Hong Kong in colour

This newsletter usually features a black & white photo, so let's see some colour for a change.


That's how they were described on eBAY when I bought them.

A good thing about slides is they often have a date printed on the cardboard frame. These show "AUG 69", when the Peak still towered over Central's buildings ...


1969. Hong Kong island from across the harbour


... and today's Admiralty district was still very low-rise.


c.1968 view of Central & Admiralty


We'll see plenty more views from the harbour, as there is at least one in every tourist's album! Other popular scenes come from the standard tour around Hong Kong island, or a day trip to the New Territories:


Old ladies in walled village


Looking at the walls, I guess these ladies were photographed in Kam Tin walled village.

If we're lucky, we also get a couple of shots like these that are different from the usual tourist scenes. Any thoughts on where they were taken?


Street scene


Densely packed buildings in Kowloon



Our next photographer likes construction. We still get

"I got married in King George VI's bedroom"

If you're looking for a memorable wedding day, Mabel Large's story is hard to beat!

Here's Mabel a few weeks before the wedding, when she was still Mabel Redwood:

Mabel Redwood & Mr A Raven in Stanley Camp

The photo was taken Stanley Civilian Internment Camp, not long after liberation in August 1945.

Mabel and over three thousand others had been interned there by the Japanese since 1942. During those lean years, very few photos had been taken. So when the British fleet arrived to liberate Hong Kong, the Navy's photographers made up for lost time. The press were hungry for news and photos of the former captives, and not just in Britain - this photo went to America, see the note on the back marked

c.1928 View from the Peak over Central and the harbour

c.1928 View from the Peak over Central and the harbour

Where: No prizes for identifying the location of this one - we're up on the Peak looking out over Central and across the harbour to TST. It's been a popular subject for photos over the years, so I like to compare photos from different years to see how the view changes.

When: Look at the junction of Pedder Street and Des Voeux Road, and you'll see an empty spot where a building has been demolished. Here's a closer look at that section of the photo, with the site of the missing building marked in red.

Pedder St / DVRC / Ice House St / QRC

It was the

Tong Lau / 唐樓, the Hong Kong shophouse

Hong Kong's streets used to be lined with shophouses, but few remain today. In this guest post, Dr. Lee Ho Yin and Prof. Lynne DiStefano from Hong Kong University walk us through the history of the Hong Kong shophouse, then show us how to identify the different generations.

Tong Lau: A Hong Kong Shophouse Typology


Prince Edward Road West
(Image source: Urban Renewal Authority)

1890s View along the Praya

1890s View along the Praya

When: This photo is taken from a stereoview card, dated 1896:

1896 Stereoview: "Chinese Coolies, Hong Kong, China"


Where: The line of masts along the right of the photo shows we're on the seafront, or Praya.


We know the 1896 seafront ran along Des Voeux Road, but which section are we looking at?

There's a clue in the


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