhu.

Shipbuilding at Tanjong Rhu

Tanjong Rhu has been associated with shipbuilding and repairing small or medium-sized vessels from the early days in Singapore.

Captain Flint, a harbour master, started a boat building and repair company at Tanjong Rhu in 1822.


VIPs and guests at the launching of “W Flint” at Tanjong Rhu.  c 1950


Tanjong Rhu Girls School.  c 1951

tgrhu10Single-door bus at Tanjong Rhu.  c 1956

tgrhu11United Engineers shipyard at Tanjong Rhu 1956


tgrhu13HDB flats at Tanjong Rhu under construction.  c 1962

tgrhu14 Tanjong Rhu and Mountbatten Road houses under construction.  c 1962


Fire at Geylang in 1962


Enche Mahmood Bin Idrus and his wife, victims of fire in Geylang, moving into new flat at Tanjong Rhu in 1962.


Minister for Social Affairs Othman Bin Wok visits the Geylang fire victims at the Tanjong Rhu HDB flats on 5 November, 1963

Tanjong Rhu Industrial Estates in 1960s

Minister of Finance Dr Goh Keng Swee unveils plague at opening of Khong Guan Flour Mill at Tanjong Rhu on 31 March, 1964





Former Bungalows at Tanjong Rhu

tanjong rhu bungaloweast coast reclamation 9

As late in the 1980s and 1990s, the water surrounding Tanjong Rhu was polluted with industrial and domestic waste, creating an extremely unpleasant environment.

A massive relocation exercise was then undertaken by the Singapore government to transform Tanjong Rhu into a upmarket, high-end residential area. Reclamation of land along Tanjong Rhu for redevelopment and utilization for better benefits of Singapore.

Today, the best views of the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and Tanjong Rhu have become the iconic symbols of beautiful Singapore from air, land and sea.  These photos by our visitors and tourists from all over the world brought home fond nostalgic memories of our little island.