In the late 1940s, Tiong Bahru was recovering from the horrors of the Second World War. Jobs were scarce, so many turned to street hawking. A new market emerged at Tiong Bahru, converted from two old shophouses in the vicinity. As more street hawkers joined, the limited space resulted in many rifts and conflicts. The street hawkers soon decided to shift their stalls and pushcarts to the nearby spacious Seng Poh Road to continue their trades.
In 1950, the Municipal Commission approved the construction of the Seng Poh Road Market, a large simple wooden building with zinc roofs. When the new market was completed, more than 200 hawkers applied to sell poultry, fish, vegetable, fruits and cooked food. In 1951, the Municipal Commission declared the Seng Poh Road Market, and the equally popular Lim Tua Tow Road Market at Upper Serangoon Road, as the new public markets.
Except for some repairs and a replacement of the battered roof, Seng Poh Road Market remained largely unchanged, in the next 40 years, until the late eighties. In the early nineties, it was given a major cleaning up. The old market’s history, however, came to an end in 2004, when it was torn down for a complete redevelopment. Its hawkers were then relocated to a temporary spot at Kim Pong Road. After two years of redevelopment, a new Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre was completed and opened in 2006.
Here is a trip down the memory lane of the former Seng Poh Road Market:
(All photos above are credited to Tiong Bahru Estate)
Published: 26 October 2017