Queen Elizabeth Walk
Once a seafront promenade, Queen Elizabeth Walk was part of the Esplanade, a long open stretch of field by the sea, although it was not until 1953 that it got its name. Before the land reclamation project in 1843, the original shoreline touched the 70-yard (64 m) wide Esplanade, approximately at the edges of both the Singapore Cricket Club and Singapore Recreation Club buildings.
Further landfill and reclamation in 1890 enabled the widening of the Esplanade when an area almost equivalent to Raffles' Plain (now the Padang) was added to its coastal side. A sea wall was also built and a new road, called New Esplanade Road, was formed. New Esplanade Road sat on the curve of the original shoreline and formed a circuit with Old Esplanade Road, now Saint Andrew's Road, which was popular for evening carriage rides among the leisurely class. In 1907, New Esplanade Road was renamed Connaught Drive, to commemorate the visit of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, and his brother, King Edward VII, the year before.
In the early years of the twentieth century, ths scenic coastal road stretched all the way from the city to Keppel Harbour. The instructions, "jalan tepi laut" in Malay, meaning "go by the seaside", were understood by all and sundry.
In 1922, there was further reclamation off the coast along Connaught Drive and the new land became the Esplanade Park. In 1953, Elizabeth II was crowned and Singapore commemorated the event by sprucing up Connaught Drive and renaming the Esplanade Park as Queen Elizabeth Walk. It was officially declared open by Lady McNeice on 30 May 1953.
With newly planted shady trees and neatly trimmed shrubs, the promenade quickly became a favourite place for an evening stroll. From there, strollers could catch the sea breeze, admire hundreds of ships in the harbour with their colourful fluttering flags and eat freshly barbecued satay at the Satay Club, which consisted of a collection of seafront hawker stalls.
Today, the Queen Elizabeth Walk refers to the stretch of promenade by Marina Bay within the Esplanade Park. The Satay Club has moved to Clarke Quay and become a tourist attraction. The sea view at the walk, however, is now obscured by both the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay and the vehicular Esplanade Bridge. Despite this, Queen Elizabeth Walk is still a pleasant stretch, which holds several monuments linked to the historical Anderson Bridge, including the Tan Kim Seng Fountain, the Lim Bo Seng Memorial, the Indian National Army Plaque and the Cenotaph.
- National Heritage Board (2002), Singapore's 100 Historic Places, Archipelago Press, ISBN 981-4068-23-3
- Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh (2004), Toponymics - A Study of Singapore Street Names, Eastern University Press, ISBN 981-210-364-3