Monday, November 17, 2008

Return of songbirds

Tiong Bahru bird corner to reverberate with music again with bird singing competition at month's end

The Straits Times
Nov 17, 2008
By tay suan chiang

Tiong Bahru will soon be filled with the music of singing birds again.

About six years ago, the famous bird corner at the former Block 53 in Tiong Bahru Road fell silent when the area was redeveloped. Bird lovers, who used to flock here clutching cages housing their chirpy feathered friends, stopped coming.

The housing block and another block across the road have been transformed into the 288-room boutique Link Hotel, which opened in July last year.

And the hotel is holding a bird singing competition on Nov 30 to mark the reopening of the famed corner.

About 350 bird lovers are expected to take about 400 mata putehs and merbuk jambuls to compete in the contest for 60 trophies. These two types of birds are known for their singing and will be judged on their quality of voice, showmanship and volume.

The hotel spent $200,000 sprucing up the bird corner, which was surveyed to ensure that the structure, which has been around for more than 10 years, is still sound.

Bird lover George Chang, 56, who has been judging bird singing competitions for 30 years, was roped in to rebuild the bird corner. The retiree has two birds which he shows at a bird corner near his home in Bedok North. He used to take his birds to Tiong Bahru before it closed.

The height of the structure also had to be measured to determine the length of the hooks for the cages.

Mr Chang says each of the 322 hooks must be 2.5m from the ground so that bird lovers will not knock their heads on the cages.

Mr George Chen, the hotel's director and general manager, says everyone is welcome to visit the bird corner, even when there is no competition.

'We want the hotel to retain its legacy and part of this is the bird corner, which reflects the uniqueness of the area,' he says.

The bird corner came about nearly 60 years ago, when a group of men began hanging their bird cages on a tree next to the coffee shop at Block 53. It became famous in the late 1980s when a Dutch journalist and avid bird lover, Mr G. van Bladel, started going there, too. He wrote articles about the place in several newspapers in the Netherlands. Soon, overseas reporters swamped the place, eager for a glimpse of this unusual avian haunt.

One bird lover who is taking part in the competition is Mr Raymond Kok, 55, who is self employed. The Tampines resident used to visit Tiong Bahru with his birds once a month, but he now frequents a bird corner in Bedok.

'I like listening to the sound of my birds singing,' he says of his 23 birds.

More than 100 bird enthusiasts have signed up for the competition. Registration costs $12 per bird at the hotel.

The hotel plans to make the bird singing competition an annual affair. It also has plans to install chairs, shelters and lighting at the corner.

Tiong Bahru resident Terence Lee, 48, is happy to hear the corner will be revived.

'It is a well-known spot and, hopefully, it will be as popular as before,' says the businessman.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let's support this Bird Singing Competition

Click on the image to enlarge the picture

Finally, an official bird singing competition will make a comeback at one of Tiong Bahru's most famous landmark.

Link Hotel, true to their promises made, will be organising this event.

Ms Julia Lim from the Link Hotel has worked tirelessly to ensure that the competition will run smoothly.

She has tirelessly spent many weekends researching and touching base with the various bird singing enthusiasts around Singapore to ensure that this competition is organised professionally.

The MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, Associate Professor Koo Tsai Kee, will also grace the event.

Let us do our part to help Link Hotel publicise this event.

Their success will put Tiong Bahru back onto the "must visit" spot when people pop by Singapore.

Here are the details :

Date: 30th November 2008
Time: 8am to 1:30pm
Venue: Tiong Bahru Bird Arena, Link Hotel
Registration: $12 per bird
Categories: Only Mata Puteh and Merbuk Jambul will be competing

Merbuk Jambul

Mata Puteh

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Two 1950s Doors (Up for Grabs)

Two 1950’s doors from the Post War Section of Tiong Bahru is up for grabs.

One of these doors still has the signature chicken wire glass while another has been covered up.

I’ve seen some owners who turned these doors into a sliding door version and they look great!

Please help to prolong these doors’ life.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Past & Present

1950's Tiong Bahru

Tiong Bahru (6th November 2008)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tiong Bahru Decides

The Tiong Bahru Estate Repainting Exercise is in progress right now.

If you have not indicated your decision, you are highly encouraged to do so.

Please trot down to the Tiong Bahru CC's office to pick up the decision forms.

Your decision is important as it may just be the deciding vote of what the estate will be clad in for the next 10 years.

To find out more about this repainting exercise, please click on the following images to enlarge the pictures for a better read.

Artwork courtesy of designadvocates