Photos of RAF Seletar from the mid 1960s

This post is about a set of colour slides I bought which contained a slice of history in the form of some photos of RAF Seletar in Singapore.

Boxes or bundles?

Whenever I buy old photos or slides from online sales, it is always a bit of a mystery as to exactly what is going to turn up. There are normally a couple of pictures which have been taken with a phone camera, or sometimes some scans, but it’s impossible to know exactly what I’ve bought until the package turns up and I can take a proper look.

I’ve realised over the last few months that old colour slides are sold by people who presumably work in the house clearance business with the slides ¬†bundled from various different sources and sold in sets of between 200 to 500. This is good in a way because it results in variety, but it also means that it’s unlikely there will be a full set of anything of interest. Because of this, I’ve started to look at buying collections of slides which are sold in the slide cases that people used to use to hold their family photo collections. This is more risky in a way, because there might be 200 images of someone’s garden, but occasionally a gem will turn up.

While I was looking for such a box, I found a set for sale which was not only a slide case of original pictures, but the slides in it were 127 format film which are somewhat rarer than 35mm and capable of being better quality images. Since the box was a ‘Buy it now’ sale, and only ¬£10 I took the plunge and bought it.

Photos of RAF Seletar - Swimming pool
Photos of RAF Seletar – Swimming pool

Photos of RAF Seletar

When it turned up, and after a bit of investigation, I found that the pictures in it were taken in Singapore in the mid 1960s and included many photos of RAF Seletar which was the RAF base in Singapore at the time. It seems that the collection was probably taken by a serving RAF officer who lived at the base and liked to take photographs.

Most of the pictures were taken on film which was presumably available locally rather than well known makes, although there are also some Ektachrome slides. The majority of the images are good quality and have retained their colour and definition well which is probably the result of them being kept in the slide box with a packet of Silica Gel rather than in the individual boxes they would have been returned from the lab in.

Enclosed in the box with the slides was an index sheet which lists locations and subjects, but unfortunately the slides aren’t numbered or identified in any way, and the positions on the index sheet don’t match the slides in the box – at least they didn’t when the slides reached me.

The images from the RAF base are particularly interesting and cover both the inside of the staff quarters, and the facilities around the base along with some shots of helicopters and military vehicles. I’ve included some copies of the pictures below, but there are other pictures as well which you can see by using the series view.

Interestingly, some of the areas around Singapore shown in the pictures were re-developed in the 1980s and so have completely changed, so these pictures really are a slice of history.

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7 thoughts on “Photos of RAF Seletar from the mid 1960s

  1. I was there 61/63Tengah, 68/71 Seletar. I think the sampans would be on Singapore river

  2. Dear Simon Hawketts,

    I would like to thank you for creating the ‘Lost Found’ website to post the old films of the RAF Seletar and develop the scanned photos to share to nostalgia friends of Singapore.

    Your kindness and courtesy have jogged the fond memories of old Singapore. I have taken the liberty to create a video and shared it at several related groups on Facebook (viz RAF Seletar, RAF Changi, etc).

    Photos of these lost films have reached the right people who appreciate your good deeds.

    hanks and be blessed to Simon Hawketts who started the ‘Found Film’ site. Find out more at:

    Simon Hawketts Found Film Blog
    https://simonhawketts.com/2017/07/28/update-found-film-site/

    Video created by Thimbuktu with thanks and be blessed to Simon Hawketts who started the ‘Found Film’ site.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BXVpEd7lWQs/

    Once again, thank you Simon.

    Best Regards.
    James Seah

    1. Hi James – you are very welcome. I have quite a few more pictures from that series which I’m adding over the next few weeks so hopefully there will be some more for you to see soon. Just as a general note I’ve added a twitter account for the found-film site so the easiest way to keep up with updates is to follow the site on twitter.
      Simon

  3. Hi Simon,
    Really good to see your Singapore/Seletar pictures. I look forward to seeing the others that you have as I was there as a kid 59-62 (Tanglin), based in Seletar as a pilot a few years later and flew through Singapore for Thomson/Britannia/Garuda for years after that.
    Brian

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