Making Boot Polish & Cricket Ball Covers

Making Boot Polish & Cricket Ball Covers

Boot polish was produced by mixing bad eggs, sugar and wood alcohol.  Moulding cricket balls was one of the first tasks of Changi Industries.

This image of Des Bettany’s artwork has been reproduced with permission from the book ‘Don’t Ever Again Say “It Can’t Be Done”’ published by The Changi Museum, Singapore.

‘It may sound, from the foregoing, that we had only to decide to indulge ourselves in a sport and the materials were immediately forthcoming. But that was not so. Although there were many different articles of sporting gear at the commencement of the camp, it must be realised that these were irreplaceable when worn out, with the result that cricket bats were nailed together or tied with wire, balls were such that no self – respecting street Arab would be ashamed to play with, while tennis balls were used until every vestige of fabric was worn off them and the bare rubber cracked up under the strain.’

Source: Rex Bucknell, ‘The Panzer Division’, in Lachlan Grant (ed.), The Changi Book, Published by New South in association with the Australian War Memorial, 2015, pg. 158

‘Suitable moulds were manufactured and numerous small appurtenances, such as mixing bowls (old tins), and scraping knives of chrome (made from motor car radiators) were made or ‘scrounged’, and within a few days the factory was ready to commence production.’

Source: Robert Moffett, ‘Rubber Factory Report’, in Lachlan Grant (ed.), The Changi Book, Published by New South in association with the Australian War Memorial, 2015, pg., 203