Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mount Emily Swimming Pool

The following article is written by Agent MaxX, as he recalls how during one outing he had with his friends at Fort Canning, he was looking down from above and spotted an abandoned place that turned out to be that of an old swimming pool:

It details his research on the history and stories behind 'Mount Emily Swimming Pool', and acts as a prelude to our next GHOSTClubSG expedition!

Mt Emily Swimming Pool

One of the swimming pools that people probably cannot recall much is the "Mount Emily Swimming Pool". Some said it is completely gone, yet others argued that it have been replaced by a park. While doing my online research I came across people relating their childhood memories of climbing up the Mount Emily road to reach it. Eventually the road is no longer on the map, while some say's Mount Emily road is still around.

Is the swimming pool that I saw the one that is been known as "Mt Emily swimming pool" or perhaps it's another abandon swimming pool? Where could the exact location of the swimming pool be?

What struck me about this Emily swimming pool is that, I had happened to bypass Fort Canning Park and eventually I found an abandon swimming pool, and so I did a research and came across this name Mount Emily swimming pool, where the exact location could be the one that I had seen from Fort Canning.

According to reports from the National Library, at,

Emily swimming pool was the first public pool in Singapore. Back then it was first constructed as a municipal reservoir in the 1880s before the decision was made on 11 September 1929 for the Public Works Department to convert it into a pool. It was also the first pool in Singapore that used fresh water instead of seawater; it’s located along Upper Wilkie Road, where Mount Emily Park is today. It was said to be a popular venue and with the number of bather which can hit 8thousand a month. The pool is officially declared open on 10 January 1931, however the day where this pool is Close is not known, but the facility was no longer reported on in the SSC annual reports after 1982. (picture courtesy of National Archives of Singapore:

During the Japanese Occupation the swimming pool was occupied by the Japanese from the year 1942 - 1945 and what could the Japanese be doing. It was reported that the Japanese change the pool into seawater. Could the Japanese use this as their training ground for their soldiers to adapt to the sea condition or could they use the swimming pool for some other purpose for example torturing of their prisoners.

Furthermore misadventures happen in the pools, occasional reports of drowning or other death incidents. Besides drowning, a common accident was that of bathers jumping off the diving platform and hitting their heads against the pool's concrete floor. But of course, there were still fond memories of the pool, also known to some as "River Valley Swimming Pool", as written by Mr Walter Lim in his blog (

Mr Lim mentioned how his wife had fond memories of "splashing and swimming in the cool waters of the pool during her childhood days"...

But thinking back, it is rumored that names that had "Emily" is a bad sign that will lead us to death or mishap. It is parallel to the infamous case of Emily Rose, the girl who was possessed by 6 demons and who died after the whole exorcism process.

Is the name Emily really cursed or perhaps it's just a coincidence? We will attempt to investigate this place during our next expedition! Stay tuned!

No comments: