Monday, March 15, 2010

A Great Museum For Free!!!!

Hey all,

Just a heads up. The blog may be hit or miss the next week. We've got some changes going on around here in Singapore and it's hard to get to my computer. As soon as I know more, you will, but if I don't have a daily offering sometimes, don't despair. I'll be back!!! (said in my best Arnie impression *snerk*)

Anyway, some time ago someone asked me if during my time here I was going to see any museums. At the time, I was just getting acclimated to being here in Singapore, so I hadn't even thought of doing anything like that.

But now I've been here a while and I've done my research and boy....did I find museums.

While some of them are quite expensive to visit, like the Singapore National Museum and the Mint Toy Museum, most of the places I've ferreted out cost only a few dollars with several being absolutely free.

So, with my list in hand, I dragged Jonathon to one I knew he would really enjoy. The Civil Defense Heritage Gallery. Now this cumbrous name is slightly misleading. This museum is a place that honors the firefighters of Singapore and tells the story of their forming.

Now I've been to museums all over the world and there is usually a difference between the way small museums display vs their bigger counterparts. But I have to tell you that the way the CDHG did up their museum was worthy of anything I've seen in a larger one. It was as good as my favorite all time museum, The Smithsonian.

The place was spotlessly clean. The displays and explanations were clear and understandable. Everything was done in several languages to accommodate as many people as possible. It was easy to see that whoever had designed and put this museum together not only loved firefighters, but truly honored them as well.

The CDHG has it's home in the oldest fire station in Singapore. Called Central Fire Station, it was built in 1908, and it's gorgeous architecture has been carefully maintained over the years. This is the station that serves the area where I am now living, so I was very happy to see the firemen were strong and alert and the engines were in tip-top condition.

As you can see by the picture it is quite a lovely building. The bays at the bottom of the building are all filled with fire engines, fueled up and ready to go. Singapore prides itself on its cleanliness and you can certainly see the care that is taken with this National Monument.

Here are a few pictures of the inside of the museum. Sorry about the low light. My camera was low on batteries...again. *sigh* Enjoy!!!

Here is some of the equipment they use. As you can see, it is perfectly maintained. Sorry again about the low light. Bloody camera!

This is one of their pump engines. Pulled by horses, while it may not have been as effective as those engines that came later, but it did quite well for its time.
This is one of their early ladders. It was cranked by hand and pulled to the fires separately from the pump engines. It looked heavy and I'll bet the firefighters were glad when the ladders went ON the trucks!

This is one of the newer fire engines. Looks similar to what they have now. Just a few differences you can barely see.

Here Jonathon is looking at a display that shows their disaster relief efforts. Singapore sent trained teams to Haiti and to tsunami stricken Indonesia.

This brave firefighter is one of their most honored members. Tog, a dedicated search dog. He was one of the trained animals that worked so hard to find buried people in the Haitian earthquake. Read a little more about him in the picture below this one. Sorry, it's fuzzy. My PK was really kicking in that day. (click to make bigger)
Well, there you have it. Just a few pics of this awesome museum. It's a great place for kids and adults and guess what? It's FREE!!!! So if you're ever in Singapore, go check it out. It will be worth your time.

See ya tomorrow! Don't forget to take the blog challenge I put up on Tuesday!!!! Go HERE for details.


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Phylis said...

What a cool looking building! I enjoy looking at museums too. Smithsonian is a favorite but it's been years since I got to see it. Enjoyed the pics of the museum. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

CJ England said...

It was just so well kept and thought out we were very impressed. But then, so was the Buddhist one I went to the other day.